Chicago Celebrates Jackie Robinson West
The momentum was high. Smiles were plenty. Spirits and energy were all in a positive space. From the South Side through Downtown, the Windy City was united.
And it’s all thanks to the young, humble and talented young men of Jackie Robinson West, better known as the Little League World Series U.S. Champions!
Beginning Wednesday morning, friends and supporters gathered at the Jackie Robinson West Park located in the city’s Washington Heights neighborhood for a rally. Afterward, the parade kicked off and made a stop at U.S. Cellular Field, home of the Chicago White Sox, where fireworks erupted in honor of the team.
With a DJ providing a “feel good” soundtrack, the crowd danced, took pictures, laughed and continuously expressed their joy.
“This shows us to never give up on your children,” said Linda Johnson, who has worked with the children. “Work with them and never give up. This is history and leaving a legacy for our children.”
Mara Thompson, a student at The University of Chicago’s Carter G. Woodson charter school, exclaimed, “I think it’s great that Chicago is having a parade for them and recognizing our Black youth for doing such a great job.”
The team’s 13-mile parade made its final stop at Millennium Park where hundreds of people gathered to cheer on and show support.
Vice President of the Chicago White Sox Kenny Williams let it be known that the perception of Chicago and what’s being seen on the news, “…that ain’t us. These young men gave you a glimpse into who we really are.”
“Pick up a ball, a glove, a book, a science project or something and put down the guns,” Williams continued.
When Coach Darold Butler hit the stage, he was in awe. Holding back tears he said, “This is amazing!”
“The players, they are the coolest… coolest little group of guys I’ve ever worked with,” Butler added during his closing remarks.
The hard work and dedication shown by each player, their coach and their family captured the heart of the city and the country. These moments are examples of what happens when time and encouragement are invested in our youth. This is HUGE. Not just for the city, but for the world and for youth everywhere.
Pierce Jones, Jackie Robinson West’s No. 23 spoke on behalf of the team, concluding the ceremony with, “We just want to thank you for your support. We love you.”
A BIG Salute to Jackie Robinson West!