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The Taney Dragons came home to cheers and lots of love at LOVE Park in Center City Philadelphia on Sunday. The team arrived at around noon time from Williamsport greeted by Mayor Nutter and a park full of adoring fans.
The young team gathered a loyal fan base from the hometown after securing a spot in the Little League World Series. The golden child of the team was a young pitcher named Mo’ne Davis. Davis was the first girl to pitch a shutout in the World Series. The city of Philadelphia, that is known for their fierce sports pride, rallied to cheer on the young team and the stand out star, Mo’ne Davis. Viewing parties were held, and merchandise was sold out in support for the Taney Dragons. The team headed to Williamsport after winning the Mid-Atlantic Little League championship. The Taney Dragons made it all the way to the semifinals but lost in a double elimination to Las Vegas and Chicago.
The team returned to Philly on Sunday welcomed home by Mayor Nutter and a crowd of proud Philadelphians at Love Park. The team was greeted by Mayor Nutter, who expressed the city’s pride for the team. Each player shared with the crowd what they enjoyed most during their two-week adventure in Williamsport, NJ. Mayor Nutter also announced the city would be honoring the team with a parade on Wednesday, August 27.
The Taney Dragons will also be honored by the Philadelphia Phillies. The players, coaches and their families will take to the ball field for a special tribute. The Phillies will also be offering spectators special tickets that will benefit the Taney Dragons with a portion of the proceeds going towards the team. The day of the tribute fans will also receive a Taney Dragons team hat and T-shirt.
Thirteen-year-old Mo’ne Davis, the standout star of the series, will grace the cover of the Sports Illustrated and will be the first Little League player to do so. After throwing a complete game shutout during the team’s first game during the series, Davis became somewhat of a phenomenon. Over 40 items were listed on eBay that Mo’ne signed, one being a baseball that sold for more than $500. Mo’ne is taking it all in stride and does not see a future in baseball. Her dream is to play basketball for University of Connecticut. Davis is scheduled to appear on some of the late night programs, Ellen DeGeneres and The View in the coming weeks.
Philadelphia loves their sports teams, and it is no surprise they would welcome home the little league team Taney Dragons with cheers and open arms. The young athletes showed amazing sportsmanship and a parade in their honor are well deserved. Philadelphians will continue celebrating the young team with not only the parade but a tribute at a Phillies game and Mo’ne, the team standout, on all the interview shows for the next few weeks. The team has acquired quite a following which most likely will carry over to 2015 if the Taney Dragons can make it the Little League World Series again. With the support, they are getting from the Philadelphia community chances are good.
By Christina Thompson