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Taney Dragons Reflect On The Memory Of A Lifetime

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(credit: CBS) Pat Ciarrocchi
In addition to anchoring and reporting news for CBS 3, Pat Ciarro...
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By Pat Ciarrocchi

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — This is a pivotal day for the Taney Dragons.

The celebrations are wrapping up, school is about to start and the Dragons will be thinking back on the Summer of ’14.

For ace pitcher Mo’ne Davis and her catcher, Scott Bandura, this summer is the memory of a lifetime.

“I’ve been catching Mo’ne for six years now,” said Bandura. “I know exactly what her pitches do.”

She is fierce on the mound. He is in control behind the plate.

The thrill of victories carried Davis, Bandura and their Taney Dragons team to Williamsport and to celebrity.

Mo’ne says she doesn’t mind taking pictures with kids.

“I’ll take pictures with the kids, but sometimes when the adults ask…it gets kind of weird and you’re like …” Mo’ne’s face shows her distaste.

Hours before a parade that would take them down Broad Street, Mo’ne and Scott were texting in the halls of WHYY. For an hour, with their coaches, they talked Little League on the program Radio Times.

After listening to that program for decades, Manager Alex Rice was thrilled, and reflected on the surprise of a city’s fervor for his team.

“What it meant to the city is starting to sink in a little bit…even with all their accomplishments, I didn’t see that coming.”

Mo’ne’s 70 MPH pitches and a Sports Illustrated cover put her in the media stratosphere, forcing a poised 13-year-old to learn tough life lessons.

“I like pictures and signing things for kids [better] than the adults,” said Mo’ne. “You don’t know what [the adults are] going to do with it.”

It felt like a wild pitch. She discovered a stark adult reality.

“They were selling a signed baseball by me on Ebay, and some of them, I was looking through, and some of them are fake. You can tell which handwriting is mine. But I don’t think they should do that,” she said.

Within days, the Taney Dragons will be back at school.

“I want to see a lot of my friends who I haven’t seen since June,” said Scott.

Mo’ne is eager to see her friends too, again with the dose of grownup concern.

“I hope they treat me the same. I’m no more special than any other person at the school. I’m still a girl trying to learn, just like everybody else. I mean, it was the summer. This summer was the highlight of my life so far.”

Of course, that highlight reel is just beginning.

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