Jackie Robinson West inspires hope, Chicago pride - FOX 32 News Chicago

Jackie Robinson West inspires hope, Chicago pride

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Coach Butler (Photo via FOX 32's Eddie Bartlett) Coach Butler (Photo via FOX 32's Eddie Bartlett)
CHICAGO (Associated Press) -

The success that a baseball team from Chicago's South Side has had at the Little League World Series is giving the city something to cheer about.

Large crowds turned out for watch parties in Chicago as the 11- and 12-year-olds from the Jackie Robinson West All Stars took on a Las Vegas team in Saturday's U.S. final in Pennsylvania. Chicago will face a South Korean team in the championship game Sunday after beating Las Vegas 7-5.

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At one of the watch parties, at a Far South Side community center, retired city worker Mario Stinson said the team was a unifying force, noting that players represent multiple neighborhoods divided by gang violence.

Sabrina Johnson was with her 8-year-old grandson. She says the team was giving kids hope in the face of "all this violence."

Mayor Rahm Emanuel can't miss a game, and organized two watch parties Saturday, one in the heart of downtown and the other on the Far South Side community center.

Emanuel says the team has brought neighborhoods together and is the "pride of Chicago."

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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