Philadelphia girl pitcher becomes Little League baseball's new 'phenom'

Tue Aug 19, 2014 6:35pm EDT
 
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By Sean Landis

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - In baseball parlance, a "phenom" is a young ace pitcher who explodes on the scene.

That's exactly what a 13-year-old Philadelphia girl named Mo'ne Davis has done in this year's Little League World Series, where she is dominating. But in her case, the phenomenon is stretching well beyond the playing field.

All-Star Mike Trout of Major League Baseball's Los Angeles Angels has tweeted about her. So has National Basketball Association MVP Kevin Durant. Replicas of her team's "Mid-Atlantic" jersey sold out at the World Series stadium in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

Photos of Davis have adorned the front pages of newspapers in Philadelphia and New York.

The right-hander with the calm demeanor, the smooth windup and the 70 mile-per-hour (113 km-per-hour) fastball gets her next shot under the bright lights on Wednesday when her Philadelphia "Taney Dragons" team, which represents the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, faces a team from Las Vegas, Nevada.

It will be tough to top her first two performances.

Davis pitched a 4-0 complete-game victory in Taney's opening game on Friday, becoming the first girl to ever to toss a shutout in World Series competition, an annual international tournament hosted by the Little League organization.

Philadelphia's second game Sunday night - a dramatic 7-6 come-from-behind walk-off victory over Pearland, Texas - drew a 1.5 television rating, the largest recorded audience for non-championship Little League game on ESPN2. In the Philadelphia market, the game pulled a jaw-dropping 6.7 rating.   Continued...