Black Little League Players Dominate at the Start of the World Series

Chicago’s all-black team is poised to make history, while pitching phenom Mo’Ne Davis keeps throwing like a girl, helping her Philadelphia team win another shutout. 

Mo'Ne Davis
Mo'Ne Davis ESPN screenshot

In the opening days of the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa., young black ballplayers dominated in a sport that doesn’t always get a lot of love from the African-American community.

Friday, 13-year-old pitching sensation Mo’Ne Davis of Philadelphia, became the first girl to throw a shutout in LLWS history. She struck out eight and only allowed two hits, helping lead her Philly team to a 4-0 win over a team from Nashville. This was her second shutout in a row.

On Thursday, Chicago’s Jackie Robinson West Little League team, an all-black squad from the city’s South Side, won its Little League World Series game 12-2. If Jackie Robinson West can win on Sunday and make it to the championship round next weekend, they have a shot at becoming the first all-African-American team to win the Little League World Series championship, according to CBS.

The team, as well as Mo’Ne, have become the talk of Williamsport and are helping open up a broader discussion about blacks in baseball, according to the New York Times.

Baseball has long been overshadowed by basketball and football in the African-American community and the number of black players in Major League Baseball have been in a steady decline—team rosters are 8.1 percent African American, down from a high of 19 percent in the mid-1980s, according to the Associated Press.

“The fact that people don’t realize that there is a black team means that people are under the assumption that black kids aren’t playing baseball. Hopefully this could be something that sheds light both in the African-American community and the non-African-American community.” New York Mets’ outfielder Curtis Granderson told the Times.

Jackie Robinson West, representing the Great Lakes region, and Mo’Ne’s Taney Dragons, playing for the Mid-Atlantic, take the field again on Sunday (because she pitched Friday, Mo’Ne will not pitch Sunday).

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