Congratulations to Jackie Robinson West: Let's Support the Other Litlle League Associations

I congratulate Jackie Robinson west Little League(JRW) on their outstanding showing at Williamsport. The young men have shown great poise, athleticism and intelligence. This LLWS has made me reminisce about my little league days, although I never played at the level these young men play, it was always fun and I cherish the memories and some little leaguers grow up and become media personalities such as Matt McGill. I always remember JRW always being a class act league and the highlight of my final Southside Little League season was watching our allstars beating JRW in the LL qualifying round.

Southside Little League started in Chatham in the late 1950's and is one of the oldest African American Little League associations in the country. Since its inception other associations such as Roseland, Southeast and others have formed.

Unfortunately over time, the cost of playing baseball has risen(equipment, uniforms, sponsorship) and with basketball popularity, baseball became the bald head stepchild. The consequences of African Americans losing interest in baseball shows as you look at the baseball teams of HBCU's and you find very few African Americans and we do not have to go far as you look at the Chicago State baseball team.

While the associations have to work on bringing the business community back to sponsoring teams, individuals, block clubs and fraternal organizations can assist in making baseball more affordable.

Block Clubs: Collect used baseball equipment(balls,gloves, bats,shoes, etc) at your next clean and green or garage sale and donating it to local associations.

Fraternal Organizations: Have your lodge/chapter sponsor a team for your fraternal league(i.e American legion, etc)

Individuals: Consider volunteering(concessions, fundraising, etc) and if possible sponsoring a scholarship for a young person to play.

We can all promote youth baseball in our community whether we like the sport or not and we can continue to see our young people playing in the LLWS. Jackie Robinson West Little League #Southsidelittleleaguechicago


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