They spent the weekend at Disney and today they are back in school. But for a magical few weeks in late summer, the Jackie Robinson West Little League team brought joy to this city. People from the far north to the far south to the far west (the east is Lake Michigan) sat glued to their television sets as the boys progressed up the ranks to win the National Championship and proceed honorably and with dignity, that we could all emulate, to the final game of the World Series that they lost, again with dignity, to Seoul, Korea.

Upon returning to Chicago, they were featured in a south side to downtown parade that matched the crowds and enthusiasm of a Blackhawks or White Sox championship team. Complete with horse, trolley car, and black SUV escorts, their bus pulsed happily up Michigan Avenue into the city.


01bf1de1e0a18e47fa0fa7819ffa617e8659f77682Along with thousands of others, I lined up on Michigan Avenue to cheer them on, these unassuming, well-behaved winners from Chicago’s South Side.

01bc2fe537d4821fb937561e2a6bd3be331e930542_00001The parade culminated in Millennium Park to a packed crowd. People streamed up the walkways to be part of the celebration.


The crowd stood hushed as the speakers lauded the players. The activity beamed on a screen above the platform so all of us, those sitting in the front red seats  and those of us standing behind on the lawn, could easily see.


Thank you, Jackie Robinson West, a team of thirteen boys, for a few weeks of love spread throughout our city during this summer of 2014. You will remain a highlight in our hearts.