At a big screen viewing party in Chicago, fans of The Jackie Robinson West Little League team celebrate a victory during the first round of the Little League World Series being played in South Williamsport, Pa., Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Sun-Times Media, Michael Schmidt)
Photo: Michael Schmidt
Photo: Michael Schmidt

Uptons help send Little League parents to World Series

CINCINNATI — The Braves’ Upton brothers, outfielders Justin and B.J., helped assure that a group of Chicago Little League parents would be able to see their kids play in this week’s Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

The Uptons, along with fellow major leaguers Latroy Hawkins, Torii Hunter and Wesley Wright, contributed $20,000 to help send the parents of the Jackie Robinson West Little League team to the World Series. Hawkins organized the effort by the five players, who are all represented by the same agent, Reynolds Sports.

Little League covers the travel expenses for players and three coaches to the World Series, but not families.

Jackie Robinson West beat Philadelphia 6-5 on Thursday in a game between inner-city teams at Williamsport. Philadelphia featured phenom Mo’ne Davis, the girl who this week became the first Little Leaguer ever featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

She didn’t pitch in the game against Jackie Robinson West, but played some at first base and third base.

The Chicago team will play Las Vegas in the U.S. title game on Saturday, with the winner advancing to play the international winner for the overall title. Jackie Robinson West is a powerhouse program in Illinois, but this is their first appearance in the Little League World Series in 31 years.

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