Putting Chicago's South Side back on the Map. JRW are US Champs!

Putting Chicago's South Side back on the map, Jackie Robinson West pulled off a stunning Little League World Series run to win the US Championship.
They Started the tournament by being completely outplayed, so much so that the mercy rule had to be applied.  After losing 13-2 to Las Vegas, JRW came together and one win after another marched forward to the US Final.  The same Las Vegas that humbled them just a few days before team stood in there way to the US Championship and the chance to represent the Nation in the International Final.  Going down 3-0 early, the winds of another blow-out were starting to pick up.
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These boys didn't give in to the streets of Chicago, or to the popular narrative that they are all good for nothing "thugs",  and they didn't give up after getting trashed right off the gate in this tournament. They did what they have always done, they wrote their own script.  The team from Nevada kept showing flashes of the brilliance that rocked JRW in the first match-up, but the South Sider's took the lead and weren't going to let it go.  The exciting ride was capped off with a heart-stopping double play,  a team of all African American boys become the US Champs.

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It is fitting that the team with the name Jackie Robinson would break down barriers and create history through baseball. Just like Jackie Robinson so many years ago, what these boys have accomplished goes far beyond the baseball diamond.  From Ferguson to the South Side of Chicago Black Youth are seen as "thugs". When people spot a couple of Black kids walking towards them they cross the street and hang on to their belongings a bit tighter. When a Black kid is killed be it in a Police involved shooting or at  a park by gangs, the victims themselves are blamed.

Schools that are under-funded (if not being closed), streets that are neglected, and neighborhoods without access to grocery stores are part of the every day battle fought by our kids in Chicago's South Side so many more across the nation. That this group of kids with all the odds against them can put so much passion and fun into a baseball tournament is amazing. That they can go out and make one play after another to tell the world that they're not just another statistic is even more admirable.

International tourism firms have taken the South Side of Chicago off the map as if it doesn't exist, that is much like the attitude a lot of people here at home have taken when it comes to the South Side.  With one highlight of the night worthy double play these boys have put the South Side right back on the map. If every boy and girl in Chicago's South Side had the same chance to succeed and follow their dreams as the rest of us imagine how many more JRWs we would have in every field of sport, arts, science, and beyond.

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Thank you to the 13 boys that broke through every hurdle set up against them. Thank you to the coaches, parents, sponsors, and everyone involved to give them a platform in which they could rise up.  Today a team of all Black Americans represent the entire United States on a global stage. Their faces are in the media for achieving greatness and not as victims of crime and injustice. The are team USA now and that doesn't change off the diamond, in our society we must remember that this nation is rich with the Culture, Traditions, and History of all Americans. An American is not defined by the color of our skin, one American is neither greater nor less than the next.  The life , education, and future of every American is just as important as that of the rest. Once we understand and live by these values we won't be reading about our kids as victims anymore.

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These talented young men carry with them the pride of the entire Nation. Even when they're back home in everything they do, they are America.  We all are America. If one of us suffers, we all suffer. When one of us achieves glory , we all are victorious.

Celebrate and stand up for the US Champs , 9 innings away from being World Champions.  I'm going to go ahead and speak for all of Chicago and say GOOD LUCK BOYS! You're going to bring home a lot more than just a trophy and will inspire countless others to follow their dreams. You are Chicago and you make us all proud!

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