Little League to discuss whether Chicago champs broke rules

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 10, 2015 4:23 PM

By Mary Wisniewski

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Little League International officials on Tuesday will meet to discuss whether a youth baseball team from Chicago, whose U.S. championship brought pride to the city, may have violated residency rules by adding suburban players.

The Jackie Robinson West team of African-American 11- and 12-year-olds from Chicago's South Side last summer beat a team from Las Vegas, Nevada, to become the top U.S. team in the World Series, but lost the international final to South Korea.

Late last year, an official from a suburban Chicago league alleged that some of Jackie Robinson West's players lived in suburbs outside of the team's boundaries, according to Chicago.

"Little League International is in the final stages of reviewing all information relating to the concerns raised in Illinois District 4," said Brian McClintock, Little League spokesman, in an e-mail.

He said Little League's charter committee will meet on Tuesday in Williamsport, Pennsylvania to discuss possible resolutions, and a final decision would be made "shortly." He did not give a time, or say whether the team could lose its title.

The nation's third-largest city, which has been troubled by violence and budget problems, exploded with cheer over the team's success. The team received a downtown rally and other honors, including a visit to the White House.

A representative for Jackie Robinson West was not immediately available for comment. The team was named for the player who broke the color barrier in the major leagues in the 1940s.

(Editing by Eric Walsh)