The 1980s saw the rise of the Jackie Robinson West LL of Chicago's south side. After making its first state tournament appearance in 1979 -- JRW lost in the opening round of the single-elimination tournament -- Jackie Robinson West returned to the state tournament seven times in the 1980s. Three Jackie Robinson West squads won state titles, and the 1983-1984 state titlists made JRW the first Illinois league ever to win consecutive state titles in the major baseball division. Jackie Robinson West's 1983 edition placed fifth in the World Series, while the other two state championship teams both finished second in the Central Region tournament.
Jackie Robinson West wasn't the only success story in the 1980s. Barrington's 1981 team, led by future major league catcher Dan Wilson, came out of the loser's bracket to win the state tournament and eventually finished third at the World Series. Norridge's 1986 state champions also won the Central Region tournament and advanced to the World Series.
Joliet Belmont duplicated JRW's back-to-back crowns when they beat JRW twice at the Chicago club's Mount Vernon Park diamond to win the 1989 state tournament.
Select a year to see details from that year's state tournament.
State Champions of the 1980s
1989 - Joliet Belmont
1988 - Joliet Belmont
1987 - Chicago Jackie Robinson West
1986 - Norridge
1985 - Milan
1984 - Chicago Jackie Robinson West
1983 - Chicago Jackie Robinson West
1982 - Naperville American
1981 - Barrington
1980 - Lockport
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Last revision: 02/20/2002