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Cook County Board pays tribute to JRW Little Leagures

Wednesday, September 10, 2014
by Gregory Tejeda

The Cook County Board on Wednesday praised the Roseland neighborhood-based Jackie Robinson West Little League team that represented the United States last month in the Little League World Series.

County commissioners approved a resolution honoring the team ó with players from Dolton, Lynwood, South Holland and Lansing ó that advanced to the final game before losing to a youth team from Seoul, South Korea.

Commissioners, who were presented with T-shirts honoring the team's accomplishment, all made a point of pulling out cameras to get pictures of the team.

"Something I have done (Wednesday) will actually be of interest to my son," said Commissioner Bridget Gainer, D-Chicago, whose son plays baseball in a North Side Little League.

Area commissioners Deborah Sims and Stanley Moore, both D-Chicago, sponsored the resolution, with Moore saying he is working with the Illinois secretary of state's office to create a new special license plate to pay tribute to the team.

While Sims noted the accomplishments of Annie Haley, the League's president, whose late husband, Joe, founded the Far South Side league in 1971.

"We wouldn't be here if it wasn't for your work in the community," Sims said.

Commissioner John Fritchey said he thinks he watched more baseball by the Jackie Robinson West team than he did the Chicago White Sox and Cubs, combined. While Commissioner Jerry Butler said, "I couldn't hit, run or throw, so I became a commissioner."

The boys were honored early in the meeting so they could board a bus back to school. Before they left, Sims had a message for them.

"Let this inspire you to do great things, because there is more in life than baseball," she said.

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