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Little League scores big ratings in the world of Chicago baseball

Their league might be little, but their ratings are big when it comes to baseball in Chicago.

ESPN reports that Morgan Park-based Jackie Robinson West All-Stars’ Thursday afternoon opener in the Little League World Series delivered a 2.4 rating in the Chicago market — the largest rating ever for any round on ESPN networks in the market.

That equates to roughly 84,000 households in the Chicago area.

Nationally, the team’s 12-2 win against Lynwood Pacific at Lamade Stadium in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania generated a 0.6 rating (698,000 U.S. households), up 17 percent over last year’s corresponding game, according to Nielsen.

A 2.4 rating isn’t Blackhawks, Bulls or Bears numbers, but it is higher than what the Chicago’s two major league baseball teams have been averaging this season, according to the Tribune.

The paper’s website noted that the Cubs were averaging a 1.5 rating on Comcast SportsNet and the Sox have been pulling in just short of that with a 1.4 rating as of last week. (WGN-Channel 9 declined to release its ratings info.)

Granted, it’s a bit apples and oranges to compare a high-profile opener in a big tournament to the season averages of a couple of teams that aren’t exactly lighting it up. But it does illustrate the Chicago market’s interest in the first all-black team in three decades to make it to the Little League World Series — and its apparent lack of interest in the two hometown major league squads.

Jackie Robinson West’s next game is at 1 p.m. Sunday on WLS-Channel 7. Karl Ravech, Barry Larkin, Nomar Garciaparra and Jaymee Sire will commentate.

For the full Little League schedule, click here.