The Taney Dragons became the first team from Philadelphia to ever advance to the Little League World Series behind a dominant performance yesterday from a 13-year-old girl named Mo'ne Davis.
Davis tossed a three-hit, complete-game shutout against Delaware on Sunday to help the Philly kids take a gigantic step towards reaching a dream in Williamsport, PA this coming weekend.
Phillies scribe and Grantland contributor Michael Baumann sees some Philadelphia influence in here game:
Is She Having Fun? Well, she says she is, but you wouldn’t know it to look at her. You can tell she’s from Center City Philadelphia, because she copied her delivery from Papelbon and her on-field demeanor from Chase Utley. I watched her last two regional appearances, and she might have smiled once in seven total innings. She’s got that Utleyesque expression of dour determination and self-confidence. She says her favorite ballplayer is Yasiel Puig, but she doesn’t display any of that joyful exuberance on the mound. Just concentration. It’s actually very cool to see from a kid her age.
She also attacks the strike zone like Cliff Lee, going right after opposing hitters. The fact that her fastball tops out at 70 mph certainly helps.
My favorite anecdote from this weekend comes from her coach Alex Rice:
“When she hits a homerun we like to say that she hits like a girl,” Rice said.
Apparently she's even better at basketball and wants to play at UCONN before a career in the (W)NBA.
The city of Philadelphia is quickly taking notice of Davis and the Dragons. The Phillies 50-50 raffle during Monday's game against the Mets will benefit Taney's team.
For more on the Philly team's wild ride to the Little League World Series: Grantland, Philly.com, ESPNW, MLB, or NBC Philly. Their next game will be Friday afternoon and nationally televised. You know Philadelphia will be tuning in.