She’s pitch perfect — and apparently worth a lot of money. A ball allegedly signed by 13-year-old pitching ace Mo’ne Davis — a breakout star of this year’s Little League World Series — fetched a winning bid Wednesday of $510 on eBay. The initial asking price was $9.99, but the bids jumped considerably after the Philadelphia phenom won admiration for her 70-mile-per-hour fastball that helped her to throw a shutout last week. Her exploits and poise in the spotlight landed the cover of Sports Illustrated — the youngest athlete ever to earn the honor.
Now, several other baseballs claimed to have been signed by Davis are up for sale on eBay, as well as autographed Sports Illustrated covers. And there's even online sports betting on this World Series, with special attention being given to Davis’ team, the Philadelphia Taney Dragons. The squad lost Wednesday, and Davis was pulled from the game early after giving up three runs. Her team plays again Thursday night, although she won’t be on the mound because of rules in place to protect pitchers.
If the Mid-Atlantic regional champs beat a Chicago team, they'll advance to the U.S. final Saturday. That’s good news for the Taney Youth Baseball Association, which has seen sales of its swag explode. The Taney website said team merchandise is temporarily sold out due to unprecedented demand. Modell’s Sporting Goods, which sponsors Taney, has sold more than 1,500 items, Bloomberg Businessweek reported. “While we’re not in this for the money, we’re really pulling for them to win,” Taney Baseball Director Dewey LaRosa told NBC News.
— Erik Ortiz