Picture this: a 5-foot 4-inch, 13-year-old girl playing in the 2014 Little League World Series (LLWS). Pitcher Mo’Ne Davis, who plays for the Taney Dragons from Philadelphia, pitches 70 mph fastballs and strikes out batter after batter. These batters just happen to be boys.
The long standing insult of, “You play ball like a girl!” from the movie Sandlot no longer applies because now everyone wants to throw like Davis.
Davis and her team won their State Championship in Pennsylvania and section eight in the LLWS. She finished her season with an average of six batters in two innings. She finished strong and has proved to baseball enthusiasts everywhere that baseball is not just a boy’s sport.
Davis pitching in the LLWS caused some controversy. Some parents on the opposing teams were questioning if she should be allowed to play. Why don’t girls and boys play on the same team? Also, why is there even a baseball and then a softball? Why can’t girls and boys play together? Why is there a difference between the two sports?
“I think it is really great that a girl is able to play in the Little League World Series to show that it’s not only men who can play baseball,” sophomore Cole Blatchford said. Blatchford played baseball for Mountain Vista High School last year. He started on junior varsity but also played occasionally on the varsity team.
Davis is a player who could play in college. “I think that if Mo’Ne is able to go and play in college or possibly even pro she should try to do that,” Blatchford said. “I think it would be a great thing for the sport.”
Senior Jordan Burton, who has played softball for Mountain Vista for four years said, “I definitely think that it’s something that girls should be able to do because girls and boys can pretty much do the same things,” Burton said. “I agree that a girl can do Little League or pro or anything along those lines.”
In the LLWS Davis is pitching against boys. Blatchford was asked how he would feel going up against a girl pitcher.
“It would be different of course”, Blatchford said. “It would just be all in your head but once you get up to the plate it would be just like any other at bat. It would be a pitcher pitching to a hitter and they have to hit it.”
Burton recognized that Davis playing baseball is different than her playing softball. “Softball is played sort of faster, everythings shorter like the base lines and everything’s moving at a faster speed. Baseball moves slower but it’s more complicated.” Burton said.
Blatchford also recognized the difference between softball and baseball. “[Why do you think there is a difference between softball and baseball?] is a tough question. I think just in sports today, not just baseball, boys and girls are separated because they think that boys are stronger and can do more than girls can,” Blatchford said. “But if girls can play with boys and can all fit in together I think that should be something that can happen like Mo’Ne has done in the LLWS.”