Chicago Little League Team Stripped Of Title

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Jackie Robinson West must vacate its wins from the Little League World Series and forfeit its U.S. championship, Little League Baseball announced this morning, after an investigation determined that the team used players from outside its geographic area.

From the report:

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.


That would seem to confirm a December story from DNAInfo, which reported that Jackie Robinson West unilaterally expanded its boundaries to swallow sections of three neighboring leagues, without those leagues' permissions.

The title now goes to Las Vegas, which was beaten by Chicago in the U.S. championship game. Chicago went on to lose to a team from Seoul, South Korea in the international final.

Jackie Robinson West captured fans' attention with their aggressive play, and by being the first Chicago team to represent America in 31 years, and the first team ever made up entirely of African-American kids. But soon after their LLWS run—and their fêting in a parade that stretched from the South Side to the Loop—the president of a rival Little League filed a complaint claiming multiple players lived outside its boundaries.


A senior Little League executive was dismissive of the allegation at the time, saying JRW's administrators provided satisfactory answers for the anomalies. It's not clear what changed, and today's statement from Little League provides no details.