Joined: 10 Aug 2005
Location: San Diego CA - deep in the heart of SoCal
|Posted: Sat 8/26/23 9:04 pm Post subject: A Groundbreaker as Intern
|This story ran in the L.A. Times early last month, but I thought it was appropriate to be posted now, while the LLWS is being played.
"Mo’ne Davis is Not Just Your Average Summer Intern for the Dodgers"
BY JACK HARRIS
JULY 3, 2023 4 AM PT
On Mo’ne Davis’ 22nd birthday, the Dodgers’ newest intern had a full to-do list.
Before the game, the recent Hampton University graduate was needed on the field, scurrying around to capture footage of the Dodgers’ workouts.
Throughout the day, she was checking in with her bosses, coordinating a list of promotional video productions for the Dodger Stadium scoreboard and the team’s social media channels.
And at any point, she was ready for “whatever they need me to do.”
“It’s nothing new,” Davis said during a down moment on this recent Saturday. “I’ve always been at a baseball field on my birthday.”
To the rest of the baseball world, Davis is known as a trailblazer.
Nine years ago, she emerged as an overnight sensation during the 2014 Little League World Series, becoming the first girl to earn a pitching win and toss a shutout in the history of the event.
Davis already was a feel-good story in her home of Philadelphia, and her domination in a nearly exclusive male sport became a national phenomenon. Her next start in the tournament attracted nearly 5 million viewers on ESPN. A week later, she was on the cover of Sports Illustrated, accompanied by the headline: “Mo’ne. Remember Her Name.”
Indeed, a spotlight has followed Davis ever since. She was featured on more magazine covers (most notably, a feature by Time magazine in 2017) and even a short documentary produced by Spike Lee. She became an on-camera presence across Major League Baseball’s social media platforms. And, by the time she enrolled at Hampton and joined its softball team four years ago, she already was a role model to young female athletes across the country.
“I’ve always been one to try to push women’s sports,” she said. “Give it the attention that it needs.”
This summer, however, Davis has been focused on advancing her own future.
After graduating with a degree in communications in May, she was hired by the Dodgers as an intern in their video production department, a potential first step toward her ultimate goal of someday working in a front office (she’s returning to school this fall to begin a master’s program in sports management).
While her past gives her more fame than the other 20 interns hired by the Dodgers this summer — a group picked out of roughly 5,000 applicants — her role is surprisingly ordinary: a college intern simply trying to make a strong professional impression.
“She went through the exact same process all our other interns did,” said Courtney Moore, the Dodgers’ vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion.
“I think we would have hired her whether or not she was who she was,” added Erick Vazquez, who oversees Davis directly as the director of Dodgers Productions. “That’s how impressive she was in her interview.”
Since she began her internship in late May, most of Davis’ work has been behind the scenes.
She’ll edit highlight packages of previous games to be shown before first pitch at Chavez Ravine.
She’ll help produce promotional pieces for the social media channels, such as a recent collaboration between the Dodgers and the Disney film “Elemental” and a video feature with star outfielder Mookie Betts for the club’s Black Heritage Night last month.
And, like any intern, she’ll take on any other duties her bosses ask her to — even modeling for photos of a stadium jersey giveaway in one of her rare in-front-of-the-camera tasks.
“Since eighth grade, I wanted to go into broadcasting,” said Davis, who two summers ago called games for a college summer team in Washington, D.C. “But over time, just learning more about the sport, I wanted to learn about the business side of the sport, to go in that direction.”
It’s not a route someone of Davis’ public stature might normally take.
She already has Internet fame, with more than 230,000 followers on Instagram. Her past work with MLB could have opened more glamorous doors than a summer gig as a de facto production assistant. She gets recognized around Dodger Stadium too, stopped for a picture by a group of fans in the crowd during one of her first days on the job.
“She looked at me and asked, ‘Is this cool?’ ” Vazquez recalled, laughing. “Obviously, she’s pretty famous. So it’s totally fine, as long as it doesn’t interrupt what she’s doing for us.”
To Davis, though, riding her past accomplishments to social media influence was far less appealing than pursuing a future as a high-ranking decision-maker somewhere in baseball.
“Hopefully, I can work my way up to a front-office position,” she said, before revealing her most aspirational goal. “Maybe a GM. We’ll see where it takes me.”
For now, she just has one goal.
“Making sure I’m not making Little League the peak of my life,” she explained. “I have so much more to go.”
That’s why this summer she’s treading a tedious and familiar path as a college intern, hoping her time with the Dodgers will open a new chapter in her already well-known story.
“It’s really cool to see someone who everyone knows from her time playing Little League, to pivot and really take it seriously like she has,” Vazquez said. “She’s going through the same steps as any other person who didn’t have the status that she did.”
"The Dodgers have always occupied an enormous place in the history of the game. If the Yankees are the most successful team in baseball history, the Dodgers are the most essential. Their legacy is unique."
-Baseball Hall of Fame