The secret to pitching is throw strikes, then more strikes, and more strikes after that.
It was on May 14, 2005 that an 11 year old Little League pitcher, Katie Brownell, did something that doesn’t happen a whole lot: she struck out every batter she faced, for an entire game.
Brownell was playing for the Oakfield, New York Dodgers that day.
She said other than getting to the field early for team photos, she got ready the same way as always.
But her catcher, Tommy Fowler, said Brownell’s reliably solid pitching had even a little extra that day.
When the opposing Yankees came up to bat, she struck out the first, then the second, and on and on.
Not only were the batters not getting hits, they weren’t even putting the bat on the ball – no ground balls, no pop flies.
Only a few even hit foul balls.
In all, eighteen batters faced, eighteen strikeouts.
As perfect a pitching performance as you can have.
All of a sudden she was getting requests to be on TV talk shows and throwing out the first pitch at major league games.
The crowd at her next Little League start was twice as big as before, and the Baseball Hall of Fame wanted her jersey for its collection.
In 2013, eight years after her historic game, the Oakland-Alabama Little League retired Katie Brownell’s jersey.
When you strike out all eighteen batters, then yeah, who’s going to try to follow that up?
This weekend in Houston, the city’s famous Art Car Parade is back, although this year visitors may be doing more of the moving than the art cars.
There will be at least 80 extremely decorated vehicles on hand, along with music and – this is an official quote from the program – “wild costumes.”
Photo by leadfoot via Flickr/Creative Commons