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Chicago's SouthSide Baseball Little Leaguers Provide Inspiration and Hope

 
 
Miller
 
Reply Thu 21 Aug, 2014 11:32 pm
Chicago's Jackie Robinson West provide inspiration at Little League World Series

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Friday, August 22, 2014, 1:00 AM

The kids from Jackie Robinson Park in Chicago, America's most dangerous city, battle their way into the Little League World Series championship and inspire many, including Rachel Robinson, along the way.

Once the late Kirby Puckett came out of the South Side of Chicago, came out of the Robert Taylor Houses to become one of the great baseball players, and finally a World Series champion with his Minnesota Twins.

And Kirby and I were talking once, before he retired and before he died much too young, about what it was like to be an inner-city kid, in a neighborhood like his, and still dream big about the big leagues.

“You know what our real dream was?” Kirby said. “It was about green-grass fields.”

Now all this time later, the team from Jackie Robinson Park on the Far South Side of Chicago, a team known to the country as Jackie Robinson West, has played on the most famous green-grass Little League Field anywhere in Williamsport, Pa. And on Thursday night it beat the Little League World Series’ cover girl, Mo’ne Davis, on national television, what on this night felt like the biggest game in the world.

This spectacular girl, of course, has electrified the World Series and everyone who has watched her pitch and knows her story. But there is no bigger story in baseball, in the last weeks of such a sad and dangerous summer in this country’s inner cities, than this team from the South Side with 13 African-American players, uniting a great American city and making the rest of us cheer our heads off.

Sixty-seven years after Jackie Robinson, as important a civil rights figure as America has ever produced and will ever produce, ran out to first base one afternoon at Ebbets Field to play a game of baseball for the Brooklyn Dodgers — not just integrating Major League Baseball that day but, in the words of Pete Hamill, integrating the stands as well — these kids have honored his spirit and his memory, all the way to Williamsport.

They have done this at a time when we are reminded, with the sad and frightening and violent images we get out of Ferguson, Mo., that all this time after Jackie Robinson did all he could, because of the force of his talent and his character, to make the country better, that race remains the third rail in America. That does not change in America the way pictures like the ones we have seen constantly over the past week don’t change, and always seem to be one shove or shot or even chokehold away from making things explode all over again.

As dangerous as Ferguson has become lately, there has been no more dangerous city in America, because of guns and gun violence, in the recent past than Chicago. Too many guns, too many gangs, too many dead children, too many children at risk. A fine Little League baseball team does not change any of that. But somehow these past weeks, it has given a neighborhood and a city, given all of us, some hope.

Even in the summer of Mo’ne Davis, the Little League star out of Pennsylvania, they have even made the great Rachel Robinson, Jackie’s widow, the First Lady of baseball in this country, take notice, and take time to write to the kids from Jackie Robinson West. Here is a copy of the letter she sent to Pierce Jones, one of JRW’s star players, that Mrs. Robinson sent on stationery from the Jackie Robinson Foundation, last week:

“Dear Pierce,

I have been following your tremendous march to the Little League World Series and am so proud of you and the entire Jackie Robinson West team. To have an African-American squad from Chicago, the first from the city to qualify for the Series since 1983, succeed and inspire other young men and women is so meaningful.

Thank you for upholding the legacy of my husband Jack, your namesake, through your hard work, dedication and excellent teamwork.

I congratulate you for winning the Great Lakes Championship and your first game in the Series. Please know that as you continue to play for the title, you give so many of us hope and inspiration.

Good luck with your upcoming games!

My very best wishes,
Rachel Robinson.

This is a time when African-American participation in baseball, the sport of Rachel Robinson’s husband, has been decreasing at an alarming rate. In so many ways, it is a far more serious problem than the length of games and pace of play, something about which critics of baseball obsess about constantly. But now here is Mo’ne Davis on the cover of Sports Illustrated, here came these terrific kids from Jackie Robinson Park on the South Side of Chicago, to make the face of the national pastime quite different for a little while, and really quite wonderful.

Somehow the two stories intersected in Williamsport on Thursday night, in front of another huge crowd in the stadium that has become the dream of all Little League kids, an iconic American event now made so much bigger by ESPN. Chicago got ahead, held on, and won, 6-5.

One of those teams, a bunch of kids from what has become a far too dangerous city, came to the moment representing a name that will always be treated like royalty in this country and in this sport. The Cubs are nothing again in baseball, and the White Sox won’t make the playoffs even if they have won a World Series in this century. Jackie Robinson West has become that city’s team, and would have felt like the whole country’s team if it wasn’t going up against Mo’ne Davis’ team in Williamsport, Pa.

At a time in Chicago when we have read too many stories about gun deaths and tragedies, here come these tough, smiling kids to breathe this kind of life into the Little League World Series, and into baseball. Rachel Robinson wrote of how they inspire young men and women. The truth is, they have made us all cheer. So would have Jack Roosevelt Robinson.
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hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Aug, 2014 01:16 am
@Miller,
WTF are these kids doing pitching on only 4 days rest? Mo’ne Davis pitched Friday and then was a disaster Wed.

