JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT THE STORY WAS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE … IT WAS.
The Little League feel good story of this past summer turns out to be another hoax and scandal. The Jackie Robinson West team, the first all-African-American team to win the US championship, has been stripped the U.S. championship. As reported at WGN9 Little League International has stripped Chicago’s Jackie Robinson West of its national title after finding the team falsified its boundary map.
The league made the announcement Wednesday morning, saying the Chicago team violated regulations by placing players on the team who didn’t qualify because they lived outside the team’s boundaries. Little League International also suspended Jackie Robinson West manager Darold Butler from league activity.
The announcement comes after an investigation that started when a suburban coach alleged the Jackie Robinson West team violated rules by poaching top players from nearby suburbs.
Little League had said in December that an investigation into the Chicago team found no violations.
Jackie Robinson West’s championship run captured the attention of the nation and turned the all-black team into heroes in their hometown.
Little League Baseball has stripped the U.S. championship from the Chicago-based Jackie Robinson West team and has suspended the coach for violating a rule prohibiting the use of players who live outside the geographic area that the team represents, it was announced Wednesday.
The Jackie Robinson West team, the first all-African-American team to win the championship, must vacate wins from the 2014 Little League Baseball International Tournament — including its Great Lakes Regional and United States championships.
The team’s manager, Darold Butler, has been suspended from Little League activity, and Illinois District 4 Administrator Michael Kelly has been removed from his position.
The organization found that the Jackie Robinson team used a falsified boundary map, and that team officials met with neighboring Little League districts in Illinois to claim players and build what amounts to a superteam.
As a result, the United States championship has been awarded to Mountain Ridge Little League from Las Vegas.