Cleat Geeks

Mo’ne Davis; 13 year old girl, 70 mph fastball, 1 million dollar question

Mo’ne Davis has an unusual name, and is in an unusual situation. You may have seen her on the mound during the Little League World Series for the Mid-Atlantic Region wearing #3.

She is a 13-year-old girl with a 70 mph fastball and a curveball and a change-up, just to keep the hitters honest. I love her quote,” I throw my curveball like Clayton Kershaw, and my fastball like Mo’ne Davis.” There is not a coach in the nation who would not salivate over having this 13-year-old girl on their team of boys.

I was a softball coach once. I even coached my own daughter. But I knew that girls making it into a college on a softball scholarship was difficult. Last year, 427,791 boys played high school baseball, according to research by Emma Span for a New York Times story published in June. The number of girls was 1,259. Therefore, I was tough on the 7 and 8-year-old girls. I did not believe that the main objective was to have fun. For me, the main objective was to win, because it is much more fun to win. I have never seen a team jumping up and down after a game in celebration saying, “We lost, but we had fun! We lost, but we had fun!” Yet I have seen plenty of teams jump up and down in celebration exclaiming, “We won, we won, we won!” None of the parents saw it my way. My daughter even told my wife shedid not want to play if I was going to coach the team next year. So reluctantly, I agreed not to coach, but my daughter never played another season. I thought she was good. But, based on the statistic above, just to play in high school you have to be better than good.

Mo’ne Davis is better than good, in fact she was better than most of the boys she shared the field with. Sadly, her dream is to play for the University of Connecticut Women’s Basketball Team, and eventually for the WNBA. That is not sad because that team is not a special group of women, on the contrary, they are possibly the most special group of women especially in the realm of sports. It is sad because her dream can not be to play minor league softball and one day play for the WMLB.

The good news is that there is a women’s professional softdavisball league. The bad news is I had to do a Google search to find out that there is such a league. It is called National Pro Fastpich. I love sports, and did not know this league existed. If I do not know about it, not many other people do either. Why is there is no WMLB? This is the million dollar question.  I have been wracking my brain for the past few weeks trying to figure out why there is no WMLB. If there can be a WNBA, women’s golf, a woman NASCAR driver, and a Women’s lingerie Football League; which I assume are all profitable or would not still be in business, then why is there not a WMLB?

RBI Baseball stands for reviving baseball in inner cities. It is MLB’s way of targeting kids in poverty who might not have a chance to play baseball because of the underprivileged neighborhoods they live in as well as the financial means at their disposal. Major league Baseball and their teams and affiliates spend millions overseas on camps and facilities in countries like Cuba and the Dominican Republic trying to find the next Yasiel Puig, Aroldis Chapman, or Yoenis Cespedes. And all of those programs are great. Yet we are seemingly ignoring women. Baseball has failed women until one day a 13-year-old little girl who can throw a 70 mph fastball can answer the million dollar question and say that one day she wants to be able to grow up and play in the WMLB.

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