CHICAGO (WLS) --Jackie Robinson West eliminated Texas Tuesday night, beating them 6-1 in the Little League World Series. As of Tuesday night, they've won three of the four games they've played in Williamsport, Penn.
And as Chicago's team advances, the families of the Jackie Robinson West team watch the series in Pennsylvania thanks to a big league contributor.
"I saw them and they reminded me so much of the little league team I played on, you know me and Michael Bourne of the Cleveland Indians, we played on the same team," said Carl Crawford of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Crawford, a former Little League player, is paying for all the hotel rooms. He said he saw himself in the Chicago players and hopes to see more players of color drawn to the game.
"Maybe some other kids might see it and say, 'We wanna play just like those guys,' you know, who knows," Crawford said. "I was just happy to see it was an all-black team and there are not that many of us in the game no more, and maybe we can have a few guys off that team make it to the big league, who knows."
"I appreciate that Major Leaguer who appreciates what he had to go through," said Dennis Butler, Sr., the grandfather of DJ Butler.
Other Major League players, such as LaTroy Hawkins of the Colorado Rockies, and supporters donated to make sure the players parents could be at the series.
Linda Sneed is a single working mom who recently had a health setback. She said she could not have made the trip without help.
"I'm so happy, I've never been this happy - I mean, maybe the birth of my kids, but this is great," Sneed said.
Robert Bufford was recently laid off. Being able to witness his son's success is in person is only possible by the generosity of others.
"It's meant a lot, the opportunity to be here, to share this experience with my son," Bufford said. "Here and cheering, one of the first ones standing and probably one of the loudest cheering, so you'll definitely hear me."
So far, $28,000 has been donated to get families to the series.
Chicago fans brimming with pride at watch party
Due to earlier rain, Chicago fans watched the boys play in the auditorium of Mt. Vernon Elementary School at 10540 South Morgan Street instead of Jackie Robinson Park, where previous watch parties have been held.
The mood was absolutely electric back in Chicago when the team scored those insurance runs in the fourth inning. Fans here on Tuesday night were brimming with pride.
"They are outstanding. I'm so proud of them I don't know what to do. Bless them, and I hope they just keep on going," said Roberta Sullivan, Morgan Park resident.
Fans were on their feet for that last out in the top of the sixth inning. A couple thousand people, by my estimate, were out here, and among them, Mayor Rahm Emanuel. All of them were glued to the Jumbotron that was set up at Jackie Robinson Park. Fans here say these young men have transcended baseball.
"Everybody's coming together. You get people that you never see come out here. It's a beautiful thing," said Anthony Herron, Roseland resident.
"This is tremendous. This is the real Chicago. We support our kids. We encourage our kids," said Tony Lowery, Englewood resident.
In a statement Tuesday night, Mayor Emanuel called the team "...the very best of what we hope from and for our children..." A lot of fans Tuesday night were feeling the same way.