Mo'ne Davis: Ahead of the Boys, for Now

Sports Illustrated cover aside, she's got long odds ahead of her
By Shelley Hazen,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 21, 2014 1:47 PM CDT
Mo'ne Davis: Ahead of the Boys, for Now
Philadelphia pitcher Mo'ne Davis delivers in the first inning against Las Vegas at the Little League World Series tournament in South Williamsport, Pa.,   (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Even though Mo'ne Davis's incredible 70mph pitch is on this week's Sports Illustrated cover, it doesn't seem likely that the teen phenom has a baseball career ahead of her. "The most likely scenario is that Davis has no future in professional baseball," writes Amanda Hess in a Slate piece that predicts SI will soon forget the 13-year-old and refocus its attention on the guys. (Davis is only the sixth female athlete to land one of SI's 73 covers this year.) Hess says there's little media interest in female athletes—except those with "exceptional" stories. Case in point: There are "40 Mo'nes" on the USA Baseball team, says their manager, but no one notices: "I wish there was a camera on what we were doing … so we can be a visual goal for young girls," he tells the New York Times.

Puberty may also work against Mo'ne. Girls are generally ahead of the boys on that front, and the 5-4 teen has more than 3 inches on the average 12-year-old boy. Her relative height gives her pitch its ferocity. But the boys will soon catch up, and Mo'ne may not grow much more, one sports medicine doctor tells the Times. "It’s not really about what she isn’t going to be able to do. It’s what the boys start doing," says another expert. Meanwhile, Mo'ne "didn't have her A game" at last night's World Series matchup against a Las Vegas team, the team manager tells the AP. Losing 8 to 1, her Taney Dragons are now set to play an elimination game tonight. (More Mo'ne Davis stories.)

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