Posted on August 25 2014
With all the talk of violence, city corruption, lies and the like that fill the newspapers and headlines here in Chicago, it's always refreshing to be able to rally around a local team who makes good on an opportunity. With August coming to an end and Summer(?) coming to an end, one would likely expect that rallying to be done in the South Loop at Soldiers Field as Bears season gets underway. This year, however, it was a squad with an average age of twelve that took the city by storm and had everyone on the edge of their seats until the final out yesterday in South Korea. To say that the run of wins put on by the members of Jackie Robinson West was impressive is almost not enough. The team from the city's embattled south side fought their way through the city championship before taking the national title and moving on to the truly big stage where they were bounced yesterday in an 8-4 nailbiter that had crowds of Chicagoans camped out on State St. cheering for baseball in August, a site we're not all too familiar with here. As ESPN pointed out, the running joke throughout the youngster's string of wins is how they consistently outdid the White Sox and Cubs in the TV ratings, going as far as to say: Frankly, this is Chicago’s best baseball team since 2008, back when the JRW kids were, what, 6? These kids were barely walking when the Chicago Cubs blew it in 2003." Regardless of age, it was an absolute joy to feel even a tiny part of the movement that was the Jackie Robinson West team these past few weeks in Wiliamsburg. Our city may have it's problems and issues, but Chicago continues to prove that it is a place of perseverance and immeasurable strength. Congratulations to JRW and everyone involved from Leaders 1354!