Family, friends and neighbors of Chicago’s Jackie Robinson West All Stars can watch the team compete in the Little League World Series at an outdoor “watch party” Thursday co-hosted by the city and the Chicago White Sox.
The 2 p.m. game will be broadcast live on ESPN in the outdoor area of Jackie Robinson Park, 10540 S. Morgan Park. Former Sox players and the team’s official mascot will attend.
Participants are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets to the party, which starts at 1:30 p.m. Thursday.
The team made headlines Saturday by becoming the first all-black team from Chicago to reach the Little League World Series in 30 years.
“The Jackie Robinson West All-Stars have excited an entire city with their dedication and athleticism, and everyone should have the chance to see a Chicago team play in the Little League World Series for the first time since 1983,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel was quoted as saying in a press release.
“Chicago could not be more proud to have these young men and their coaches represent our city, and as they take the field on Thursday, we want them to know an entire city will be behind them cheering them on.”
Sox Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf called the watch party a “great way for the neighborhood and the City of Chicago to celebrate the accomplishments of this talented group of young men” who have made their city proud.
Reinsdorf noted that six players on the Jackie Robinson West team also play for the White Sox youth baseball program.
“So, we are doubly proud of their tremendous accomplishments. These kids already are champions in our eyes before a single pitch is thrown in Williamsport,” Reinsdorf was quoted as saying.
The Jackie Robinson West All Stars is made up of 11- and 12-year-olds from Auburn Gresham, Englewood, Chatham, Morgan Park and Washington Heights. The team earned a trip to Williamsport, Pa., with a come-from-behind win over New Albany, Indiana.