April 24, 2009
Four days after throwing a perfect game against a team of boys in a New Jersey Little League, Mackenzie Brown has been invited by the Mets to throw out the first pitch before Saturday's Nationals-Mets game.
The ceremonial throw — and subsequent contract offer from Washington — should cap off a crazy week that started when Mackenzie retired all 18 batters she faced and ended with an avalanche of national attention, including morning TV shows and a mention on ESPN's Sports Center.
However, it's likely that the toss in front of more than 40,000 Mets fans will be one of the last throws that Mackenzie ever makes. That's because she's trading in her baseball for a softball (and a much different throwing motion) once this season is over.
From the NJ Star-Ledger (which has much more on Mackenzie's perfect game):
"When her Little League career ends at the conclusion of this season, she will make the switch to softball. She has enjoyed her heyday playing ball with the boys but has aspirations of a chance to play college sports — either in softball or basketball, in which she's a highly touted point guard. Baseball doesn't fit that mold as easily."
For those of you wondering just how special Mackenzie's feat is, you can file it under 'quite'. Though exact numbers are not kept, the national Little League office estimates that only 50 or 60 perfect games are thrown across the country each year. Mackenzie, who started playing baseball when she was 6, isn't the first girl to throw a perfect game in Little League. A girl named Katie Brownell also did it in New York back in 2005, striking out all 18 batters.
Anyway, it should be quite a weekend for before-the-game ceremonies once you add Mackenzie to the 100-year-old who's serving as a bat boy for the Red Sox on Saturday. Our only advice for her? She should listen to Mike Pelfrey and watch out for that mound.
To watch highlights from the last inning of Mackenzie's perfect game, click here.