August may mean the end of the summer but it also means one of the greatest annual events of the year, the Little League World Series. The Little League World Series is a worldwide baseball tournament for children aged 11 to 13 years old. The series is held every August in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. This year it began on August 14th and will end today, August 24th. These 10 days not only allow these young baseball players to play their favorite game, but also to meet children their age from all over the world and experience other cultures. Each year millions view the games via ESPN and are taken away with the amazing abilities and talents these young players have. And this year is no different. The competition is as fierce as ever. And this year, one player in particular is making the headlines.
Her name, yes her name is Mo’ne Davis. There is another female player, Canada’s Emma March in Little League World Series, but Philadelphia’s Mo’ne Davis has become an overnight sensation. March and Davis became the 17th and 18th girls to ever play in this beloved tournament. Additionally, this is only the third time in the series’ 68-year history that two girls are playing in the same tournament.
Mo’ne Davis is a 13-year-old pitching phenomenon and she’s stealing all American’s hearts. So how did Davis steal the scene from all the other players in the series? Of course she became a headline story before the series began as she made an appearance on the Today show and had countless news articles written about her. However, now she is making the news because of her sheer athletic ability. On August 15th, Davis led the Philadelphia Taney Dragons to victory with a two-hit shutout with eight strikeouts that eventually led to the 4-0 victory over Tennessee. After that, people began to take her as a serious baseball player. She is 5 feet 4 inches, 111 pounds and throws a 70mph fastball.
Additionally, Mo’ne Davis landed herself on the cover of Sports Illustrated, the first ever Little League World Series player to have ever done so.
Besides making magazine covers, Davis has become a positive role model off the field for girls in America who want to play baseball. In a recent ESPN interview: “It’s very unreal. I never thought at the age of 13 I would be a role model,” Davis said. “Hopefully, more girls play Little League.” She is showing children across America that they should not stop striving to achieve their dreams even if they seem unrealistic because she has proved no dream is unrealistic.
Even though her number of interviews has been limited, she still makes impact in each one. Additionally, she has not let her sudden fame get to her. When she attends one of the series games as a fan, she somewhat isolates herself and generally does not sign autographs or pose for photographs. According to a NY Times article, when she was asked about how she felt appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated, she answered in a low-key manner, “I don’t know. Kind of surprised, but I mean, it was fun.” That one statement right there shows that while Davis has risen to fame, she is a humble young girl who is having a great time playing a sport she loves.
However, while she may be one of the few female baseball players in Little League World Series history, she will not try to make history again by becoming the first woman to take major league baseball. Why? Because her first passion is basketball. Her goal is to become future point guard for the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team and then to go on to play in the WNBA. Her goal seems more reachable as ever as Geno Auriemma, coach of the Connecticut women’s basketball team, has given her a phone call recently. So maybe one day Americans will be seeing Mo’ne Davis showing off her basketball skills for UConn. Until then, Americans can watch Mo’ne Davis make more history in the Little League World Series.
“Little League World Series 2014: First Female Player Happy for Emma, Mo’Ne.” Sporting News. Associated Press, 15 Aug. 2014. Web. 20 Aug. 2014.
Longman, Jeré. “Sports Illustrated And, Maybe in a Few Years, a Driver’s License.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 19 Aug. 2014. Web. 20 Aug. 2014.
Wallace, Kelly. “Baseball Sensation Mo’ne Davis’ Impact on Girls and Boys.” CNN. Cable News Network, 20 Aug. 2014. Web. 20 Aug. 2014.
Wells, Adam. “LLWS Star Davis Pitches 2nd CG Shutout.” Bleacher Report. N.p., 15 Aug. 2014. Web. 20 Aug. 2014.
“Redmond North Little League – Renovate the Ridge Campaign.” Flickr: Creative Commons. Flickr, n.d. Web. 24 Aug 2014. <https://flic.kr/p/g9yTZK>.