Last Saturday, Mets fans got to do something unusual: applaud a pitcher for throwing a no-hitter. True, it was a Little Leaguer; the Mets are still the oldest franchise that hasn't had a no-no. But the feat New Yorkers honored was impressive nonetheless. On April 21 Mackenzie Brown, 12, one of only two girls in her Bayonne, N.J., Little League, threw a perfect game. Four days later she threw out the first pitch before the Mets faced the Nationals at Citi Field. "It's pretty amazing," says Mackenzie, who had no problem reaching the plate from 60 feet, six inches. "A while ago I went to a Mets game at Shea, and I was like, I wish I could throw out the first pitch."
Mackenzie was dominant in her perfecto: She struck out 12 of the 18 batters—all boys—she faced, including the last six. (Note to youngsters eager to experiment with breaking balls: She threw all fastballs and changeups.) "I usually do strike out a lot of people, but I never came close to anything like that," she says.
Her accomplishment made Mackenzie an instant celebrity—she appeared on ABC's Good Morning America and Fox News. At Citi Field she took the mound in front of 39,960 fans, but her most nerve-racking moment was meeting Mets third baseman David Wright. "He's always been my favorite player," Mackenzie says. "He said to keep throwing the way I have been." Mackenzie was back on the mound the next day, and she came close. In three innings she gave up two hits and won again.