Hardball

A wise man once said “throw me the ball and watch what I do with it,” and the little leaguers from Jackie Robinson West are showing the world what they’re about.

JRW

 

Strike 1: Caught You By Surprise 

JRW’s rise to today’s U.S. Championship game has been the surprise of the Little League World Series. The team is the first to represent Chicago in 31 years, and the first all black team in over a decade. Just to make it to Williamsport, PA, the team had to come up with a 6 run rally in the last inning of their Great Lakes regional final game. 

Strike 2: Right Before Your Eyes 

JRW’s success has been broadcast to the nation on ESPN, but has meant the most to the city they call home. Their Little League World Series games are being watched throughout the city, from bars in River North to watch parties that number into the thousands in Morgan Park. 

Pitch 3: This One’s To The Wall 

Fast, aggressive, finish. That’s the way this JRW team plays on the diamond, and it brings a brand of excitement that isn’t usually associated with baseball. Speed and power are the key components to the team’s aggressive style of play, which we got a glimpse of when tournament star Pierce Jones blasted three home runs in his first World Series game. Darold Butler, JRW’s manager, says the team likes to play “4 inning games,” meaning that they have every intention of 10 run ruling the opponent.  

Win or lose today, Chicago is proud to call Jackie Robinson West its own, and one thing is clear – ain’t no fun like a game of hardball. 

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No Country for Black Men

I’m trying to write down my thoughts on what’s transpired over the past week in Ferguson, MO and am not really sure where to begin. I’m sitting refreshing Twitter and watching MSNBC and going through a range of emotions. I was damn near brought to tears seeing the way prostesters are being treated.

Mike Brown’s execution was despicable, and the police department’s handling of EVERYTHING that followed has been shockingly deplorable. We’re told that the police are to “protect and serve” yet they’ve turned Ferguson into a war zone, permanently fracturing the psyche and trust within the community, and they’re doing so WITH CAMERAS EVERYWHERE. Imagine how they’ve behaved without cameras present.

My heart breaks when I think about what Mike Brown’s family must be feeling, and continues to break when I think of all the people who stood on the front lines of the Civil Rights movement and are seeing this catastrophe unfold. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, and what’s going on in Ferguson right now is a threat to the entire nation.

America is no country for black men, and unfortunately this is the latest example.

are we really free?