At the Little League World Series watch party on State Street in downtown Chicago, Jackie Robinson West’s 7-5 victory Saturday represented more than a win on the field.
“We have a group of black kids from the south side of Chicago who are the US world champs of the Little League baseball,” an ebullient Jamel Franklin, 28, said. “Who would’ve thought?”
A crowd of several hundred citizens filled the street outside the Chicago Theater and ABC 7’s headquarters, cheering passionately even after the ballgame ended. Kory Begley, a 38-year old Jackie Robinson alum who played with the team back in the 1980s, praised the team’s sportsmanship.
“Considering all the violence that’s in Chicago, this shows that the city ain’t all bad,” Begley said. “These kids are great. You can see it in their attitude and mannerisms.”
Clark Brantley, 48, said he grew up on the west side and called the players a strong example for the city’s youth.
Jesse Farley, 86, said games like these can help stem the violence plaguing the city.
“If they can play together, that’s how they learn how to live together.”
Source: Chicago Tribune