We start by putting our spotlight on the story of the year, in terms of national scope and influence: 13-Year-Old pitcher, Mo’ne Davis, at the Little League World Series – not just playing amongst the boys, but dominating them in Williamsport.
To me – and to many – Davis would be a hero, simply by becoming the first African American girl to play in the event – and just the fourth American girl overall. But what makes it even more captivating is to see a groundbreaker like Davis finding this kind of success: A girl, surrounded by adolescent males, not only earning the respect of her teammates, but becoming their unquestioned leader.
Mo’ne’s story transcends sports – and deserves all the notoriety it’s currently getting. Not just because it’s unique. But because it brings a smile to everyone’s face.
And given some of the atrocious stories currently making headlines across the country – Mo’ne is the breath of fresh air we all need.
I’ll be honest – as great as it is that local teams like Lynnwood, Sammamish, Auburn and Mercer Island have reached the Little League World Series in the last few years, I’m not the biggest fan of the increasing attention ESPN continues to give the event itself. It sensationalizes the tournament, and isolates the other divisions of Little League itself, not to mention the hundreds of other national youth leagues and sports around the country.
But thanks to Davis, we’re all beneficiaries this year – because she’s now the inspirational face of Little League Baseball – and a role model for many.
This week, we’ve seen the positive power of social media – from the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to prominent athletes like Kevin Durant and Mike Trout, cheering on Mo’ne Davis via Twitter – raising awareness for an historic run that continues to gain momentum throughout the Little League World Series. Mo’ne’s team won earlier today, which means she’ll take the mound against Las Vegas on Wednesday.
The beauty is – if and when she pitches next, she’s really got nothing to lose. She’s already made her mark. Her talents and focus have captured our attention, and our imagination.
For that I say, “Thank you, Mo’ne. For simply being you.”