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13-year-old baseball phenom first Little Leaguer to score Sports Illustrated cover
If female Little League phenom Mo’Ne Davis needed any further proof she’s captivated the sports world, she has it: the 13-year-old Philadelphia girl has scored a Sports Illustrated cover.
Davis, whose 70mph pitch helped clench a no-hitter for her team Friday, will be the first Little League of either gender to have the honor.
She appears on the SI cover, with the headline ‘Remember her name,’ on the August 25 issue.
Not that fans, who have lined the grassy hills beyond the playing field at the Little World Series to see Davis play, really need to be told of her prodigious skills.
The concession stands have sold out of the powder-blue T-shirts of her Mid-Atlantic team.
With her long braids dangling over her shoulders on every pitch, the Philadelphia star is a captivating presence and has been in a league of her own on the baseball diamond — the first female to win a game, let alone a two-hit shutout, in series history.
Davis, one of two girls at the Little League World Series, threw a two-hitter to help Philadelphia beat Nashville 4-0 on Friday in the opener for both teams.
The first girl to appear for a U.S. team in South Williamsport since 2004, Davis received rousing cheers during pregame introductions, every time she stepped to the plate and after she struck out the final batter.
Davis had eight strikeout and didn’t walk a batter. She retired the first six batters and needed only 70 pitches to complete the game. She was hitless in three at-bats.
And yet, in spite of her 70 mph fastball, baseball isn’t Davis’ best game.
Her basketball coach said she is even better on the hardwood.
‘Coaching boys and girls in this age group for two decades, Mo’ne is just a special talent,’ said Debra Brady, Davis’s basketball coach at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy in Philadelphia. ‘She’s a phenomenal pitcher, but I think her best sport is basketball. In a year or so, she will be doing the same unbelievable things in basketball. The first couple of games I coached her, she was head and shoulders above any kid I’ve ever coached at that age level.’
Davis, who is expected to pitch Wednesday night against Las Vegas, has not shied from using her riveting success in a positive way.
She sacrificed time with teammates to do a national television interview late Sunday night, and of course there’s the Sports Illustrated cover.
While Davis and her teammates have been inundated by the media, their next opponent has toiled in virtual anonymity.
Las Vegas, the first Nevada team to make the Little League World Series, kind of likes it that way.