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Mackenzie Brown Tells How She Got So Good, Why Girls Who Love Baseball Should Ignore Critics — and What She Was Thinking When She Threw Out the First Pitch at a Mets Game

May 19, 2009 – 4:54 PM

On April 21, Bayone, N.J. Little Leaguer Mackenzie Brown pitched a perfect game, retiring all 18 boys who got up to bat; she was invited to throw out the first pitch a Met’s game a few days later.

By Mackenzie Brown

I started playing baseball for the Cal Ripken League in Bayonne when I was six. I really enjoyed baseball so when I was nine, I decided to play in Little League as well as the Cal Ripken League. There are a lot of practices when you play in two leagues. Sometimes I have two in one day, but I love it.

When I am not practicing with my teams, I practice at home with my older brother, Daniel. He has taught me a lot about pitching because he pitches, too. Practicing every day is what makes me good. I like to pitch because it makes me feel like I am in control of the game.

When I was nine, I moved from rookie league to major league and that’s when I realized that there were only two other girls playing baseball. They were both a few years older than me.  All of the other girls played softball. At first my mom wanted me to switch to softball, but when she saw that I loved baseball she was fine with the idea. It never bothered me that there were no other girls my age that played baseball. I knew I could keep up with the boys.

Sometimes people joke and tell me that baseball is a boys’ sport and I shouldn’t play, but no one has ever said that to me seriously. I know a lot about the game so I can have a conversation about it with just about anyone. If anyone ever did say that seriously, I think I would ignore them. If your heart is in the game, no one can ever change your mind.

If I had to give advice to anyone who wanted to play baseball, I would say they have to like the game, and really want to play. Then, you need to practice real hard.

It does not matter if you are a boy or a girl. I would tell any girl who wanted to play baseball to practice even harder. Girls have to prove they can be just as good as the boys. I would tell them to learn all they can when they are off the field. They should watch MLB and listen to the sports announcers. They can learn a lot by doing that.

My favorite team is the NY Mets, and David Wright is my favorite player. I also like Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado, Jose Reyes and A.J. Pierzynski. I watch a lot of Mets games on television and I have even gone to a few games. We also go to a lot of minor league baseball games and when I’m not playing I like to go to the field and hang out.

My parents and my brothers are all very supportive. They are at every one of my games and my brother and my dad are always trying to give me pointers. When I am pitching I try not to listen to the people in the stands. I am pretty good at staying focused and concentrating on one pitch at a time. I try to keep the ball low, and just throw strikes. I never think of the score, I think only of doing my best every single play.

Next year I will be switching to softball. I think I will have some catching up to do to be as good as the other girls since they have been playing for a while, and I have never played, but I am willing to work really hard. I think if I start (I’ll be in 7th grade), I will be ready for high school.

There are not the same baseball opportunities for girls when you get to high school, so if I start softball next year, I’ll be ready. Hopefully, I’ll play through college.

My favorite part of this whole experience was meeting the Mets and throwing out the first pitch at Citi Field. I will remember that forever.

Being in the Mets dugout was exciting. I never thought I would be on the pitcher’s mound. It was amazing! I was nervous!! I thought I would be embarrassed if I wasn’t able to reach the plate. Fortunately, I reached! When I watch the Mets on television I think, “I was in that dugout with them. I was on that field.”  It’s a great feeling!

Mackenzie Brown is 12 years old, in sixth grade, and loves to play baseball and basketball.

  1. 8 Responses to “Mackenzie Brown Tells How She Got So Good, Why Girls Who Love Baseball Should Ignore Critics — and What She Was Thinking When She Threw Out the First Pitch at a Mets Game”

  2. Mackenzie, you should be so proud of yourself! What you did was incredibly impressive. As well, your love for baseball and perseverance despite gender obstacles is extremely inspiring! Congratulations, and keep on going!

    By Samantha L. on May 21, 2009

  3. My Goodness! This is so incredible! Mackenzie, you are an inspiration. When I was younger I always wanted to play baseball but never got around to it. I am so glad girls like you actually got out there and played! You are incredible!

    By Molly on May 22, 2009

  4. That was such agreat blog. that definitely inspires me to work hard at baseball and practice.

    By Donovan Lynch on May 22, 2009

  5. I think that you shouldn’t swich to softball.I am 10 and my best friends’ is a girl and she plays baseball and is a lot better than a lot of the boys.she is also the best pitcher on my team

    By Donovan Lynch on May 22, 2009

  6. I also play baseball, and love it. I will never switch to softball. If other girls want to play baseball they should and ignore other people’s comments like I do.

    By Caroline Bass on Jun 3, 2009

  7. hi,my name is kaelyn i also play in the little league baseball with all boys.your are so great and i know all girls shold look up to you. i konw it’s difficult trying to be as great or even better then most boys but you seem to be alot better. i myself usually play 2nd base. my twin brother is on my team.i have a story that happened in july at my all star game. my story is that i was in the all star game with my brother and other kids in my league and we were winnig for a while. then in the bottom of the ninth bases were loaded and it was 10-7 us i was playing right feild and my coach called me to the mound to pitch. my heart was pounding. i’ve pitched befor but not for such a big game. i walked two guys then strock two to retire the inning with a score of 10-9 and we won. i ended up getting the game ball. some people tell me to switch to softball but its not the same.

    By K. Marie G. on Jul 16, 2009

  8. Mackenzie,It’s odd how I’ve come across this article over a year later. I truly admire your passion for baseball, but would love a follow up article as to if your still playing baseball or move to softball.
    Before I realized this article was over a year old, I wanted to agree with you that softball is a completely different sport, but wanted suggest giving it a sincere try, because fastpitch is truly a great sport as well.
    I have two daughters that play fastpitch, so I can assure you it too can be equally competitive.
    Congrats on the honor of throwing out the first pitch and if you are able to continue playing baseball, I am very happy for you. Great story… Thanks for sharing.

    By Jimmy on Aug 17, 2010

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