This weekend, I had the pleasure of watching the Little League World Series. Because I’m not really much of a sports girl, I think I surprised more than a few people when they asked me what I was doing and I said, “I’m watching the World Series.”
To be honest, I was so disheartened and disappointed watching the riots that occurred surrounding the shooting of an unarmed teen in Ferguson, Mo., and all the commentary on what it means for race relations that I wanted to see anything on TV but the news.
I’m not sure what I wanted to see more, a bunch of cute little kids playing in the World Series or an inner city Little League team that had become the U.S. Little League champions realize their dream of playing for the world title.
So, Sunday afternoon after going to church and then getting a little work done in preparation for my morning show, I decided to watch the Little League World Series while cleaning the kitchen. I began to mop and watch. It quickly became apparent to me that I had underestimated the teams, and the Little League Word Series itself.
As anticipated, the kids were incredibly cute, but what caught me off guard was the way the kids played. The 11- and 12-year-olds played America’s favorite pastime with the intensity and skill of much more mature men; but clearly with the good sportsmanship, spirit and demeanor of kids that came to win.
I must admit, I was rooting for Chicago’s Jackie Robinson West (JRW). I loved the fact that they were an inner city Little League team who were considered the underdogs. I also like that they were named in honor of an icon that broke so many barriers in the sport.
It was a spirited and very exciting game. I eventually stopped mopping the kitchen and sat down to watch. I caught myself yelling at the TV a few times “Come on, Chicago!” and “Go Jackie Robinson West!” I even jumped up from my seat a few times screaming with excitement when JRW almost turned things around in the final inning.
Jackie Robinson West fell short. South Korea went on to win 8-4. I was very proud of them and yet a little sad that JRW didn’t win. Both teams played with heart and it was a beautiful thing to watch.
After the game was over, the South Korean team bowed to the Chicago players and their parents. I found myself smiling at the TV and clapping for them. What an honorable way to win, I thought.
I must say that I think I’ll be watching more Little League baseball. Not because I instantly became a fan of the sport, but moreso because I became a fan of the way the kids played the sport.
It was really cool to be reminded by a team of children what some of us adults sometimes forget.Faith, hope and respect are fairly easy to share with each other and they are not merely reserved for kids or sports.