SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - The star pitcher of the Little League World Series, Taney's Mo'ne Davis, is on the cover of Sports Illustrated this week.
Some of her teammates on the Dragons were not aware of it.
"That's ridiculous," outfielder Tai Shanahan said Tuesday. "Am I going to be on the cover? Like in the background?"
The magazine announced Davis as this week's cover girl earlier Tuesday. The 13-year-old from South Philadelphia will pitch on Wednesday night when the Center City-based team plays Mountain Ridge Little League of Las Vegas in a third-round game. A victory would put Taney in the U.S. title game.
Davis is the first girl to throw a shutout at the Little League World Series and the sixth to record a hit.
She is the first Little Leaguer to be on Sports Illustrated's national cover. Davis said it was her dream to be on the magazine's cover.
"A couple of years ago I would be reading them with my brother," she said. "But I didn't know what sport. And now it's baseball. So next is hopefully me in a UConn [basketball] jersey."
The magazine dispatched a reporter to the Little League World Series on Saturday and a photographer followed the team for the two previous days. Managing editor Chris Stone said in a statement that Davis has "owned the sports conversation." How often do you say that about a 13-year-old girl, he asked.
"We all knew Mo'ne had talent and we all knew Mo'ne would go far with that talent," Taney outfielder Eli Simon said. "But not like this."
Taney manager Alex Rice said that Davis' cover appearance "is fantastic" and that he is thrilled for her. Despite the attention, Rice said his team is no different than it was three weeks ago.
"We're in a bubble and we're trying to stay in a bubble, to be honest," he said.