(CBS) — For 10 days they captured the hearts of Chicago and the nation. On Wednesday, the city will reward the Jackie Robinson West All-Stars for their hard with two big rallies and a parade.
But the players’ journey to get here started years ago. CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker takes a look at the work, dedication and sacrifice it takes to wear that uniform.
Trey Hondras fell in love with baseball at six and he has been fully committed ever since.
“I gave up a lot of stuff, going out, talking with my friends,” he said. “I practice like five hours a day,” he said.
The payoff for his sacrifice: a trip to the Little League Baseball World Series and a rap star treatment from hometown fans buying championship T-shirts at a shop in Lansing.
The biggest fan is constantly by his side.
“It really takes a committed parent,” said Carlton Hondras, Trey’s father.
It helps that Carlton Hondras runs his own remodeling business. He needs a flexible schedule for the non-stop practices starting in May. Then there’s regional and state tournaments, costing hundreds of dollars for weeklong hotel stays.
The money and time are well worth it.
“Keeping him off the streets that’s why I’ve been an active parent involved in his life and that the reason why he is where he is.
“I love my parents a lot. They did everything for me. That’s why I’m here doing all this type of good stuff,” Trey said.
In addition to paying for the equipment parents also pay a membership fee to the Jackie Robinson Little League. That’s about $150 a season. But they didn’t pay for the boy’s trip to Williamsport. Food, lodging, fun and new uniforms were all covered by the Little League World Series.