The Jackie Robinson West Little League champs have returned home and are gearing up for their big celebration parade.
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) – Millennium Park is ready to welcome the Jackie Robinson West All-Stars team, the U.S. Little League champs.
Since the moment the team came home, things have been far from normal for the kids.
FOX 32 caught up with second baseman and pitcher Marquis Jackson, and his family as they prepare for the big parade.
“It’s been busy, busy, busy, that’s it. And I’m not finished yet,” said Linda Sneed, Marquis’ mother.
Sneed caught a small break and had her nails done in between back to school shopping for her sons, which includes Marquis.
Life has changed in the past few weeks for the Jackson family.
“I don’t think normal is going to come until about a week from now, probably. Maybe 2 weeks. Because he has to go to school, they’ve been waiting for him to go back to school, they want to do something for him at the school,” Sneed said.
Big brother Marcellus helped Marquis look for a new pair of shoes. He’s always looking after his younger brother.
“I’m very proud, very proud. Just, hard work it pays off. Long nights of training, me staying on him about school and baseball and just keeping a positive role model, doing as best I can for him,” Marcellus said.
Although Marquis spent the night in his own home, sleep wasn’t much of an option.
“I didn’t really sleep last night. I was up talking to my brother and talking to my next door family across the street. It was a chance to see everybody again,” Marquis said.
His classmates are already back in school. He’s getting ready to join them after one last busy week celebrating the team’s big win.
Marquis said Coach Butler prepared the team for something they won’t forget.
“After this game either you win or you lose, you still have to go home and get back to reality,” Marquis said.
“They don’t really understand the full effect of it yet, but i think they will,” Sneed added.
The team most certainly will see the reach they had, giving hope to a city that is beaming with pride for this historic young team.
Chicago’s Jackie Robinson West All-Stars are not only good at baseball, but also in the T-shirt market.
Crain’s Chicago Business reports more than 4,500 yellow Jackie Robinson West “Great Lakes Champions” T-shirts have been sold since Aug. 10. The Dick’s Sporting Goods location in Chicago’s South Loop is the only retailer selling the item.
Money from T-shirt sales will go to the Jackie Robinson West program. The shirt sells for $20 each. Dick’s officials say the store started with 300 shirts after the team qualified for the World Series tournament. Those sold out in a matter of days. The next shipment of 500 shirts left the shelves in two hours.
Store officials say a shipment of 7,000 Jackie Robinson West All Stars “National Champions” T-shirts were sold out Tuesday. A line formed out the door of the South Loop Dick’s Tuesday morning. Those in line for the shirts say they were inspired by the young team and want to show their Jackie Robinson Pride!
“They were so mannerable. They were the winners, they won for the city of Chicago,” one woman told FOX 32’s Joanie Lum.
Proceeds of the sales will go to the Jackie Robinson West organization.
Televised games last weekend were the most-watched telecasts in the city, with 623,900 viewers Saturday and 810,500 on Sunday.
The city of Chicago will have a homecoming parade for the Jackie Robinson West All-Stars on Wednesday.
The festivities honoring JRW will begin with a rally at 9 a.m. at Jackie Robinson Park on South Morgan Street (10540 South Morgan Park Street). The parade will begin at 10 a.m. with another rally at Millennium Park at 11 a.m.
The parade route is as follows:
· Northbound on Aberdeen to 105th
· East on 105th to Halsted
· Northbound on Halsted from 105th to 35th Street
· Eastbound on 35th Street to Indiana
· Northbound on Indiana to 31st Street
· Merge onto northbound Michigan Ave.
· Northbound on Michigan Ave to Randolph
The city recommends viewing the parade on Halsted Street at 103rd, 95th, 87th, 79th and 63rd streets, as well as US Cellular Field.
Navy Pier’s Wednesday 9:30 p.m. fireworks display will also honor the team.
Bill Haley is director of Jackie Robinson West, which his father founded in the early 1970s. He says the team’s story is not a “fairytale about ducking bullets” but instead a story of family support and players with character who became national champions.
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(Photo/Video Source: Fox 32 News)