John Kass

We watched you play under pressure, watching you refuse to give up or to crack or act foolish. And each and every one of you showed the world what you and your parents are made of. This is what made us proud of you.

Not just the winning. But that your families had given you the proper foundation to grow and become men.

Since you're champions, which means you're highly competitive, some of you will wake up with a nightmare about that last game. And some of you will cringe when an adult says something positive about the loss, saying it kindly, in one of those singsong voices as if we were talking to a baby. But you're not babies. You're ballplayers.

And if any of you think you let Chicago and the rest of the country down, think again. You were exactly what the rest of us needed. You lifted us up.

Jackie Robinson West All-Stars, and your moms and dads, your grandparents, your coaches, everyone associated with the program:

Thank you.

You make us proud.