by Wendy Widom
CHICAGO (CBS) – The Jackie Robinson West All Stars have inspired a city and a nation with their performance in the 2014 Little League World Series. Despite losing in the final round to South Korea, the team is the embodiment of grit, perseverance and true sportsmanship. On Wednesday, Chicago will host a parade to celebrate the US champions and their tremendous accomplishments.
CBS 2 captured many memorable moments in Williamsport, highlighting what has become Jackie Robinson West’s rightful and assured place in Chicago history. Here are the top 10:
1. In its first 2014 Little League World Series game, Jackie Robinson West routs Washington’s Lynnwood Pacific, 12-2, in five innings. Pierce Jones leads the team with three runs and a triple.
2. Veteran CBS 2 reporter Jim Williams, who has been in Williamsport since the 2014 Little League World Series began, says Jackie Robinson West is showing that Chicago’s South Side should not be defined by violence:
“The Jackie Robinson West players, parents and volunteer coaches represent the overwhelming majority of people who live on Chicago’s south side. The JRW mothers AND fathers love and support their children. They teach the values we all know are invaluable. You’ve seen it in the boys’ play and conduct off the field. The poise, dignity and sportsmanship. Good boys are learning to be good men, by design. We cover the tragedies in south side neighborhoods — with no apologies. But we have to tell the JRW story, too — and others like it.”
3. In their second 2014 Little League World Series game, the Jackie Robinson West All Stars fall to Las Vegas, 13-2.
4. Jackie Robinson West bounces back in its third Little League World Series game to beat Pearland, Texas, 6-1. “Head coach Darold Butler predicted a win tonight,” Says Jim Williams. “He was right. Said this team had never lost 2 in a row[.]”
5. Jackie Robinson West goes on to eliminate Philly’s Taney Dragons, 6-5.
6. This is Jackie Robinson West’s second appearance in the Little League World Series. Founder Joseph Haley brought the team to Williamsport in 1983, where it finished fifth. Today, son Bill Haley is the director of the 43-year-old Jackie Robinson West team. This week Bill’s mom is in Williamsport, proudly celebrating the legacy she and her husband created.
7. Superstar pitcher Mo’Ne Davis becomes the first female pitcher to win a Little League World Series game.
8. This time, Chicago triumphs over the undefeated Las Vegas team and becomes the 2014 Little League World Series U.S Champions.
9. In the final 2014 Little League World Series game, Jackie Robinson West puts up a valiant fight but is ultimately unable to topple the unstoppable South Korea. Despite this, the city of Chicago couldn’t be any prouder of its home team!
10. To celebrate the boys, their coaches and their families, Chicago will host a parade on August 27 that will begin in Washington Heights and move downtown, where there will be a celebration.