The Taney Dragons from Philadelphia won the Little League World Series on Friday night in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania, but their win could not have been possible without one of their key players. This key player just so happens to be a girl. Mo’ne Davis is their 13-year-old pitcher who is perfectly fine with ‘throwing like a girl.’ She objected to playing softball, seen as a girl’s sport, and proved she can keep up with the big boys on the pitcher’s mound of a baseball diamond. Mo’ne Davis made history this season and only has room to grow in her future as a baseball player.
As baseball fans find themselves doing a double-take when the Taney Dragons come on the field, they question who the girl with the long black hair is. They question that until she comes up to the baseball mound and throws a 70 miles per hour pitch to strike out the first batter of a game. Davis did more than just strike out a handful of little league baseball players from their Nashville opponent on Friday night. She struck out the first six batters. She forced no walks in the entire game and had a total of eight strikeouts. She also went hitless in three at-bats and finished the six-inning game with 70 pitches. In the opening game of the Little League World Series tournament, she only allowed two hits in the entire game and led the Taney Dragons to a 4-0 win.
Girls are allowed to play in Little League baseball teams all over the country. Mo’ne Davis is the 18th girl to be a part of a Little League World Series roster in its 68-year history, and she is dispelling all notions that the girl cannot be better than the boys. In this case, the young pitcher is striking the boys out and is doing so with her extremely rapid fastball and dangerous curveball. She pitched her second shutout in a row and is slowly creating a promising image for herself. Her first shutout game was the game prior, which allowed the Taney Dragons to advance to the Little League World Series. Davis and her hometown Philadelphia Little League team went on to win the first game of the World Series in another shutout.
As the first girl to play in an American LLWS game in ten years, 13-year-old Mo’ne Davis may be opening eyes to little girls all over the country to become an inspiration and role model. Her success and talent was also recognized by NBA MVP Kevin Durant and MLB’s Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels on Twitter. Rapper Lil Wayne even tweeted how he was given goosebumps as he watched her pitch on the game that was televised on ESPN, stating she was ‘unbelievable.’
At the start of the sixth and final inning, Davis was determined to make a statement to Durant, Trout, Lil Wayne and to any other member of her growing fan base. The young pitcher finished the game with three straight strikeouts, leaving the crowd applauding and cheering as they could not believe what they had just witnessed. At that point she made history, as she was the first girl to pitch a shutout in a victory in Little League World Series history. Baseball fans may be curious to see what the girl will do next as she and the Taney Dragons could make history again as they could potentially play against the first all-African American team in the Little League World Series. Despite this, Mo’ne Davis will undoubtedly bring her strikeout-worthy fastball and curveball in hopes to prove that she can keep up with the boys on the baseball diamond.
Commentary by Tricia Manalansan