Jackie Robinson West Becomes First Chicago Team To Reach Little League World Series In 31 Years

  • Rick Chandler

The next Chicago team to win a World Series may very well be a group of 12-year-olds. Jackie Robinson West, a team of all-African American players from Chicago’s south side, advanced to the Little League World Series on Saturday by winning the Great Lake Region final, 12-7, over New Albany, IN.

“You have 13 African-American players, volunteer coaches, and everybody throughout the league trying to do something positive for the city of Chicago,” manager Darold Butler told the Sun-Times last month. “So this is huge. This gives our kids something to strive for, to set goals, and to accomplish. It gives them something to look forward to outside of the negativity.”

JRW did it in typical fashion, with a comeback: they trailed 5-0 before a grand slam in the fifth finally gave them the lead. The team has received best wishes from both mayor Rahm Emanuel and governor Pat Quinn. They next play on Thursday, vs. the winner of the Northwest regional.

Meanwhile, in the Fox Sports.com comments section:

saywhat08 1 hour ago
For those of you saying these kids live in the city of Chicago or the same neighborhood, that is 100% false. Cameron Bufford the #9 batter who hit the grand slam lives in South Holland – a middle class south suburb of Chicago. Also coming from South Holland is Trey Hondras who also hit a solo home run – these kids play full time travel ball – not coming from Little League anywhere around. They both live in South Holland and do not attend schools in the City of Chicago. The starting shortshop lives and goes to school in Lansing – also a decent south suburb of Chicago. These are just 3, who knows how many more do not live in the city limits of Chicago Funny how the media plays this up, like JRW are some poor inner city kids with no hope or opportunity. These kids have good parents, with good jobs, and live a pretty good life. Go visit where they play there home games. Best Little League field in the entire Chicago area. They have all the equipment, tools, and support to be successful. The JRW takes kids from all over the city of Chicago….but, thats not good enough, so they find “creative” ways to get the best kids from the south suburbs too….everyone in the baseball loop in Chicago knows this. They should win with a pool of that size to choose the best of the best!!!