As the Los Angeles Dodgers were working to maintain their lead in the National League West division during August, Carl Crawford and some of his teammates were also keeping track of the Little League World Series.
Crawford became involved with Jackie Robinson West, an all-black Little League team based out of Chicago that won the U.S. Little League championship. The team, which Crawford backed financially dating back to 2013, fell to South Korea in the Little League World Series championship game, will be hosted by the Dodgers Saturday.
Saturday will be a busy day for the youth team as they’ll take a tour of Hollywood before stopping for lunch and eventually making their way to Dodger Stadium for their own batting practice. Stan Kasten, Dodgers’ President and CEO, said the organization is proud of the team Crawford connected with:
We are extremely proud of the accomplishments of the Jackie Robinson West team and the manner in which they are upholding Dodger great Jackie Robinson’s namesake. We wanted to take this opportunity to extend our hospitality to them as a reward for all their hard work and team spirit. Organizations like Little League Baseball are at the core of our sport and it was a joy to follow the tremendous success they achieved this summer.”
En route to reaching the title game, the Jackie Robinson West team avoided elimination by defeating Pennsylvania, who boasted pitching sensation Mo’Ne Davis. Crawford said his involvement with the team was a byproduct of identifying with them and the memories it evoked from his days in the RBI program.
Among some of the other recognition the Jackie Robinson team has received includes a parade upon returning to Chicago and being honored prior to a Chicago White Sox game.