Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Carl Giammarese's Salute to the Jackie Robinson West Little League Baseball Team

The pride of Chicago’s South Side, the Jackie Robinson West Little League Baseball team, is deserving of best wishes and congratulations for their outstanding achievement in becoming the 2014 U.S.Champions in the Little League World Series.
Photo courtesy of Chicago's web site

Little did these youngsters dream, when they picked up their first baseball, after having watched their first Cubs or White Sox game, that they’d be the ones to represent our city to the rest of the United States and be named “the best of the best”! Respect and thanks go out to each of the parents and the families of the young players and the tremendous coaching staff who have sacrificed hours, days, weeks, months and years being mentors to these wonderful children. Jackie Robinson made such a sterling contribution to the sport that we love, so it’s fitting that our Chicagoland youth bear the name of America’s favorite #42. So often we divide our city by geography as South, North or West suburbs or the direction of shore we’re from. Today, this week, this month, this season, indeed it’s South Side talent that brought honor to all of Chicagoland, and our entire city is proud of our talented young team.

Even though they didn’t win against South Korea,the team brought such distinction and honor to the United States as well, as they represented our nation professionally and played with composure and skill far beyond their young ages. It’s said that 800,000 people in Chicago watched the game this past weekend, which is almost three times bigger than the attendance for Beyonce’s concert, which supposedly 300,000 people watched. There’s no question that the 11- and 12-year-olds on the Jackie Robinson West All Stars have captured the imaginations and hearts of Chicagoans across the city. On Wednesday, they’re going to get the parade of a lifetime for our city to celebrate their accomplishments. If you want to know where the parade route is, check out the local news web sites.

Congratulations and thanks are due to everyone involved with the Jackie Robinson West All Stars. You are U.S. Little League Champion Players, yes, we claim you in the hearts of Chicagoland, first, and we salute you.

Carl Giammarese