- [Umpire] Batter up!
(casual jazz music) - The Anderson Monarchs are an inner city baseball team in south Philadelphia.
We've been together since we were young, some of us since we were three.
We are called the Monarchs after the Kansas City Monarchs, the old Negro League baseball team, and also to commemorate Jackie Robinson and what he did.
- Jackie, he's our main role model as the Monarchs.
We're usually, most the places and tournaments that we go, we're the only African American team.
We're trying to prove to the other teams that, if we have the same opportunity, then we can do the same.
We also have adopted his style of play, like the small ball, and the bunting, and the stealing.
He brought that into the major leagues from the Negro Leagues.
- We don't try to just hit home runs all the time.
Basically just playing how they played, out smarting every other team, and just putting the ball in play.
- There's a lot of strategy going.
You gotta just work together, and you can't put anyone down and leave anyone out.
It's more of a team game than just a single person game.
- [Jahli] And if we're down, we always keep our heads up and keep playing the game.
Win or lose, we're still a team and family.
- [Team] Monarchs!
- We think of Jackie all the time.
We're trying to build on his legacy.
One of the reasons why there's a decline in African Americans in baseball, they're not given the opportunity.
There are very limited programs across the city.
And in the suburbs there are teams with academies and places to train over the winter.
And the kids in the city just aren't getting that.
We have had an opportunity that all kids should get.
- Jackie Robinson is my idol.
He is the reason I love the game.
I've looked up to him, I play his position.
I'm trying to follow in his steps, go to the major leagues.
Personally, myself, I'm like the only girl in the league, so it is connected in certain ways.
When we first started, all the teams, they were like saying, "Oh, it's a girl, it's a girl," because they wouldn't think that I can play with them and be on their level of game.
I just go out and play, and show everyone that not only boys can play this sport, but also girls.
And you shouldn't judge anyone by the way they look and who they are.
You should judge them by how they play.
- If I could ask Jackie Robinson, of course I would ask him, "How could handle the pressure, "how could you take it a long time without snapping?"
If I was in that position, I probably would.
But I think that he wanted other African Americans to play baseball.
- He probably just put everything aside, and just worried about his career.
And knowing that a lot of people wouldn't like him, he just had to go out and play the game he knew how to play.
- [Zion] I think Jackie changed this country by putting African Americans into a position where they can be able to do what they want.
- [Jahli] Jackie broke some barriers for all those African American kids out there.
He gave them goals to set for themselves to go higher and higher and show people what we can do.