You don’t need to be an avid fan of little league baseball to recognize Mo’ne Davis. Because, although it might be her 73-mph fastball that led to her be the first girl to pitch a shutout game in the Little League World Series, it’s the way Mo’ne takes the field that makes her unforgettable.
While 18 girls have played in the Little League World Series, Mo’ne is just one of five girls from the United States to ever pitch in the games. But it wasn’t just her intense focus and talent that made the now 15-year-old Philly native gain national attention; it was her history-making presence.
After winning an ESPY award for “Best Breakthrough Athlete,” being the youngest athlete to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated and being praised by female icons like Ellen DeGeneres, Billie Jean King and Michelle Obama, it’s clear to see Mo’ne Davis has single-handedly (pun, intended) changed what it means to “throw like a girl.” She has skill, she has swagger and she’s a Philadelphia dreamer to the core.
Davis grew up on 24th and Washington, just blocks from Marian Anderson Recreation Center, her true home field.
“I used to always come here with my cousins because they live right down the street,” she says. “Out there, in left field, is where my coach [Scott Bandura] saw me throwing a spiral and that’s where he asked me to play with the team–that’s how I got going.”
Yes, Mo’ne Davis literally came out of left field. With her eye on the ball and the skill to make it fly, the rest is history still in the making.
“Whenever I don’t have the ball—or if I do—I always think ahead,” she says. “I’m always thinking about what’s next.”
Her game-changing pitches led the Taney Dragons to the Little League World Series finals, where they came up just one game shy of the championship title. But wins and losses are just part of the bigger journey for Mo’ne Davis. Two years after those legendary pitches flew from her hand she still plays the game and still keeps her eye on what dreams may come.
In the next few years, she has her eyes set on the ball—just this time a basketball—and continuing her education in college. While she hopes her talent takes her to a competitive program with competitive academics to match she says she’ll be happy with either option. Sports are her life, but her overall goal is to give back to the place that powered her first opportunity to reach her dreams and pursue a “happy life” in the future, she says.
Visit the Honda display at the Philadelphia Auto Show February 3 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. to hear a live performance from The Voice finalist Audra McLaughlin, and February 4 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. to catch up with former UFC Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez.