Parents' pride: Jackie Robinson West gears up for World Series

Thursday, August 14, 2014
'Game on' for Jackie West Little League parents
Chicago's Jackie Robinson West All-Stars will play in the Little League World Series

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Their faces all beam with pride as the moms and dads of the Jackie Robinson West All - Stars watch the annual pre-Little League World Series Grand Slam parade.

It's no small accomplishment to come this far, and the story of their success has caught like wildfire.

Are parents nervous? They say "nope."

"I think were more relaxed now," said Donita Butler, wife of coach Darold Butler. "We're excited, but we have a good feeling our boys are going to do real well."

"Growing up I played Little League in Chicago," said Christopher Green, father of player Brandon Green. "I never imagined being here in the little league World Series, and for my son to make it, it's just awesome.

When they take the field here later today, it'll be the first time in 31 seasons that a team from Jackie Robinson West has made it to the Little League World Series.

The long trip and lodging are not inexpensive, but the importance of having moms and dads in the stands can't be overstated. The parents of all 13 boys are here, thanks in part to generosity of others, including LA Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford who is paying for their rooms.

"What do you say to a Carl Crawford?" asked Myrtle Houston, mother of player Joshua Houston. "Thank you."

They're amazed and proud that their boys have captured the attention and support of all Chicago. The message is simple.

"That hope is there," explained Tammy King, mother of player Eddie King. "Hope is still alive. Strive on the best, do the best, do what you have to do to make it work for you. Your dreams come true.

Time for more dream building.

Supporters in Chicago will be cheering on the team at a viewing party taking place at Jackie Robinson Park on South Morgan. The festivities begin at 1:30 p.m., the game is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.