The Jackie Robinson West youth baseball team is seeking to make history. If the team defeats Las Vegas today, it will become the first all-black baseball team to compete in the Little League World Series championship game.
The Chicago-based team defeated Mo’ne Davis’ Philadelphia squad on Thursday to reach the United States championship game. Jackie Robinson West will now have to compete against a Las Vegas team that defeated them by a score of 13-2 earlier in the week.
Jackie Robinson West has big home run hitters and the team is led by Pierce Jones who had a three home run game in the series. However, the team can be inconsistent when it comes to defense and the players lack depth at the pitching position. Their best pitcher, Marquis Jackson, is unable to pitch this weekend after throwing 87 pitches in the game against Philadelphia (pitchers are ineligible for two days after pitching over 85 times in a game).
If the team defeats Las Vegas, Jackie Robinson West will face-off against the winner of South Korea and Japan for the coveted LLWS title.
But win or lose, Jackie Robinson West will remain winners in the eyes of citizens in Chicago. They are a positive story in a city that has dealt with violence during the summer.
Once the team returns to Chicago, the players will be rewarded with a parade at Grant Park that will be attended by the mayor.