Tag: Jackie Robinson West All-Stars

President Obama Welcomes the Jackie Robinson West All Stars to the White House

President Barack Obama welcomes the Jackie Robinson West All Stars to the Oval Office
President Barack Obama welcomes the Jackie Robinson West All Stars to the Oval Office, Nov. 6, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) 

Yesterday the Jackie Robinson West All Stars — the U.S. champions in this year’s Little League World Series — stopped by the White House for a visit with the President and the First Lady.

Hailing mainly from the South Side of Chicago, Jackie Robinson West captured the world’s attention this summer on their extraordinary run through the Little League World Series. Along with being the first Chicago-area team to make it to the Little League World Series in 31 years, Jackie Robinson West also made history as the first all-black team to win the U.S. title.

Before the world championship game against South Korea, the President tweeted that “we’re all so proud” of the team. Even though South Korea won the final game 8-4, Jackie Robinson West had already secured a special place in the hearts of Americans across the country.

The young players’ victorious run held even more meaning, however, for the city that they came from. Chicago has grabbed headlines nationwide for its increased gun violence and high murder rate, and many of the Jackie Robinson West players come from neighborhoods suffering from this violence as well as disproportionate levels of poverty. But the team’s run this summer helped provide a respite from some of the city’s troubles, with the players’ hard work and upstanding example ultimately bringing hope, inspiration, and unity to their community.

article by David Hudson via whitehouse.gov

Little League Pitching Sensation Mo’ne Davis Throws out 1st Pitch at World Series

Mo’ne Davis, the first female pitcher in Little League World Series history to pitch a complete-game shutout accompanied by players from the Jackie Robison West Little League team, throws out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 4 of baseball's World Series between the Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Mo’ne Davis, the first female pitcher in Little League World Series history to pitch a complete-game shutout accompanied by players from the Jackie Robison West Little League team, throws out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 4 of baseball’s World Series between the Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Cameras flashed, the crowd rose for a thunderous ovation and Mo’ne Davis did exactly what she was expected to do — fire a strike right down the middle.  From Little League phenom to the star of her own commercial to World Series celebrity, the 13-year-old Davis has been on quite a ride these past few months.

She continued her remarkable journey on the biggest baseball stage of all when she threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 4 of the World Series between the San Francisco Giants and Kansas City Royals on Saturday.

“Just to be at the World Series is pretty cool,” Davis said. “If I didn’t throw a strike, I don’t know what I would do. Throwing a strike was probably the best part.”

On a night when the attention of the sports world was focused on AT&T Park, Davis managed to stand out.  She paused to take photographs with fans, munched on a vanilla-and-chocolate sundae in the press box and managed to squeeze in some face time with Hall of Famers Hank Aaron and Frank Robinson.

The eighth grader even got a phone call from her favorite player, Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley.  “I think that tops it all,” Davis said with a grin.

Academy Award nominated filmmaker Spike Lee, who directed the television commercial for Chevrolet that stars Davis, was also in attendance to watch the young pitcher.

Davis has been on the cover of Sports Illustrated and appeared on “The Tonight Show” with Jimmy Fallon. Throwing out the first pitch at a World Series game seemed like the natural next step.

“When I found out that the commissioner was going to have her throw out the first pitch tonight, I said, ‘I’ve got to be here,'” Lee said. “She’s amazing … and she’s on the honor roll, too. And she’s only 13 years old.”

Continue reading “Little League Pitching Sensation Mo’ne Davis Throws out 1st Pitch at World Series”

Jackie Robinson West All-Stars Gave Their All in Little League World Series Championship, Celebrated by Hometown Even in Defeat

Chicago’s Jackie Robinson West All-Stars  (Photo: TWITTER)

The Jackie Robinson West All-Stars are still the pride of Chicago, even after a tough loss to South Korea in the Little League World Series championship game. The Jackie Robinson West team put up a valiant fight, including a late rally in the bottom of the sixth inning, but in the end it was not enough to hold off the mighty bats and dominant pitching performance from the Seoul team, which handed the South Side Chicago sluggers an 8-4 loss.

According to the Associated Press, normal Sunday activities in Chicago were on hold for a few hours while the all-black Jackie Robinson West ballplayers, who “made their first appearance in 31 years in the Little League World Series” and had stolen the nation’s heart on their way to the championship game, took the field.

Several hundred supporters gathered at TV watch stations to root for the team, which, until the final game, had dominated all comers.

AP notes that despite the defeat, several fans gathered at the South Side community center gym and roared and cheered just as if their boys had won.  “They showed what heart they have. The city could not be prouder of them,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel told AP.

Jackie Robinson West’s run was a nice break for an area that has been ravished by poverty and violence.

“I have never seen the community come together like this,” Eldridge Dockery, 44, told AP. “We’re usually behind our walls or gates—but this team brought us out, talking and celebrating together.”

According to news station WGN-TV, a parade is planned for the team on Wednesday.

Read more at the Associated Press and WGN-TV.