A Young Prodigy

There is a pitcher with a 70-mile-per-hour fastball and a wind up and release point that never varies by more than 3 degrees. At the end of the throwing motion, the arm is moving forward at peak angular velocity of 2500˚/sec. You probably think I’m describing a major league baseball player – I’m not. I’m describing 14-year-old Mo’ne Davis. Just turning 14 today, Davis already has a greater peak angular velocity than most pitchers in the major leagues! Imagine how much she stands out in her own league. Not only is she the first African American girl to play in the Little League World Series, but she is also the first girl to win the series, by also being the first girl to pitch a shutout in the Little League World Series. Certainly this is why Davis was the first Little League player to be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

Regardless of her remarkable skills and publicity, Davis is quite humble. During an interview with ESPN, the interview asked her, “Are you aware of the attention you’re getting?” She replied, “I am aware. But I don’t really like the attention because it just feels like everything is about me. They don’t see the whole picture of my teammates, and without my teammates I don’t think we would be here right now. If I’m in the mood for signing autographs and taking pictures that day, I will. If not, then I’ll say, ‘He’ll sign it for you’. I can always give the attention to my teammates because they handle it well.”

During the same interview, Davis was asked what she thought her limitations were. She responded, “To go as far as I can. Baseball might be my third sport or soccer. You never know. But I want to go to U-Conn and be the point guard on the basketball team. That’s my dream. And then to go into the WNBA.” Well, Davis played in the NBA All Star celebrity game last year. And at the beginning of this month, Davis was drafted to the Harlem Globetrotters! They approached her with a “Future Discover Clause”, effective after she graduates.

But one of Davis’s most impressive acts was off the field. Upon finding out that Disney Channel is in the works of making a movie about Davis, Joey Casselberry, a first baseman in college, tweeted: “Disney is making a movie about Mo’ne Davis? WHAT A JOKE. That sl– got rocked by Nevada.” Consequently, he was dropped from the team. Even after being degraded in such a manner, Davis pleaded for his spot back. She went as far as emailing the school officials to reinstate him. In a conversation with Sports Center, Davis said: “Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone deserves a second chance. I know he didn’t mean it in that type of way. I know people get tired of seeing me on TV… It hurt on my part, but he hurt even more. If it was me, I would want to take that back. I know how hard he’s worked. Why not give him a second chance?”

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