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Chicago’s Little League champs return as heroes

Chicago’s Little League champs return as heroes

LITTLE LEAGUE, BIG TIME: In this Aug. 23 photo, Chicago’s Ed Howard celebrates after his team won 7-5 over Las Vegas to win the U.S. final baseball game at the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pa. Chicago's beloved Little League champions, will be feted Wednesday, Aug. 27 with their own parade. Then they will assume their new roles in the city as models, off the field as well as on, for how to keep vulnerable kids out of trouble. Photo: Associated Press/Matt Slocum

DON BABWIN, Associated Press
CARLA K. JOHNSON, Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago’s beloved Little League champions are getting their own parade, from their ballpark on the city’s South Side to Millennium Park downtown.

The Jackie Robinson West All Stars, Chicago’s first all-black team to claim the U.S. title, have united the city.

Televised games last weekend were the most-watched telecasts in the city, with 623,900 viewers Saturday and 810,500 on Sunday.

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel organized all-city watch parties.

Fans lined up Tuesday to buy 7,000 team T-shirts at a South Loop sporting goods store ahead of Wednesday’s parade.

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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