ENGLEWOOD — Sammya Ellis wants girls to know they can do anything boys can do.
The athletic 12-year-old plays basketball, soccer and now baseball.
When Sammya joined the Englewood Police/Youth Baseball League that kicked off in mid-May, she had never played baseball, but wanted to join because she likes sports, she said.
The new league has six teams, all based in the neighborhood and coached by a police officer, as part of a summer community-building initiative. All practices and games are held at the park at Hamilton Park Cultural Center, 513 W. 72nd St. More than 100 kids are registered.
“I like it. I was surprised I could even hit the ball,” Sammya said.
There are other girls in the league, but they are outnumbered, and Sammya said one boy on the team already has questioned her playing ability based on her gender.
“[I was] told girls can’t play baseball, but I said, 'I can do anything you can do,'” she said.
Her message to other girls: “If you really want to go for something and be ambitious for baseball, or any other kind of sport, you can do it,” Sammya said.
“Don’t let anybody criticize you, because if you want to do it, and you believe you know you can do it, well you should just do it,” she said.
The season runs from through Aug. 15.
Sponsors include Get IN Chicago, the Chicago Police Department, Teamwork Englewood and the Chicago Park District. There was no registration fee, and equipment and uniforms were provided.
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