Detail from cover of Mighty Jackie, the Strikeout Queen
Get more suggestions from columnist John Kelly.
Jackie Mitchell's father told her she could accomplish anything she put her mind to, including playing baseball. The message sunk in, for on April 2, 1931, during an exhibition game in Tennessee, the 17-year-old southpaw struck out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. Read from this recommendation for young readers from Washington Post columnist John Kelly.
Now the Babe was mad.
This was serious. The Babe was striking out, and the pitcher was a girl!
The crowd, so ready to boo her before, rose with a roar, clapping and cheering like crazy. Back to back, Jackie had struck out two of baseball's best batters, Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. She'd proven herself and now the fans loved her for it.
But Jackie didn't hear them. She was too proud and too happy. She'd done what she'd always known she could do. She'd shown the world how a girl could throw -- as hard and as fast and as far as she wanted.
Text copyright © 2004 by Marissa Moss Illustrations copyright © 2004 by C. F. Payne