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Walter Payton

Walter Payton (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Gwendolyn Brooks, Miami Book Fair Int...

English: Gwendolyn Brooks, Miami Book Fair International, 1985 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


What a pity that the demographers and the news media and the negative news spinners have brought the world of baseball to such a low point. Pity the students at both Walter Payton Prep and Gwendolyn Brooks Prep because the adults have made such poor decisions.

Whether it was lack of judgment in proper scheduling that forced the conflict with exams and the game, or indeed racism and demographics overpowering the fine world of baseball and sportsmanship, whatever the cause, no one can get the story straight. Some say it is racism, others say it was a transportation conflict, and other say it was due to the Payton team members taking AP exams, or in some being suspended from the team – I have heard about every excuse there is to hear and none of them are making sense. The initial story is that parents pulled their kids out of the game due to concerns about safety when in the area of Brooks Prep.

Come on, folks, Brooks is a COLLEGE PREP ACADEMY, with the same high standards as any other college prep school or how else would it earn that rating and accreditation?

The first excuse of the story is most likely the accurate one: that parents pulled their team members out due to “safety” concerns. Well, what does that mean? Suspect number one is race and demographics. Well now, what can they say to Alderman and Manager Beale about that? He is as shocked as anyone else regarding that, and who can blame the Brooks coach for not wanting to ever see Payton’s team on his schedule again? EVER.

Sports is meant to teach other principles besides showing up on time, looking professional in a uniform, coming ready to play, regular exercise and a proper diet, and being part of a team. Good citizenship principles play a major role, aspects such as respecting others, participating in community service, and being trustworthy and accountable, honest and vigilant. Being a member of a baseball team involves all these aspects. You have to be at your position on the field. You have to know how to play that position expertly so that you can catch the ball, throw it to the right person, and keep the other team from scoring. You need to know the pitches, the signs, the proper batting stance, playing conditions… just all kinds of factors in order to put on a good game. But you need to know that respecting the others on your team as well as the opposing team is the critical factor.

I think both Walter Payton and Gwendolyn Brooks would be highly disappointed to see what has happened here.

What then, will be the decision of parents who have their children at Payton Prep? Will some withdraw them from the rolls, as I would if I had kids there and this issue surfaced? Will they continue to keep them at Payton and make them live with the name of a school that has racist overtones and puts a negative spin on what is supposed to be good, clean, healthy fun and sportsmanship? Will parents of the team members withdraw them now?

Makes them think, eh? I hope it does.

Logistics of transportation? Bologna. Anyone can get a van or a carpool together to transport a baseball team to a playing venue. The Payton people cannot pull that one over the eyes of the Brooks folks!

What a pity racism and demographics overpowered the idea of playing a baseball game, something so American and something so basically easy to do.

How sad.


1. Walter Payton College Preparatory High School

2. Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy
250 East 111th Street
Chicago, IL 60628

3. Alderman Anthony Beale Contacts

9th Ward Office:  City Hall Office: 

34 East 112th Place

121 N. LaSalle St 2nd Floor

Chicago, IL 60628

Chicago, IL 60602

Telephone: 773.785.1100

Phone: 312.744.4096


Fax: 312.744.8155