It's been a whirlwind month for 13-year-old superstar Mo'Ne Davis. After grabbing the nation's attention by throwing a shutout game in the Mid-Atlantic Final, clinching her team a spot in the Little League World Series, Davis then went on to become the first female pitcher to win the Little League World Series. Now, Mo'Ne Davis landed on the cover of Sports Illustrated, and she's the first Little League player to do so. Not too bad for someone who's about to enter the eighth grade.
Davis, who plays for the Philadelphia's Taney Dragons, won the nation's hearts with her superhuman 70 mph pitch that completely redefined the expression "throw like a girl." Just to give you some perspective, the fastest pitch ever recorded was 105 mph, thrown by Aroldis Chapman, a grown man who's 6'4" and 200 pounds. Davis is half that at 5'4" and 111 pounds — but you wouldn't be able to tell by her pitching speed. According to NPR, most of her make counterparts in the Little League pitch in the high 50s, low 60s. So yeah, she's the definition of baller.
It's no surprise that a publication as renowned as Sports Illustrated, which normally puts household names like LeBron James and Michael Phelps on its cover, wanted to feature this up-and-comer. Davis is on her way to becoming a household name herself.
In the magazine, Sports Illustrated manager editor Chris Stone wrote:
Last week, this week, maybe next week, she's owned the sports conversation. How often do you get to say this about a 13-year-old girl? It's the easiest type of story to identify as a cover story.
Stone also quoted Albert Chen, the writer who penned Davis' Sports Illustrated cover story, "She's a lot of things to a lot of different people, all of them good things: a totem for inner-city baseball, a role model for your 10-year-old niece, a role model for your 10-year-old nephew."
Fully aware of her talent, Davis has exhibited gumption and confidence with her now-famous quote: "I throw my curveball like Clayton Kershaw and my fastball like Mo'ne Davis." Badass. But she's also revealed a wisdom beyond her years when it comes to the hype stirred by her gender.
"It does mean a lot to be the first American girl, but more girls should
start joining boys' teams," Davis told the Philadelphia Daily News. "The attention should not just
be on one girl; more girls should join boys' teams so it is a tradition
and it won't be so special."
Sports Illustrated today, the world tomorrow.
Image: Sports Illustrated