MLBMore Sports

Black On Black Pine At The Little League World Series

Ferguson, Missouri is engaged in an obvious race war between its mostly black neighborhood and its majority white police force (civilians have been murdered and tear gassed). Fortunately, there hasn’t been a black out. To find one, you have to travel across the country to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

When Mo’Ne Davis and The Taney Dragons from Philly play Southside Chicago’s Jackie Robinson West on Thursday night, the winner will advance to meet Las Vegas on Saturday in the U.S. final.

You’ll immediately notice that (probably) for the first time in LLWS history there will be more African-American ballers on the field than any other race. The Chicago squad is all-black, which in itself is unprecedented for little league baseball at this level. For the kids and their coach, however, this is the next logical progression.

Last season the squad advanced to the Great Lakes Championship Game before losing 10-3 against Grosse Point Woods Shores (Mich.) and falling just one game short of Williamsport.

It's been 31 years since a Chicago team made the LLWS, and this is the third straight year the young, Chi-Town sluggers threatened to break through and it finally happened.

Jackie Robinson West has a long-standing baseball tradition fueled by the community’s love for diamond-mining. They advanced to the first round of the 1983 World Series, coached by the late Joseph Haley, who founded the league in 1971, and have finally repeated the feat with his son William now running the league.

The soulful JRW squad, comprised of kids from the 28-team (T-ball to 18-year-olds) league, drawing from the Englewood, Auburn-Gresham, Morgan Park and Washington Heights areas are proof that the African-American spirit is alive and kicking in baseball.

For Haley and the 400-plus kids in the predominantly African-American baseball league, being nice at the sport is normal. He downplays the fact that his team doesn’t look like their opponents. With all of the talk and statistics about declining participation by African-Americans in baseball, JRW is a league that stands as one of the last bastions of serious black youth baseball in America.

There couldn’t be a better platform to showcase  African-American kids than the traditionally Caucasian-dominated LLWS. At a time when the value of a black youth’s life is at an all-time low in this country, tonight we’ll see the jewels and future leaders of the black community and beyond, on full display. They are the personification of black achievement, brilliance, confidence, class and human worth. It’s important for the world to see – with all the images that misrepresent young black folks these days – the authentic faces of black America. The faces that may be a bit darker, but still share the same hobbies, dreams, ambition, honest upbringing, loving hearts and million dollar smiles.

Davis is black and a female and one of the best players in the entire tournament, so naturally she’s captivated the nation on a number of levels. Her back-to-back shutouts to spark this LLWS run was legendary and exploded into one of the biggest stories of the summer. Even more impressive than her ability to be cool under pressure and embracing to an unexpected media onslaught, is the grace with which she handled defeat on Tuesday evening against Nevada and the way she fought through without her best stuff. She wound up allowing three runs and six hits with one walk and six strikeouts in one of the most-anticipated games in the illustrious history of the LLWS.

Davis has been a godsend for baseball in this country. Her impact will continue to reveal itself decades from now. She never showed defeat or fear or hesitation during her rough outing, probably knowing all along that she still has a chance to lead Taney to a championship in the double-elimination tournament.

That begins with defeating Chicago. Davis will be eligible to pitch in the championship game should Taney make that happen. Either way, it’s a win-win for black baseball in this country, and in my opinion, a resounding, “Hellooooo. We are back,” vibe that is infiltrating youth baseball. The grass roots efforts that people say are needed to help blacks creep back above 10 percent representation in MLB are in full effect (As I’ve been telling you).

This LLWS has already been a tournament of firsts, with more to come, and gender and race has been at the center of these accomplishments: First female African-American pitcher; First girl to pitch a shutout; First young lady to get an RBI in tournament play; First all-black squad to go this deep in the tourney.

You’ve surely heard the hoopla.

All of these barrier-breaking deeds serve the struggle for national unity and racial equality in a huge way. The accomplishments of Davis and her Philly funksters and Chi-Town’s dark knights of baseball are proof that there’s no such thing as a “white sport” or “black sport.” Sports are the great equalizer and have always been. It’s the one place where color or gender doesn’t inhibit you in any way. You possess the control and whether you succeed or fail is solely on you.

If a black kid didn’t have the inspiration before. If the images of today’s MLB players are too far away too make an impact, then watching a young cat like Pierce Jones (the name alone is dope), who mashes like a young Ken Griffey Jr. and is dripping with swag juice, can work wonders on a young athlete’s mind. Moving forward, Mo'Ne Davis will fall out of our immediate baseball consciousness.She says hoops is her bread and butter sport.  

Those Chicago cats, however, play baseball. They’re a straight juggernaut in the Great Lakes Region where they outscored opponents by nearly 50 runs over the regional’s’ seven games. They aren’t thinking about football or basketball season. They won’t be abandoning the game at 14 to play another sport. They are in it for the long haul. They’re committed to the rebirth.


Related Articles


  1. I¦ll immediately grab your rss as I can’t find your email subscription link or newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Kindly allow me recognize in order that I may subscribe. Thanks.

  2. Today, I went to the beachfront with my kids. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She placed the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is totally off topic but I had to tell someone!

  3. Hello there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it’s really informative. I’m going to watch out for brussels. I’ll be grateful if you continue this in future. Many people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  4. The other day, while I was at work, my cousin stole my iphone and tested to see if it can survive a 25 foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My apple ipad is now broken and she has 83 views. I know this is entirely off topic but I had to share it with someone!

