#Shortstops: Perfect outfit
What do Sandy Koufax and an 11-year-old girl from Upstate New York have in common?
They’ve both thrown perfect games in Dodgers uniforms.
And they’re both in the Hall of Fame.
Koufax’s feat came on Sept. 9, 1965 at Dodger Stadium when the 29-year-old Los Angeles ace faced off against the visiting Chicago Cubs. He struck out 14 opposing batters en route to his then-record fourth career no-hitter, and he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972.
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Meanwhile, Katie Brownell took on the Yankees, of the Genesee County Little League, on May 14, 2005, in front of approximately 100 spectators at Oakfield Town Park. She struck out 18 hitters in the six-inning game, never reaching a three-ball count against any batter. The jersey she wore during that Saturday afternoon was accessioned into the Hall of Fame’s collections just a few weeks later.
It was Brownell’s third season playing baseball, after making a last-minute decision not to switch to a local girls softball team, and the first Little League no-hitter to ever be thrown by a girl.
“I grew up with four older brothers and we were always at the ball fields because the oldest is 10 years older than me, so I kind of grew up around baseball,” Brownell told the MLB.com’s Cut4 in 2015. “I always wanted to do what my brothers did, so when I was old enough, my mother signed me up for baseball and I fell in love with the game.”
Brownell did eventually transition to softball a few years later, and went on to play at Buffalo State. She graduated in 2015 with a Bachelor’s degree in Sports Communication and then worked as the assistant softball coach at Amherst College.
Today, Brownell continues to draw on her athleticism as a personal trainer in Connecticut. Her Dodgers jersey remains preserved in Cooperstown, where it serves as the reminder of the power of girls in baseball.
Isabelle Minasian was the digital content specialist at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum