MINNEAPOLIS -- Torii Hunter has been a little busy this weekend, but he has tried to follow Chicago's run through the Little League World Series. He has already lent his support.
As the Jackie Robinson West Little League team readied for Sunday's championship game against South Korea, it had family and friends cheering the players on from the stands in Williamsport, Pa. Hunter was part of a group of Major League players who donated money to help send families to the series and provide food and lodging.
"Those kids are excited because their families are there," Hunter said. "Think if their families couldn't afford to get there. They'd have no support. Nobody screaming for them, nobody yelling for them."
Hunter can't be there, and with four games in 48 hours, he had his own series to worry about. Still, he has tried to follow as closely as he can.
"I watch the highlights, see what they're doing. I'm excited, man," he said. "It's cool because, that's kind of what I want. I want to get some of these African-American kids back in the game, involved in the game. The game is great."
No matter what happens in the final, Hunter said, he hopes their success is an example for kids to get into baseball.
"I'm just glad they did it, and hopefully little kids are watching and thinking I want to do that one day, and we get more African-American kids playing the game," he said.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.