It's been 31 years since the Jackie Robinson West All-Stars last made it to the Little League World Series. This afternoon, the 13 players from Chicago's far South Side made the most of the moment.
They made it to the Little League World Series final game by winning five games over 10 days, including yesterday's come from behind win over hard-hitting Mountain Ridge from Las Vegas. Today they came up short, losing to South Korea 8-4.
In Chicago, 620 miles away, the cheers were the loudest. Watch parties were held throughout the city.
"They've done something historical that will go down for as long as we can remember," said one fan there.
The team's success has overshadowed the violence back home. Just this weekend there have been 24 shootings in the city, at least half of them on the city's South Side.
Marquis Jackson, 12, lost his cousin to gun violence. He says he and his teammates are determined to show the good in his community.
"We are doing the right thing to make it, to make people look at it a different way," Jackson said. "South Side Chicago is not all shooting. It's African American kids coming to do the right thing, too."
"It's a sad situation for the kids and it's sad to have, you know, every last one of them maybe losing someone they were close to in one way shape or form," said Darold Butler, the team manager. "It's a sad situation but it's a reality."
For a few hours, it's a reality these young men could forget as the umpires say, "play ball."
"You know, it's a talented group of guys," Butler continued. "They love the game of baseball. You know, why not us? Why not go as hard as we can go and win as many games as we can?"
The Jackie Robinson All-Stars have been on the road for three weeks. They will be welcomed home to Chicago with a parade.