  5. I just could not depart your web site before suggesting that I extremely enjoyed the usual information a person provide to your guests? Is gonna be again regularly to check up on new posts.

  6. I have been browsing online greater than three hours nowadays, but I by no means discovered any interesting article like yours. It is lovely value enough for me. In my opinion, if all site owners and bloggers made good content material as you did, the internet shall be much more useful than ever before. “When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.” by Lao Tzu.

  7. Do you have a spam issue on this blog; I also am a blogger, and I was curious about your situation; we have created some nice procedures and we are looking to trade solutions with other folks, why not shoot me an e-mail if interested.

  8. I’ve been surfing on-line greater than three hours these days, yet I never discovered any attention-grabbing article like yours. It¦s lovely price enough for me. In my opinion, if all website owners and bloggers made good content as you probably did, the web shall be much more helpful than ever before.

  9. I cling on to listening to the newscast speak about receiving boundless online grant applications so I have been looking around for the best site to get one. Could you tell me please, where could i acquire some?

  10. It is actually a nice and useful piece of info. I¦m satisfied that you shared this helpful information with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

  11. I just couldn’t depart your web site prior to suggesting that I really enjoyed the standard information a person provide for your visitors? Is gonna be back often to check up on new posts

  12. I’m really enjoying the design and layout of your blog. It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to create your theme? Outstanding work!

  13. Have you ever thought about writing an e-book or guest authoring on other sites? I have a blog based on the same subjects you discuss and would really like to have you share some stories/information. I know my viewers would enjoy your work. If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to send me an email.

  14. Hello my loved one! I want to say that this article is awesome, nice written and come with approximately all significant infos. I’d like to peer extra posts like this.

  15. I have not checked in here for a while as I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are good quality so I guess I?¦ll add you back to my everyday bloglist. You deserve it my friend 🙂

  16. Hi, Neat post. There’s an issue together with your site in web explorer, might test thisK IE nonetheless is the marketplace chief and a large section of other people will leave out your great writing due to this problem.

  17. hello there and thank you to your info – I’ve definitely picked up something new from proper here. I did on the other hand experience several technical issues the usage of this website, since I experienced to reload the site a lot of times previous to I may just get it to load correctly. I were considering in case your hosting is OK? Now not that I am complaining, but sluggish loading circumstances instances will sometimes impact your placement in google and can injury your quality ranking if ads and ***********|advertising|advertising|advertising and *********** with Adwords. Anyway I am including this RSS to my email and can glance out for a lot more of your respective fascinating content. Make sure you update this again soon..

  18. Thank you for the good writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it. Look advanced to far added agreeable from you! However, how can we communicate?

  19. My spouse and I stumbled over here from a different web address and thought I may as well check things out. I like what I see so now i’m following you. Look forward to going over your web page for a second time.

  20. Good day! I know this is kinda off topic however I’d figured I’d ask. Would you be interested in trading links or maybe guest authoring a blog article or vice-versa? My site covers a lot of the same topics as yours and I believe we could greatly benefit from each other. If you might be interested feel free to shoot me an e-mail. I look forward to hearing from you! Wonderful blog by the way!

  21. Hey very cool site!! Man .. Excellent .. Amazing .. I’ll bookmark your site and take the feeds also…I’m happy to find a lot of useful information here in the post, we need develop more techniques in this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .

  22. Its like you read my thoughts! You seem to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some to force the message house a bit, however instead of that, that is fantastic blog. A fantastic read. I’ll certainly be back.

  23. Have you ever thought about adding a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is fundamental and all. But just imagine if you added some great graphics or videos to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with images and video clips, this blog could definitely be one of the greatest in its field. Amazing blog!

  24. You actually make it appear really easy along with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something which I think I would by no means understand. It seems too complicated and very wide for me. I am taking a look forward in your next put up, I¦ll try to get the cling of it!

  25. This is really attention-grabbing, You are an excessively professional blogger. I’ve joined your rss feed and look ahead to looking for more of your excellent post. Additionally, I’ve shared your site in my social networks!

  26. I have been surfing on-line greater than 3 hours as of late, but I never discovered any attention-grabbing article like yours. It is lovely price sufficient for me. Personally, if all web owners and bloggers made excellent content material as you did, the web shall be a lot more useful than ever before. “Perfection of moral virtue does not wholly take away the passions, but regulates them.” by Saint Thomas Aquinas.

  27. I?¦ve read some just right stuff here. Certainly price bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how much attempt you place to create this type of fantastic informative site.

  28. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point. You obviously know what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence on just posting videos to your site when you could be giving us something enlightening to read?

  29. Simply wanna input on few general things, The website style is perfect, the articles is very excellent. “In business school classrooms they construct wonderful models of a nonworld.” by Peter Drucker.

  30. I discovered your blog site on google and check a few of your early posts. Continue to keep up the very good operate. I just additional up your RSS feed to my MSN News Reader. Seeking forward to reading more from you later on!…

  31. you’re really a good webmaster. The site loading speed is incredible. It seems that you’re doing any unique trick. Moreover, The contents are masterwork. you have done a fantastic job on this topic!

  32. My developer is trying to convince me to move to .net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the expenses. But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using WordPress on a variety of websites for about a year and am worried about switching to another platform. I have heard excellent things about blogengine.net. Is there a way I can transfer all my wordpress content into it? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  33. I genuinely enjoy looking through on this site, it contains wonderful posts. “It is easy to be nice, even to an enemy – from lack of character.” by Dag Hammarskjld.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.