Former Little League World Series star Mo’ne Davis meets with local youth baseball players in the “Baseball Americana” exhibit last month at the Library of Congress. Davis is heading to college to play softball, but she has a lot of fond memories of being part of youth and high school baseball and basketball teams. (Shawn Miller/Library of Congress)

Five years ago, Mo’ne Davis was about as famous as a 13-year-old can get.

Davis was only the fifth girl to pitch in the Little League Baseball World Series (the 2019 tournament starts Thursday). She threw two shutouts — one in the regionals and one at Williamsport — to lead her Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, team to the semifinals.

Davis’s heroics put her on the cover of Sports Illustrated and the guest list of late-night television shows.

I spoke to Davis recently when she was in Washington to visit the Library of Congress’s “Baseball Americana” exhibit. She had interesting things to say about sports, friends and fun.

Question: When did you start playing sports?

Answer: I started playing organized sports at 7 years old. I played basketball, baseball and soccer. I was the only girl on my baseball team and had a hot-pink glove.

Q: Which was your favorite sport?

A: Basketball. I had an older brother, and I would follow whatever he did and he liked basketball. I enjoyed baseball, but it wasn’t my favorite.

Q: When did you discover you were good at pitching?

A: I started pitching at 9 years old. The first batter I faced hit a home run. I didn’t like that. So I practiced at a nearby field. When I was around 11, my coach taught me to throw a curveball the right way so it doesn’t hurt your arm. Then I started helping my team.


Mo’ne Davis pitches during the 2014 Little League Baseball World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. She was the first girl to pitch a shutout in Little League postseason history. (Gene J. Puskar/AP)

Q: What was the best part of the 2014 Little League World Series for you?

A: Going to the recreation room and meeting all the players from all over the world, hanging out and playing Ping-Pong. One night we played dodge ball with squishy tennis balls. That was really fun.

Q: Did you keep playing baseball?

A: I played one year in high school but didn’t get many opportunities to pitch, so I switched to softball. [Davis still pitches for a travel baseball team.]

Q: How did you like softball?

A: I had a great experience playing softball. We won our conference twice and the state tournament once. But most important, we had great chemistry on the teams.

Q: Did you also continue to play basketball?

A: I played point guard in high school. I was usually the smallest kid on the court. [Davis is 5-foot-4, the same height she was in 2014.] We had a great group of girls. My last two years playing basketball may have been the most fun even though we did not win many games.

Q: What are you doing now?

A: I am preparing to go to Hampton University on a softball scholarship and study communications.

Q: What advice would you give to kids playing sports?

A: Keep having fun. Find a sport and a core group of friends, work hard and have fun with it. These days, a lot of people can take the fun away.