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Editorial: Thanks, Jackie Robinson West

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT PA - AUGUST 23:  Members GreLakes Team from Chicago Illinois celebrate following their 7-5 wover West Team

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, PA - AUGUST 23: Members of the Great Lakes Team from Chicago, Illinois celebrate following their 7-5 win over the West Team from Las Vegas, Nevada during the United States Championship game of the Little League World Series at Lamade Stadium on August 23, 2014 in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

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Updated: September 26, 2014 1:23PM

Thanks for giving us something to root for, kids.

Thanks for the beautiful baseball. Thanks for showing the Cubs and Sox how it’s done.

Thanks for the hard work and the hustle, the teamwork and the focus.

Thanks for showing so much class in victory Saturday against the kids from Las Vegas, all handshakes and consoling words, no rubbing it in.

That last double play? Pitcher to shortstop to first? That was awesome.

Thanks for putting up with us, the media, as we grasped around for the larger meaning of it all. So many of us in this business are former English majors, hopelessly addicted to symbolism.

Thanks for your forbearance when some of us, especially among the national media unfamiliar with Chicago, wrote that you stood for hope in a place of hopelessness. What a burden to put on a bunch of kids.

As if many of you didn’t come from solid homes and strong communities with long and storied histories, like Chatham and Morgan Park. As if every South Side black child’s story were the same story, the one that ends with parents crying on the evening news.

Thanks for not being little miracles. We like you better the way you are, flesh and blood, your excellence less divine than hard earned, every pitch, hit and catch.

Thanks for reminding us that, for all the bad headlines, Chicago is full of good kids like you, of every color and in every neighborhood. Forgive us for the need to be reminded.

Thanks for your coaches, and for your parents, too.

Thanks for bringing Chicago together.

Thanks for the fun. It ain’t over yet.

You are the United States Little League champions, Jackie Robinson West. Whatever happens Sunday — and we admit to a good feeling about this game against South Korea — you will remember these golden days forever.

May life give you many more.

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