A standing ovation Saturday for Chico Outlaws "Knuckle Ball Princess" Eri Yoshida. Chico Mayor Ann Schwab along with city council members proudly honored Yoshida with a proclamation of achievement for the 18-year old pitcher's success. "Eri Yoshida has brought a positive image to Chico, of dreams that are possible, goals that can be achieved and that Chico is a family friendly community" said Chico Mayor Ann Schwab.
Yoshida's proclamation is well deserved. She is Japan's first female professional baseball player and the first woman to pitch professionally in two countries. Yoshida has also earned herself a spot in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. "Her jersey and bat will be there for visitors and they'll see the Chico Outlaws jersey number three" Schwab said.
Baseball success aside, Yoshida has also proved to be a valued ambassador for Chico. She has attracted massive media attention and draws thousands of fans from around the world to local games, helping boost the local economy. "Eri has put Chico on the map all over the world" Schwab said.
And it's not just the City of Chico who praises her, Yoshida has also proved to be a cherished member of the Outlaws team. "The things that she's done for our organization and for our league, and for women all over the world, we're really very proud of her" Mike Marshall, the general manager for the Outlaws.
Yoshida was humbled by the recognition, and with no interpreter around managed to share a message for the community. "Thank you so much to Chico, I'm so happy in Chico" Eri Yoshida said.