NEW YORK -- By making it to the Little League World Series championship game on Sunday, Chicago's Jackie Robinson West has provided a spark to Chicago's baseball fan base during a disappointing season for both the White Sox and Cubs.
"It's a feel-good story to have those kids playing there," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "You don't want to have it be too much for them, but on the other hand, you let it go. They're reacting to it great. You see the highlights and how they're doing, and they're fun to watch."
Jackie Robinson West, the first team made up entirely of African Americans to advance to both the U.S. championship game and world finals, dropped an 8-4 decision to South Korea on Sunday.
The White Sox have been able to catch glimpses of the action from Williamsport, Pa., but have usually been preparing or playing in games of their own at the same time. Ventura coached his son in Little League for a few years after retirement and has watched as many of Jackie Robinson West's games as he can.
"It's fun. Having done Little League, you understand the excitement of the kids, the parents, how special it is," Ventura said. "And Williamsport is a really neat opportunity for them. The setting is great. All of those teams from different countries, how they interact and get along. I think the sportsmanship is great."
Jamal Collier is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less