On August 15, 2014, Mo’Ne Davis became the first girl to throw a shutout at the Little League World Series. Although the thirteen-year old pitcher was actually the eighteenth girl in history to play in the Little League World Series—girls were finally allowed to play in the league in 1974—Davis was the first to accomplish this record-breaking feat, for her Philadelphia team, the Taney Dragons. (To get to the World Series, Davis had already thrown a shutout in the Mid-Atlantic Final, throwing a 70 mph fastball and only allowing two hits.)
In 2008, Steve Bandura, the program director at Philadelphia’s Marian Anderson Recreation Center, first discovered Davis’s talent while she played football with some family members. Mesmerized by her perfectly spiraled throws, he invited Davis to basketball practice where she quickly emerged as the team’s best player and the only female on the roster.
Thanks to her shutout success, Davis was the first Little League baseball player to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated; she also won the 2015 Best Breakout Athlete ESPY Award. Davis is now on track to college basketball stardom, but she still plays softball for her high school team and in the RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) program, an outreach program of Major League Baseball.
Wherever her athletic career takes her, Davis has helped redefine what it means to “throw like a girl.”