The Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy’s Eagles will take on the Lakeview High School Wildcats in the Chicago Public Schools’ Baseball Championship game on Friday, May 18 at 1 pm, at historic Wrigley Field. Admission to the game is free.
Besides determining the best high school team in Chicago, the nine-inning affair will also settle a “score” between the two local aldermen: Brooks College Prep’s head coach and 9th Ward Alderman Anthony Beale and Lakeview’s 44th Alderman Tom Tunney. Alderman Beale has wagered dozens of Roselawn Old Fashion Doughnuts against Lakeview and Alderman Tunney who is ponying up Ann Sather’s cinnamon buns.
And if there wasn’t already enough on the line Friday afternoon, the game will also be for bragging rights between two schools and neighborhoods. Lakeview High bills itself as “One of Chicago’s most storied high school baseball programs in the greatest baseball neighborhood in the United States,” while Brooks College Prep and Pullman/Roseland are laying the groundwork to challenge Lakeview’s legacy.
Brooks College Prep is led by senior pitcher JP Massey, who is heading to the University of Minnesota in the fall on a baseball scholarship. Earlier this month, Massey and his teammates joined Coach Beale, the Cubs Tom Ricketts, the Bears’ Pat McCaskey and other community partners to celebrate the construction of the new Pullman Community Center. The 135,000 square foot multi-sport complex, expected to be completed in September 2018, will be the largest one of its kind in the region will feature three indoor playing fields for baseball and soccer.
“This represents the most substantial community athletic project of its kind,” said Tom Ricketts, chairman, Chicago Cubs, one of the more than dozen sponsors of the project. “This facility will inject new life into the game of baseball and it is my hope we will have future All-Stars come out of this facility to make a Major League roster one day.”
Alderman Beale concurs. “The Pullman Community Center will provide a safe environment where people of all ages, especially young people, can go to develop the skills that will help them throughout their lives, regardless if they ever play sports professionally,” said Beale.