Most major league ballplayers are involved in some type of philanthropy as their way of giving back to the community and be a positive role model.
For over a year now, Los Angeles Dodgers left fielder Carl Crawford has funded a Jackie Robinson West Little League in Chicago. The 11-12 year old All-Star team from that Little League recently won their region to advance to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
According to Doug Padilla of ESPN Chicago, Crawford saw the team last year and that’s where the connection began:
Yeah, I just saw them on TV last year,” Crawford said. “I just called to see if they needed anything, and I come to find out they needed a little help, so I just tried to help where I could. I’ve been rooting for them all year.”
Last year’s team lost in the regional final and fought back to break through this year. While Crawford has no ties to Chicago or the actual Little League, he has been following them throughout their run this summer. He said that the team reminded him of his Little League team from Houston as a child.
Crawford was keeping quiet on the subject in hopes of not jinxing the moment:
It feels good,” Crawford said. “I didn’t want to talk about it really until they won because last year they got to this point and they lost right at the end. We’re hoping they can go all the way.”
The team will begin play this week in Williamsport and their story with Crawford will likely draw some attention, although the Dodger outfielder has yet to meet the players from the team. Crawford and the Dodgers visit Chicago towards the end of September and the hopes are that the team can be there for that series.
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