Little Leaguers meet Big Leaguers in Phila.
The 13-year-old star female pitcher, Mo'ne Davis, and her Taney Dragons teammates who thrilled Philadelphians and many others at the Little League World Series got to meet their favorite major league team Wednesday night.
The Philadelphia Phillies hosted a tribute to the team at Citizens Bank Park. Their game against the Washington Nationals started 28 minutes late because of the festivities. The Dragons walked through a procession onto the field and were greeted by the Phillies.
All 12 members of the Dragons threw out ceremonial first pitches simultaneously to Phillies players.
Earlier, the Dragons received champions' treatment with a downtown parade. Thousands cheered the Dragons and Davis, who made it onto the cover of Sports Illustrated.
"A lot of people were here," she told WPVI-TV. "I didn't think that many people would be here, but it was nice."
"Who turned out is what I'm so taken aback by," team Manager Alex Rice said. "You start in town with office workers and it just got better and better as it went down Broad Street."
The Dragons represented the mid-Atlantic region in the World Series. They won their first two games before being eliminated, losing to Las Vegas and to eventual U.S. champion Chicago.
Mo'ne became the first female pitcher to win a game in the series' 68-year history. Her last start drew record-setting TV ratings for the series.
"They did a good job of bringing the city together," said Jerome Belo, 55, who on a day off made it a point to be on hand to watch the start of the parade.
Others at the parade, such as 49-year-old Eleanor White, said the team united the city through its play on the field and the parade itself.
"You have all different walks of life, you have all cultures together," said White as she walked along the parade route.
The team traveled about 4 miles by float from the downtown business district to a park in south Philadelphia for a rally. Musical performances were held along the route.
The previous parade the city hosted to honor an athletic accomplishment was in October 2008. That was after the Phillies won the World Series.
Critical thinking challenge: Why would Sports Illustrated a magazine for adultsput a child on its cover? Were any adults in the record-breaking TV audience?