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.