Chicago's Little League World Series team gets more TV viewers than Cubs, White Sox

Mike Oz
August 15, 2014
Chicago's Jackie Robinson West creating LLWS buzz
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Chicago's Pierce Jones, center, celebrates with teammates after hitting a two-run home run off Lynnwood, Washington pitcher Logan Kruse during the third inning of a Little League baseball game in United States pool play at the Little League World Series tournament in South Williamsport, Pa., Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014. Pierce hit three home runs and a triple to lead Chicago to a 12-2 win. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

The kids from the Jackie Robinson West league in Chicago have already established themselves as the Little League World Series darlings of 2014. They're getting nationwide attention based on demographics alone — they're an all-black team from Chicago's Morgan Park neighborhood.

MLB is happy, because it's worked for years to make the game more popular with young black kids through its Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities program. Big leaguers such as LaTroy Hawkins, B.J. and Justin Upton and Carl Crawford have lent financial support to the Jackie Robinson West team, including help with travel costs to Williamsport, Penn., where the Little League World Series is held.

The national story is nice and could continue to grow, but here's a great factoid from the Chicago community about just how much the city is behind the Jackie Robinson West team: Its Thursday night game on ESPN got a rating of 2.4 in Chicago, which is better than both the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox.

The Chicago Tribune reports the Cubs are averaging a 1.5 rating this season, while the White Sox pull a 1.4. All hail the kids of Chicago! And we're not talking about Javier Baez.

Jackie Robinson West so far has given its fans a number of reasons to watch. The team clobbered its opponent Thursday, Northwest champion Lynnwood Pacific, representing Washington state, by the score of 12-2. Jackie Robinson West leadoff man Pierce Jones (awesome name!) was 4-for-4 with three homers and a triple.

(New York Post)
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(New York Post)

The team also includes Trey Hondras, who told ESPN he likes to talk to girls before games for good luck. From the sound of things, there are plenty of girls back in Chicago who would be happy to talk to Trey and his teammates.

The youngsters from Jackie Robinson West play again at 2 p.m. ET Sunday against the Little League World Series team from Las Vegas. Because you're wondering: The Cubs play at 1:10 p.m. ET on Sunday, while the White Sox play at 2:10 p.m. ET. 

Guess we'll see which Chicago team wins head-to-head in the ratings.

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Mike Oz is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!