Jackie Robinson West stripped of U.S. Little League World Series Title
Jackie Robinson West won the 2014 Little League World Series. Or did they? The Chicago-based team was stripped of its U.S. championship title on Wednesday for falsifying the boundary map, allowing players from outside its geographic area to play for the team and essentially building what could be considered a “super team.”
The investigation began when a suburban coach made allegations that the team had recruited top players from his area and continued when it was found that league officials had gone around to surrounding leagues convincing them to go along with the boundary changes.
Unfortunately, it’s the kids that are having to take the real loss. The first all African-American team to win the LLWS was stripped of all the titles won during the 2014 tournament, including it’s Great Lakes Regional Title along with its U.S. Title.
The team’s manager, Darold Butler, has been suspended from all Little League activities and the Illinois Administrator from District 4, Michael Kelly, has been removed from his position.
Little League International CEO Stephen Keener said in a statement,
“For more than 75 years, Little League has been an organization where fair play is valued over the importance of wins and losses. This is a heartbreaking decision. What these players accomplished on the field and the memories and lessons they have learned during the Little League World Series tournament is something the kids can be proud of, but it is unfortunate that the actions of adults have led to this outcome.”
It is heartbreaking, extraordinarily so, that the adults’ self worth was so tied to winning through their children that they had to cheat and cost every player in the LLWS a chance to fairly compete!
It’s also important to note that the actions of these adults bring to light some glaring questions. One being, what is wrong with these people?!? And the second biggest question, could Mo’ne Davis and the Taney Dragons who were eliminated by Jackie Robinson West by a single run, just two wins away from the U.S. Title, actually been champions?
The trophy was awarded to Mountain Ridge Little League of Las Vegas, the team that the Dragons would have gone on to play had they defeated Jackie Robinson West, and rightly so. But it still leaves those, pretty much everyone on the planet, who were captivated by the play of Mo’ne Davis and her Philadelphia-based team wondering, “what if?”
It’s a sad moment for Little League Baseball internationally, for the United States and for the fans. For more on the deceptive practices used by the manager of Jackie Robinson West and Illinois Little League Officials as well as more information on Mo’ne Davis and the Taney Dragons, read my official post on Baseball Hot Corner via the link below: