By: Mo’ne Mania
In the dog days of the summer, there is one thing that remains constant in the world, and that is baseball. This season many phenomenal pitchers have taken the mound and are currently trying to show why they deserve the coveted Cy Young Award for league’s best pitcher. Whether the eventual winner is Clayton Kershaw with his jaw-dropping 12-to-6 curveball or Max Scherzer with his dominating command, it will be a player that should come as no surprise. However, one pitcher has put the nation on notice. Her name is Mo’ne Davis—and yes, you read that correctly.
This little leaguer out of Philadelphia has made monumental waves, not only in the sports world but across the nation, as Mo’ne Mania has taken the country by storm. Why? She’s the first, out of 18 girls to play in the Little League World Series, to pitch a complete-game shutout.
“I throw my curveball like Clayton Kershaw and my fastball like Mo’ne Davis,” Davis said in an interview for ESPN.
At 13 years old, she was consistently making the boys look ridiculous in the batter’s box, with confidence and a remarkable command on the mound that many probably didn’t anticipate. Her eight-strikeout, shutout performance definitely woke people up to the skill that she possesses.
“She really helps show that girls can compete with the boys. With her phenomenal performance it really helps showcase the capabilities of females considering she’s playing what’s considered to be a boy’s game,” said Virginia Wesleyan sophomore Amber Morris, once a member of the VWC women’s soccer team. “It makes me extremely excited.”
With a fastball up to 70 miles per hour, there’s no question that Davis’s capabilities are superb and that she can hold her own, even against the mightiest of Little League teams. Even in the game she lost to Las Vegas, after giving up three runs, six hits and a home run, she never let that rattle her. Many kids in the Little League World Series can’t handle the pressure of not performing up to their own standard, but she kept her cool. Even with the runs given up, she struck out six batters.
Further, it should not be forgotten that the Las Vegas team was by far the best hitting team in the Little League World Series, tallying more than 20 home runs over the course of the series, while the next team had less than 10.
Of course, all this success led to a lot of attention from the media for Davis. Reporters eagerly sought interviews, television ratings for the Little League World Series monumentally increased and, even more meaningfully, she graced the cover of the famed sports magazine Sports Illustrated, becoming the first Little League player to receive such an honor.
At 13 years old, all of this could seem overwhelming, but Davis’ steely demeanor and calm confidence make it seem as though she’s been used to this kind of attention for years.
Her performance even caught the eyes of many of the baseball players for VWC.
“I think it’s pretty cool, but truthfully it’s nothing that surprises, because I had the opportunity to play with a girl on my Little League team and she was pretty good. At the end of the day, when you step on the field it’s all about playing hard regardless of gender, or race for that matter,” sophomore outfielder Justin Erby said. Immediately after he finished, one of his teammates chimed in, saying, “Yeah man, it’s definitely awesome. I’m just interested in seeing where she goes from here.”
Many others wonder about Davis’s future in the sport, since no women currently play baseball at its highest level. Many speculate that she may just take her talents to the softball diamond. But she may actually end up in a basketball gym, a sport which, next to baseball, she is equally passionate about
Davis may have started to pave a way for other young girls. Who knows? Maybe we will see women donning the Yankee pinstripes or pitching for the Cubs at Wrigley in the future. The statement “You play like a girl” may not be seen as an insult anymore.