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25 No-Hitters By Teen Softball Ace

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25 No-Hitters By Teen Softball Ace


25 No-Hitters By Teen Softball Ace

25 No-Hitters By Teen Softball Ace

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Thirteen-year-old Jackie Rodriguez is a pitcher from Texas who has thrown more no-hitters than Nolan Ryan. Host Liane Hansen speaks with the child uber-athlete, who also plays the piano and trumpet.


Nolan Ryan holds the Major League Baseball record for hitters. He threw six of them in his 27-year career. And that's enough to make 13-year-old Jackie Rodriguez smirk? Jackie is a pitcher, too. Like Ryan, she's from Texas and has thrown no-hitters of her own: 25 of them, to be exact - in four seasons. And when she's not playing softball, you can probably find her playing the piano or the trumpet.

Jackie joins us now from her home in Weslaco, Texas. Hi, Jackie.


HANSEN: Have a busy summer?


HANSEN: Yeah. What have you been doing?

Ms. RODRIGUEZ: Well, I've been doing softball and also music at the same time.

HANSEN: Uh-huh. How's your softball record?

Ms. RODRIGUEZ: Well, we're good.

HANSEN: Good. And you've been playing your piano and your trumpet.


HANSEN: What's harder, playing softball or playing an instrument?

Ms. RODRIGUEZ: I think an instrument.


Ms. RODRIGUEZ: Because you have to read the notes and it's more practice to get everything right.

HANSEN: Uh-huh. So it's more of a head game than pitching?


HANSEN: Are you concerned at all that you might get hurt in softball and won't be able to play any instrument?

Ms. RODRIGUEZ: Well, I had already thought about that, but I would get really worried being hurt on my hands, because I wouldn't be able to play the piano or trumpet. But thanks to God, he's helped me and he's kept me safe. And I pray before every game.

HANSEN: So you haven't been hit by a pitch on your hands yet?


HANSEN: No. Do you think playing the trumpet or the piano actually helps your pitching?

Ms. RODRIGUEZ: Yeah. Well, it keeps me focused. Like, I have to be focused while I'm playing the piano and, like, getting used to that. I'm also focused on the mound.


Ms. RODRIGUEZ: So it's the same thing, being focused in both things.

HANSEN: What else do you think makes you good at pitching? You talked about the focus you get from playing a musical instrument. Is there anything else you think? I mean, you know, you're such an ace.

Ms. RODRIGUEZ: Well, like, playing the piano in front of a lot of people, I get nervous at times and it's also in softball, because the teams get rowdy and you get a lot of stress. So I get used to it.

HANSEN: Yeah. You stay in that zone that you're in.


HANSEN: So you're in Sports Illustrated for Kids as one of the sports kids of the month.

Ms. RODRIGUEZ: Mm-hmm.

HANSEN: Yeah. Yeah. Are you a celebrity in your time now?

Ms. RODRIGUEZ: Well, like, everybody's calling my dad and telling me that, oh, she's in the Sports Illustrated and all that stuff. So it's kind of cool.

HANSEN: Yeah. But, again, you know, that's attention that can distract you on the mound.


HANSEN: So you're handling it.

Ms. RODRIGUEZ: Yeah, I'm handling it.

HANSEN: Are you autographing your picture in the magazine?

Ms. RODRIGUEZ: Not yet.

HANSEN: Well, be careful about that because you don't want to wreck your hand, right?


HANSEN: Pitcher, pianist, trumpeter Jackie Rodriguez joined us from her home in Weslaco, Texas. Jackie, thank you so much. Good luck.

Ms. RODRIGUEZ: Thank you. And this is "Blue Scales."

(Soundbite of piano song, "Blue Scales")

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