With a blazing fastball that clocks at 70 miles per hour and a curveball that spins heads, Mo’ne Davis struck terror into even the bravest hitters at this summer’s Little League World Series.
Standing just 5’4” and weighing only 111 pounds, Davis relies more on precision pitching fundamentals than sheer brawn. Many compare Davis’ technique to Major League pitcher Clayton Kershaw. The young ace agrees but with an important caveat.
But more importantly there’s something intrinsic that makes Mo’ne Davis special—she’s redefining what it means to throw like a girl. She’s good, really good.
She’s just the eighteenth girl to compete in the series, and she’s the only girl in the league’s history to throw a shutout game. A week ago, the gunslinger threw eight strikeouts and allowed just two walks as her Philadelphia Dragons vanquished South Nashville, four to nothing.
Davis captured the imagination of the nation as she retired batter after batter. Celebrities from First Lady Michelle Obama to NBA superstar Kevin Durant have showered the young ace with praise, setting off media frenzy.
Steeeerike! Mo’ne Davis is the first girl to pitch a Little League World Series shutout. Talk about groundbreaking.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) August 16, 2014
This youngster is striking everybody out and she is a girl. I love it. #itsanewday
— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) August 15, 2014
On and off the field, Davis enjoys the support of a loving mother and stepfather. Her mom, a registered nurse’s assistant and her stepdad, a construction worker by day, sacrifice to give Mo’ne the best opportunities.
Mo’ne pursues excellence on the mound and in the classroom. A native of south Philadelphia, she makes an hour and a half commute to a private school across town each day where she regularly makes honor roll.
Just thirteen years old, Mo’ne demonstrates a majority rare among kids her age and even rarer among professional athletes. She’s taken her newfound fame with a healthy dose of responsibility, telling ESPN News “I never thought that I would be a role model at this age … so I just have to be myself.”
While Davis’ Philadelphia Dragons fell to a Las Vegas team last Wednesday, the young ace has inspired the country. She’s reminding Americans what a little hard work, raw talent and dedication can achieve.