The boys in gray-and-yellow uniforms are chanting, soaking up the mayhem on a sticky sweet summer night at Hotchkiss Field on Brookland Park Boulevard, in the city’s North Side. The hanging faces and tears have evaporated, the cruel justice of the men in blue a distant memory. The weight of the night, the pressure of a championship game, the screaming and fussing from parents and grandparents, has lifted. Dozens of people line the fence and dugout, their fingers curling through the chain links, while the Mosby Spartans, ages 8 through 10, huddle on the edge of the outfield near third base.
Summer Little League is hardly remarkable. It’s near impossible not to run into boys in polyester pants and cleats on nights like this — in the parks, at the McDonald’s, at the corner gas station, the grocery store. The inner city, however, is different. Somewhere along the way baseball lost its place, gave way to basketball and football, dreams of becoming the next Kobe, the next T.O. But there’s a buzz at Hotchkiss, an understanding that something bigger has taken hold on this particular June night.
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