Just as I had never watched soccer before this last World Cup, I had never watched a Little League game before. After watching the team from Great Lakes/Illinois, called Jackie Robinson West (JRW), my whole perspective has changed.
The Chicago team is made up entirely of black players from an area where gang violence and poverty is the norm. The team is named after Jackie Robinson, the first black player in Major League baseball. It was a long road JRW traveled, to get to the World Series. Once they won the Regional Championship, many parents were scrambling to figure out how to get the World Series so they could watch their boys. Fundraisers were held, and assistance was given. Talk about coming together for a good cause!
Yesterday, they won the US title, beating Las Vegas against all odds, who had previously beaten them 12-2 and decimated all the other teams they played. But the JRW team was ready for them this time. They are scrappers, coming from behind once again, to win the day.
Today they play South Korea, who also has beaten their opponents by impressive scores, for the International title. I’m betting these 12 year old baseball players from a needy urban area in Chicago, come out champs again. They have already won the hearts and minds of the U.S. Win or lose today, they will always be considered winners in my book. They have brought pride and dignity to Chicago youth, which is sorely needed in troubled times.
Now if they could just recruit Mo’ne Davis from Philly to move to Chicago, they would be unstoppable, yo! Best team plus best girl……she is the champion of all girl athletes!