The Sports Illustrated cover jinx is real. It’s science.
Mo’Ne Davis allowed three runs in 2 1/3 innings as her Philadelphia team fell to Las Vegas in the Little League World Series Wednesday night. She struck out six. Dallan Cave and Brennan Holligan homered for the Nevada team in the 8-1 victory that aired on ESPN.
The 13-year-old girl, who throws 70 miles per hour, appears on SI‘s cover this week and has been featured repeatedly on ESPN. She became the first female to win a game in a Little League World Series earlier in the tournament and became just the 18th girl to play in the annual event. The publicity surrounding the female phenom led to a crowd of 34,128 flooding into a Little League stadium to watch her pitch on Wednesday.
The massive attendance actually eclipsed the gate at ten Major League Baseball parks on Wednesday night. Only games in Milwaukee, Boston, New York (A), St. Louis, and Los Angeles drew more fans. The Little League game more than doubled the number of spectators at Major League Baseball games in St. Petersburg and in South Florida. Mo’Ne Davis pitching at Howard J. Lamade Stadium in South Williamsport proved a hotter attraction than the Phillies playing back in her hometown at Citizens Bank Park, which announced an attendance of 25,157–roughly 9,000 fewer fans than watched the girl wonder.
The victory assures Las Vegas a place in the American title game. But Davis’s team doesn’t go home as a result of the loss. Philadelphia plays an elimination game on Thursday against Chicago.
Should Philadelphia move past Chicago, Davis would be available to pitch in the American championship.