BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) - Katie Brownell grew up in the Village of Oakfield and developed a love for baseball as soon as she could throw.
She was the only girl on the roster of her little league baseball team, the Dodgers.
“I have four older brothers, so I was always outside in the yard,” said Brownell. “I never sat through movies or wanted to play with a Barbie.”
When she took the field for a game on May 14, 2005, she went down in history.
“A perfect game is when you strike out all eighteen batters. Not one reaches base or hits the ball in play,” said Brownell.
That’s exactly the type of game the 11-year-old, blue-eyed, blonde-haired beauty had.
Not one batter reached three balls; the most anyone got were two.
“I didn’t even know what a perfect game was the day that I pitched it. When my team came running out, all I said was ‘cool,’” she said. She credits her game to the accuracy and strength in her pitch.
Little did Brownell know that her jersey would become priceless. While grocery shopping with her mother she got a phone call from Jeff Idelson, president of The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
“He said ‘Hi, this is Jeff Idelson and we want Katie’s jersey,’ and I was like no way,” said Brownell.
Although she didn’t want to part with it, she did. Now it lives on in hall of fame in Cooperstown, New York.
“The exhibit they put me in is called ‘One For The Books’ and I’m in there with Nolan Ryan,” said Brownell.
She’s also made the pages of Time magazine, Cosmopolitan, Sporting News and Sports Illustrated. She even had the chance to throw the first at two Major League Baseball games.
“I pitched at the Dodgers game and the Mets games,” says Brownell.
One game stood out from the other. Jeffery Kent, now a retired second baseman, was catching for Katie at the Dodger’s game.
“I wasn’t going to pitch from the top of the mound, but he turned around and pointed to the top. It was the coolest thing,” said Brownell.
With the start of the World Series today, she’s revisiting her experience and looking to see how the pitchers throw.
Brownell is studying Sports Communications at Buffalo State College, while playing on their softball team.