The international champion trumped the U.S. team for the third year in a row, with Seoul defeating the Chicago-based Jackie Robinson West.
The Little League World Series came to a close this past Sunday with the team from Seoul taking home the championship. The international, and now overall, winner defeated Jackie Robinson West, the team representing the Great Lakes Region, 8-4 in Sunday’s finale.
The game was close for the most part; Seoul led 2-1 after the third and 4-1 heading into the final inning, but a 4 run top of the sixth broke the game open for the South Koreans. Jackie Robinson West tried for a comeback in the bottom of the sixth, but the final out was recorded after just 3 runs crossed the plate. The Chicago-based club was held to just 2 hits through the first 5 innings.
This is the first championship for a South Korean team since 1985. An American Team hasn’t won since 2011 when a group from Hunting Beach, California won the title, as teams hailing from Tokyo prevailed in the past 2 tournaments. Seoul dominated the Little League World Series, going 5-0 and averaging more than 8 runs per game.
All in all it was an interesting tournament, featuring a few prominent story lines. My favorite was the success of Mo’ne Davis, the 13 year old girl who pitched for the Taney Dragons out of Philly and threw the first ever shutout by a girl. Her team finished 3rd in the U.S. division. Many are also discussing the success of Major League Baseball’s urban initiative which is designed to promote little league in needy urban areas. The percentage of African Americans in the MLB has been declining over the past 30 years, and the U.S. championship for a team from the South side of Chicago which is heavily supported by the initiative marked the first time a team comprised of all African-Americans won the American championship.
It was an exciting couple of weeks of little league baseball, but now the talented 12 and 13 year olds must head back to school, many of whom missed the first week or so with the fabulous excuse that they were playing baseball on ESPN.
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