SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - The Little League World Series is a long way from the streets of Chicago, in more ways than one. But that's where one top team learned about baseball and the game of life.
With powerhouse hitting, the Jackie Robinson West All-Stars won their first game on Little League's biggest stage.
Twelve-year-old second baseman Marquis Jackson says the violence of Chicago's Southside motivated the team get to Williamsport, Pa.
"I had a cousin Andre. He got shot when he was coming off the bus. It affected me a little bit, but it just drive to me work harder."
The game is their sanctuary.
Tammy King's son, Eddie Junior, is the team's youngest player at just 11-years-old.
"When they are on the field for baseball, they don't have to worry about their environment in terms of being safe. But they are playing the game of baseball so they don't need to think about the negative things ... It brings back hope, not only to the teammates, but then to those other children that are looking forward to seeing what can they do," says King
King and her husband, Eddie, are nurturing their son's interest in baseball. They've been to every road game for the past two weeks.
"As I looked around the stands everyone else was emotional ... And something positive coming from Chicago. Great," said King.
All 13 players have at least one parent watching in the stands. This is made possible by $20,000 in donations from fans.
"I'm having a lot of fun. I mean, we woke up, ate breakfast and talked to the Australian kids a little bit. The Australian kids are really funny," says Jackson.
Twelve-year-old DJ Butler plays center field and believes they can win.
"They are like my brothers. Because of our relationship together and how we love the game so much," says Butler.
A family whose bonds extend way beyond baseball.