You Wish You Could Throw Like a Girl

Lauren Salzman

Sandy Koufax, Cy Young, Nolan Ryan, Walter Johnson…and Mo’Ne Davis? This up and coming little league star touched the hearts of many while competing for the Philadelphia Taney Dragons team this past summer in the Little League World Series.

Standing at 5 feet 4 inches, Mo’Ne is the first Little League player ever to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated. She pitches a 70 mph fastball, but it feels like a 93 mph pitch because of the proximity of the mound to home plate, compared to Major League Baseball. Because of her strong arm, and spot-on throws, Tom Corbett (the Pennsylvania governor) boldly predicted that, someday, she would play professional baseball. So look out baseball fans: you may wish that you had bet on Mo’Ne when you had the chance.

But how did this 13 year-old, who was the first girl to pitch a shutout in one of the games, become so confident? She obviously didn’t turn on the television and see hundreds of girls spitting tobacco and eating sunflower seeds in the dugouts of MLB games. As you watch Mo’Ne play, she has a selfless air about her. She is clearly confident, and has become an instant role model for young girls all around the country. In one of her countless interviews, she said, “I never thought at the age of 13 I’d be a role model. I always wanted to be a role model, but being a baseball role model is really cool.” Throughout this journey, Mo’Ne seems to have developed an “on stage” personality. In one interview she said, “I throw my curveball like Clayton Kershaw’s and my fastball like Mo’Ne Davis.” A strong confidence radiates from her, somehow without an air of cockiness. This is all new for Davis, and after all, her first love is basketball, and, ideally, she wants to play in the WNBA.

Just like Mo’Ne Davis, girls at Latin are thriving on the court, diamond, field, ice, and in the pool. The trait that these woman have in common is that they have their priorities straight. They don’t care about the brand name on the tag on their clothing, but rather they prefer to think about what time practice starts, and whether or not they had the correct follow-through.

At Latin, female athletes thrive with support, but not always as much as they deserve. For example, at the Latin vs. Parker basketball games, the girls do not have as much fan support as the boys do. But female athletes have come to live with the double standard. When girls’ sports teams do very well, they chip away at that double standard. I can only hope that one day, there will be nothing left to chip away.

That being said, some female sports have a significant following. Volleyball, for example, is one of them. Catie Cronister, a junior on the varsity volleyball team said, “There’s a lot of positives and a few negatives that come with being a female athlete at Latin. One of the many positives is how much fun it is to play a sport at Latin. People are so nice and we have a great fan base (especially for volleyball). However, the double standard at Latin can be frustrating.” I, and most female athletes agree with all that Catie said. I agree that the double standard is intact, but it always isn’t a bad thing. For example, I think that girls get more “props” for being good athletes, as opposed to boys, who everyone thinks of as being naturally athletic. But sometimes if you are a girl and an athlete, you are only viewed as an athlete and nothing else.

Notwithstanding, whether you are a female swimmer or a dancer, a basketball player, or a gymnast, you deserve just as much credit as every boy out there. The girls who play sports at Latin all form a strong bond and gain confidence from their participation. When the first practice begins, one feels like she has just been adopted into a new family. A family that will always have your back.

We all have heard the saying, “This is a man’s world,” one too many times. But seeing these female athletes like Mo’Ne Davis, and those here at Latin, should really get everyone wishing that they could throw like a girl too.