Chicago rejoices as Jackie Robinson West advances to Little Leag - FOX 32 News Chicago

Chicago rejoices as Jackie Robinson West advances to Little League World Series

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Chicago celebrated that awesome moment when the Jackie Robinson West All-Star team defeated a Lynwood, Washington team, 12-2 in the fifth inning, to advance to the Little League World Series.

Devona Benton cheered on her son, number 8, Jaheim Benton.

“It's awesome. I'm great, I'm glad, I'm happy. I don't know what to do, I want to cry right now, I do. He has a lot of support behind him, his sisters, his nieces, his nephews, everybody is here to support him,” said Benton.

The Jackie Robinson West All-Stars have quickly become Chicago's pride and joy.

“He don't believe it still, can't believe it but he's been playing since he was six,” said Benton in an interview with FOX 32's Tisha Lewis.

Benton said this was the first time her son flew on an airplane.

“It feels real good,” said Tamayah Nelson, Jaehim Benton's cousin.

Nelson said she is most excited that her cousin made the news.

“He made the news, he made the TV, he's just popular now,” said Nelson.

Jackie Robinson Park in Morgan Park was packed Thursday at a watch party hosted by the City of Chicago and the White Sox. The crowd was filled with people wearing JRW tee shirts, sold out in adult sizes at Dick's Sporting Goods in the South Loop.

“These shirts are going fast and it just shows you that people are really concerned about the well-being of our young people,” said Art Sims.

“This is how it was when we grew up playing. Every Saturday it was packed like this,” said Ronell Coleman.

The team's victory is a much needed moment of glory for a city often underscored by headlines about violence.

“If ya'll would put these guns down and let these kids grow, my son has made it somewhere, there's other kids that need to progress,” said Benton.

“This is the face of Chicago. This is what I want everyone to see in Chicago and around, a community, family, parents, religious leaders, friends, aunts, uncles, brothers, cousins, everybody coming out and rooting for our kids because our kids are champions,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in an interview with FOX 32's Tisha Lewis.

That they are, but the team that started it all more than three decades ago was the 1983 JRW team.

“I'm very proud of the boys, they had a great game, from top to finish and they closed it out,” said Shawn Hammock who played on the 1983 JRW team.

FOX 32's Tisha Lewis reports 1983 was the last time a Chicago team qualified for the Little League World Series. Most of the players on the Jackie Robinson West All-Star team are from the Chicago's South Side including Englewood, Auburn Gresham and Chatham neighborhoods.

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