Editor’s note: This story has been updated from an earlier version.
The Taney Dragons have arrived in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, to continue their championship season.
It’s been an exciting ride for the first team from Philadelphia to ever make the Little League World Series, said Reggie Cummings, whose son Kai, No. 17, plays right field.
Cummings drove the Dragons to Williamsport Monday, where they’re being fitted for uniforms and settling into the dorms where they’ll be staying for the rest of the series.
“I don’t think it really hit anyone, coaches, the players, until we actually arrived in Williamsport and walked into the dorms,” Cummings admitted, “and realized that we are really at the Little League World Series. We are one of the best Little League teams in the world. That was just an amazing feeling.”
Taney’s star pitcher is Mo’Ne Davis, the 13-year-old with distinctive long braids.
Her very first time on the mound actually ddn’t go well, she told ESPN.
“The first hit I gave up was a home run inside the park. So, then I didn’t like that, so I started practicing more and more each day and I got better and my arm was stronger and I was striking more people out,” she said.
These days, she throws a 70-mph fastball. By comparison, most pitchers will have fastballs from 58 mph to 62 mph, said Lance Van Auken, the executive director of the Little League Museum in Williamsport.
“To have somebody throwing 70 is probably a very good fast ball here at the Little League World Series, and since there are not that many girls pitching in Little League baseball at that level, having a 70 mile an hour fastball is just terrific,” Van Auken said.
Mo’Ne will be only the 17th girl and a Canadian player will be the 18th to play in the Little League Championships since they began in the ’80s
One of the Taney league’s founding mothers, Ellen Siegel, thinks the Dragons, with members from all over the city, have won the hearts of Philadelphians.
“Quite frankly, the Phillies aren’t doing it right now. So everybody is so excited about this team,” Siegel said. “And it’s a feel-good story about the city right now. There’s been so much that’s unhappy about Philadelphia, and now this is something that everyone can get behind.”
Taney will play its first game of the championships Friday against the South Nashville team from Tennessee.