Why the Jackie Robinson team from Chicago should be a bigger story than Mo’ne Davis

She’s here. She’s there…

She’s everywhere.

For the three games she was a pitcher, Mo’ne Davis became a superstar at the Little League World Series. Part because she was a lights out pitcher, overpowering opponents with a fastball that could not be touch.

Remember when the great Hamilton Porter from the classic movie Sandlot bellowed the words, "You play ball like a girl!" Well, that comeback doesn't really work anymore.
Remember when the great Hamilton Porter from the classic movie Sandlot bellowed the words, “You play ball like a girl!” Well, that comeback doesn’t really work anymore.

Partly because she is a girl.

And all power to her.

I hope parents of young girls across the country showed their daughters the edition of Sports Illustrated featuring

her (first time ever a Little Leaguer has graced the cover) and all the newspapers, media attention etc. that gender should not tell you what you can and cannot do, sports or not. It was a story well covered, she handled all the hype and pressure perfectly for a 13-year old girl.

And while she was the star of the LLWS, even with her Philadelphia team now out of it, she’s only a kid.

The main story of this LLWS should be the team that eliminated Mo’ne’s Philly team.

The Jackie Robinson West team, from the south side of Chicago who have bounced back from a 13-2 loss of Nevada in their second game of the tournament, only to see themselves in the U.S. Championship Game against…

Nevada.

Why are they the main story? Because the 13 African-American ballplayers come from a ravaged and violent part of Chicago’s south side that sadly see’s the killings of young kids far too many times each year.

In a time when baseball participation among African-Americans and in the inner cities is the lowest it has ever been, a team that has more offensive firepower one through nine than most MLB teams, has persevered and fought their way to the LLWS Championship, and if they win, they will become the first all-black team to win the tournament, not bad.

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The story shouldn’t be about race, or have anything to do with it. But with all the events that have taken place in Ferguson, Missouri, it’s difficult not to correlate the two between how far this country has come, and how far we still have yet to go.

Sixty-Seven years ago Brooklyn Dodgers 1b Jackie Robinson was the face of Civil Rights in sports and in America. This Jackie Robinson team represents everything that Robinson stood for, and even the things that Robinson didn’t. Far too many children don’t make it out of the south side of Chicago because of gang and gun violence, but these young teenagers did, and have showed that they can do much more.

Regardless of the outcome Saturday afternoon, The boys from Jackie Robinson Park on 10540 S Morgan St have given a community and a country hope.

Hope for change.

LLWS_CHICAGO_BASEBALL_48209777

 

And hope for peace.

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-Goat

 

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