Big Win by Chicago’s Black Little League Inspires Hope

After Saturday’s win against Las Vegas, Chicago’s Jackie Robinson West Little League team advanced to the championship title game.

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Members of Chicago's Jackie Robinson West Little League team celebrate Saturday, August 23, 2014 after a 7-5 win over Las Vegas during the U.S. Championship game of the Little League World Series at Lamade Stadium in South Williamsport, Pa.

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Chicago’s Jackie Robinson West Little League team is inspiring hope in a city marked by crime and gun violence among young people.

On Saturday, the all-black squad from the city’s embattled South Side, defeated Las Vegas Mountain Ridge 7-5 in the U.S. Championship baseball game at the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pa., the Chicago Tribune reports.

This afternoon, they will head to the championship title game, where they face South Korea, which is seeking its third World Series title.

Several people, who attended a Little League World Series watch party on State Street in Downtown Chicago Saturday, said the team’s performance inspires hope for the city’s youth.

“We have a group of black kids from the South Side of Chicago who are the U.S. world champs of the Little League baseball,” Jamel Franklin, 28, told the Tribune. “Who would’ve thought?”

Kory Begley, 38, an alum of the team himself, echoed Franklin’s sentiments.

“Considering all the violence that’s in Chicago, this shows that the city ain’t all bad,” Begley told the Tribune. “These kids are great. You can see it in their attitude and mannerisms.”

Read more at the Chicago Tribune.