A cool, cloudy day made ideal conditions for the Jackie Robinson Little League in Chester to open its season with a parade starting at the Columbus School and ending at Crozer Park last Saturday and Mayor John Linder threw out the first pitch.
Little League President and Treasurer James Harper said this is the beginning of the league’s ninth season. Nine years ago, he wanted to bring baseball back to the city.
“At one point when I was growing up, there were three leagues,” Harper said. “Now those leagues are defunct.”
Basketball is the popular sport in Chester City now, and the Jackie Robinson Little League wants to promote baseball again. He said the best way for kids to better themselves at baseball is to play a variety of sports.
Harper is also business manager for Laborers Union Local 413 whose members volunteers to keep the field in Crozer Park usable.
The teams of the Jackie Robinson Little League are the Monarchs, Excelsiors, Baby T Reds and Hilldales.
Coach Eric Sadler, of the Baby T Reds and Excelsiors, said basketball is the main focus of Chester right now.
“We need more support for young people to get involved,” Sadler said. “Make it positive for kids.”
The Little League team was inspired by last year’s phenom, Monae Davis, the 12 year-old who made national headlines as a winning Little League pitcher from Philadelphia. She was also the first Little League to have a cover photo on Sports Illustrated. Robert Tiller, a Monarchs coach, said Davis inspired the coaches and players alike. “She’s an inspiration to all the young ladies,” Tiller said.