A New Reality: How Modest Mo'ne Davis Is Adjusting To Fan Frenzy

Gary Kay, 67, a longtime Little League World Series volunteer, has seen other girls play in the tournament (though the last American was 10 years ago), but called Davis "the best, because she can do it all. I know she didn't hit today [she was 0-for-3 at the plate Friday], but I'll be very surprised if she doesn't hit a home run, because I've heard she hits it a mile.

"I think this is great for the Little League World Series and for the sport."

Davis called her role-model status "very unreal."

"I never thought at the age of 13 I'd be a role model," she said. "I always wanted to be a role model, but being a baseball role model is really cool."

She admitted she heard the cheers and saw the signs bearing her name.

"I saw a lot of them, but I couldn't really look, I couldn't stare at them because it would take me out of my game," she said. "But afterward, I gave people high-fives."

The crowd, in fact, surged at Davis and her teammates as they disembarked from the ESPN set in the middle of the stadium complex after their victory. Escorted by uniformed security to their postgame interviews, the mob parted but did not stop taking pictures and calling out to the undisputed target of their affection, who seemed a bit awed by it all.

Priscilla Sands, president of Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, where Davis will soon begin eighth grade, called the honor-roll student a natural leader even among older kids and said a big part of it is Davis' humor and down-to-earth nature.

"The balance she walks is the loveliest thing," Sands said. "She doesn't say, 'This has nothing to do with me being a girl.' She understands she's a role model, but at the same time says, 'I'm as good as any boy.'"

After calmly mowing down the opposition Friday, completing the only shutout thrown by a girl in tournament history with another strikeout, Davis ran off the mound and through the gauntlet of teammates and coaches almost shyly shrugging off their hugs and congratulations.

"That's Mo'ne," said her mother, Lakeisha McLean. "And when we were all screaming before the game, she mouthed to us to be quiet so she could concentrate."

Davis' stepfather, Mark Williams, said he was far more tense this past week than Davis was.

"But once we talked to her and saw that she wasn't nervous, then I wasn't," he said. "She's the calmest child I know."

Davis admitted she was "really nervous" before the game but calmed down following the first-inning, three-run home run nailed by teammate Jared Sprague-Lott. "After that, my nerves went away and I just went out there and had fun," she said.

Both the calm as well as the wild aura surrounding Davis' tournament debut unnerved her opponents from Nashville, their coach said.

"We've seen faster pitching and that stuff before," said Chris Mercado. "But it's a hard situation coming into a stadium with 20,000 people cheering for one player. They bought into the hype also, and that's kind of hard."

Taney's coach Alex Rice referred to Davis' "terrific mojon" but for Davis, it might have boiled down to the change in her back pocket, a reminder that the kid might be a rock star but she's still 13.

"Seven dollars and five cents," she giggled, explaining the superstition. "I always do well with money in my pocket, and if I ever get hungry, I know I can get something to eat."

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