FOR THE WEEK OF AUG. 25, 2014
Strong arm: Mo’ne Davis, 13, becomes a national baseball star with her blazing fastball
Look for follow-up coverage of Mo'ne Davis this week. What do you admire about her?
Find another female athlete of any age in a story or photo. List at least three facts about her.
In news pages, identify a woman in public office, an interesting job or a community role. What skills does she probably share with sports stars?
America has a new sports celebrity who's 13, has waist-length braids and throws a fastball into the strike zone at more than 70 m.p.h. Mo'ne Davis of Philadelphia is the first girl to pitch a shutout in the Little League World Series and last week became the first Little Leaguer on a Sports Illustrated cover. The eighth-grade star, whose name is pronounced MOE-naay, is the only girl on the Taney Dragons. It won state and regional championships to become the first Philadelphia team to reach the Little League championship round. The Dragons were eliminated last Thursday night in a 6-5 loss to a Chicago team.
Mo'ne was one of two girls in this year’s series at Williamsport, Pa., where 17 other girls competed earlier. But until she struck out eight batters as Philadelphia beat Nashville by 4-0 on Aug, 15, no female Little Leaguer had thrown a shutout or been a winning pitcher at the Little League World Series. "Davis has worked hard at her craft, and it shows," New York Times Scott Cacciola writes. The five-foot, four-inch teen has thrown overhand since age 7. She also plays basketball and soccer, and is an honor student at a private academy.
The young prodigy's athletic skill reopens a pesky question: Why can't women play in Major League Baseball? "Someday, there will be a woman in the majors" and the pioneer is likely to be a pitcher, predicts ESPN.com writer Jim Caple. At the SBNation sports blog, Steven Goldman writes: "A female major leaguer is something that many of us look forward to seeing." A USA Baseball National Team of women up to age 40 competes next month in Japan at an eight-team World Cup. But at the high school level, only 1,259 girls were on varsity teams nationwide in 2013, compared with 474,791 boys.
Mo'ne says: "More girls should join boys' teams so it could be a tradition and it wouldn't be so special."
Her stepdad says: "She handles it so well. I'm speechless sometimes. I just want her to have fun and for this to be something for her to remember always." – Mark Williams, construction worker
Major leaguer says: "Props to Mo'ne Davis for dealing today. Awesome performance." – Dexter Fowler, Houston Astros center fielder, in tweet
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