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Friday, November 21, 2014

Mo’Ne Davis shares how she got started in baseball

Mo'Ne Davis Taney

Mo’Ne Davis has become the sensation at the Little League World Series this year after pitching a 2-hit shutout in her Philadelphia-based team’s opening game win at Williamsport last week.

Davis is the star pitcher on her Taney Little League team, which is 2-0 through two games and will face Las Vegas on Wednesday with a trip to the US championship game on the line. Davis, 13, has been playing baseball less than six years. She was the subject of ESPN’s Sunday Conversation and was asked by Karl Ravech how she got started playing baseball.

“I actually started playing baseball at seven. I wasn’t really a big baseball fan but I had a strong arm, so then I knew I had to practice more,” Davis said.

“I was playing football and I was tackling the boys and I was throwing spirals, so coach Steve (Bandura) came up to me and said you have to play baseball. So I played baseball and I was an outfielder and that was kind of how it went.

“I started pitching at like the of age 8 or 9. I wasn’t the best, but I threw strikes so I would start a lot. And then my arm started getting stronger and stronger, so then I started throwing gas — like my fastball started speeding up. So that’s how I got started.”

In an interview with CSN Philly prior to the start of the LLWS, Bandura recalled how he discovered Davis.

“A lot of our kids were still hanging around, they were out in left field throwing a football around,” he said. “There was this little girl in the group with them, and I’m watching her throw perfect spirals every single time, and throwing them a good distance. I was like, ‘What is that?’”

Bandura is the coach of a youth travel team called the Anderson Monarchs. It was after one of his Monarchs practices that he spotted Davis. He also had great praise for her.

“At this age, she’s the best pitcher I’ve ever had,” Bandura told CSN Philly. “I’ve had pitchers that are now in the minor leagues, but at this age, no one’s had the control to go with the velocity that she has and the command.”

Even though Davis is 13, she says her teammates view her more as like a mother rather than sister. She believes a lot of that has to do with her calm attitude on the field.

Davis is not just comfortable on the field but also off of it. She shows some charm and humor in interviews. When asked what are some things people don’t know about her, she gave a typical 13-year-old answer.

“I laugh a lot and I joke around a lot, too. I also eat and sleep a lot.”

According to ESPNW, Davis dreams of playing point guard for UConn’s women’s basketball and has no desire to switch to softball. Why should she? The way she’s going, she can continue to excel at baseball.


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