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Mo'ne Davis: Throwing Like a Girl
The United States shines at America's past time
Jackie Robinson West, the Great Lakes regional representative to the Little League World Series and eventual U.S. champion, grabbed our collective national attention with their quest for the world championship. The slick fielding, speedy, base stealing come back kids mirrored Chicago and America’s best with their efforts. However, the individual star of the annual boys of summer championship ritual was a girl.
Master of the Mound
Mo’ne Davis, the flame throwing phenomenon of Philadelphia, stole the spot light. She became the first girl to pitch a complete game shutout during the little league’s World Series. Mo’ne accomplished this feat with her unique combination of pitching styles. She once described her pitching repertoire with the quip “ I throw my curveball like Clayton Kershaw and my fastball like Mo’ne Davis.” The accolades did not stop with the L.L.W.S. success. She appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated and followed that with throwing a laser like strike as the honoree tossing the ceremonial first pitch for game 4 of the 2014 Major Leagues World Series.
The “Mo’ne Davis” fastball thrust her into the spotlight as it also altered the little league baseball landscape. She is featured in a commercial that played throughout the exciting, but for this pundit disappointing, World Series. (Yeah, I was pulling for Kansas City) The ad shows that she participates in various sports soccer, basketball and of course baseball. The ad makes the point that her favorite game is competition. Mo’nes voiceover says that she enjoys playing and winning at baseball hurling the cowhide 70 mph “throwing like a girl.”
The hurling heroine’s heroics has altered thinking as to who can play this game at its highest level while also having impacted both culture and language. We can no longer think of “throwing like a girl” in quite the same way. Mo’ne with her pitching prowess has redefined what it means to throw like a girl. She has transformed a popular expression from insulting to inspiring. She has literally tossed that phrase from words of contempt into an expression of admiration and congratulations. It’s enough to make all of us wish we could throw like a girl… that is a girl who lobs a curveball like Clayton Kershaw and fires a fastball like Mo’ne Davis.