Quote:
e. Pitchers league age 14 and under must adhere to the following requirements:
If a player pitches 66 or more pitches in a day, four (4) calendar days of rest must be observed.
If a player pitches 51 to 65 pitches in a day, three (3) calendar day of rest must be observed.
If a player pitches 36 to 50 pitches in a day, two (2) calendar day of rest must be observed.
If a player pitches 21 to 35 pitches in a day, one (1) calendar day of rest must be observed.
If a player pitches 1 to 20 pitches in a day, no rest is required.

http://www.littleleague.org/learn/rules/ruleinterpretations/RuleClarification.htm
0 Replies
 
Miller
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Aug, 2014 08:38 am
@Miller,
The final game yesterday was fantastic.

I'm only sorry that there are so few Americans that really have any interest in either youth baseball and or the City of Chicago.

I do agree that both pitchers ( Nevada and Chicago) looked dam tired.

Today, Chicago plays South Korea. A miracle now awaits us!
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Aug, 2014 03:02 pm
@Miller,
Miller wrote:

The kids from Jackie Robinson Park in Chicago, America's most dangerous city, battle their way into the Little League World Series championship and inspire many, including Rachel Robinson, along the way.

I couldn't find a list of top 10 most dangerous cities from any source that had Chicago in it anywhere, much less the number one.
hawkeye10
 
  0  
Reply Sun 24 Aug, 2014 03:10 pm
@engineer,
this list does not have it in the top 100

http://www.neighborhoodscout.com/neighborhoods/crime-rates/top100dangerous/

though my hometown of Rockford Il makes an appearance at #30

Harvey is a suburb on the south side of Chicago, it is at #32
0 Replies
 
Miller
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Aug, 2014 01:46 pm
@engineer,
Please contact NEW YORK DAILY NEWS for info on why they listed Chicago in the #1 spot.

I didn't write the article.
Miller
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Aug, 2014 01:56 pm
@Miller,

Chicago has four neighborhoods listed on the '25 most dangerous' list
Scott Paulson
Chicago Conservative Examiner


May 30, 2013

According to a Yahoo! News article posted on Wednesday, Chicago has the ill-distinction of tying Detroit by having four neighborhoods listed on the list of the “25 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods” in the United States. One might call it just another negative, highly-publicized collection of data that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy will likely have to try to diffuse.

NeighborhoodScout, an online real estate facility, has gathered data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation from some-17,000 local law enforcement agencies throughout the nation and has compiled the list of the “25 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods.” According to NeighborhoodScout, the figures were used in 20 formulas to arrive at a crime rate – with a reported accuracy rate of about 90 percent. Neighborhoods were defined by census tracts, just as the government defines and labels neighborhoods. The data turns out a measurement of predicting violent crime per every 1,000 residents as well as determining the annual risk of violent crimes which includes rape, aggravated assault, armed robbery, and murder.

The four Chicago neighborhoods listed on the “25 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods” in the nation are number 4 on the list, South Halsted Street and West 77th Street in Chicago’s South Side Auburn Gresham neighborhood. In this neighborhood, the data reveals that there is a 1-in-9 chance of being a victim of a violent crime. The violent crime rate is 116.56 for every 1,000 persons.

Number 13 on the list of 25 is South Homan Avenue and West Roosevelt Road in Chicago’s Southwest neighborhood of North Lawndale. In this neighborhood, the data reveals that there is a 1-in-12 chance of being a victim of a violent crime. The violent crime rate is 80.17 for every 1,000 persons.

The third Chicago neighborhood listed on the national list of 25 comes in at number 16. This is South Ashland Avenue and West 76th Street in Chicago’s South Side’s Auburn Gresham neighborhood – the same city neighborhood as Chicago’s most dangerous neighborhood listed at number 4 on the national list. At South Ashland Avenue and West 76th Street, the data reveals that there is a 1-in-14 chance of being a victim of a violent crime. The violent crime rate is 73.05 for every 1,000 persons.

The last neighborhood on the total list, number 25, is around South Indiana Avenue and East 60th Street in the Washington Park neighborhood. The data reveals that there is a 1-in-15 chance of being a victim of a violent crime. The violent crime rate is 65.77 for every 1,000 persons.

hawkeye10
 
  0  
Reply Mon 25 Aug, 2014 01:58 pm
@Miller,
Miller wrote:

Please contact NEW YORK DAILY NEWS for info on why they listed Chicago in the #1 spot.

I didn't write the article.



Quote:
TOP 15 Most Dangerous Cities

1) St. Louis, Mo.
2) Camden, N.J.
3) Detroit, Mich.
4) Flint, Mich.
5) Oakland, Calif.
6) Richmond, Calif.
7) Cleveland, Ohio
8) Compton, Calif.
9) Gary, Ind.
10) Birmingham, Ala.
11) Baltimore, Md.
12) Memphis, Tenn.
13) New Orleans, La.
14) Jackson, Miss.
15) Little Rock, Ark.

http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/dangerous-city-u-s-st-louis-new-york-city-safe-269th-article-1.451658

NOPE.

Alzheimer's?
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Aug, 2014 02:00 pm
@Miller,
Quote:
Chicago has four neighborhoods listed on the '25 most dangerous' list


WOW, talk about moving the goalpost....you are not even in the same continent anymore, both the claim and the alleged source has changed.
0 Replies
 
 

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