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Report: Neighboring league accuses Jackie Robinson West for using ineligible players

Jackie Robinson West Little League Team rally in Millennium Park at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 | Al Podgorski / Sun-Times Media

A report from Chicago alleges that the Jackie Robinson West Little League team, which rose to prominence after winning the Little League national championship this past summer, used ineligible players.

A neighboring south suburban league in Evergreen Park, which the Jackie Robinson West team beat 43-3 in the section playoffs (a part of qualifying for the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Penn.), accused the Morgan Park-based league of using suburban players to form its team.

Little League Baseball plans to issue the following statement today:

“Little League International is confident that the documentation provided to the organization from Jackie Robinson West Little League meets the residency regulations for the 2014 Little League Baseball tournament season. Little League International confirmed documentation at the beginning of the tournament play in June. In October, a neighboring league contacted Little League International with information with questions about players’ residency on the Jackie Robinson West team that participated in the 2014 Little League Baseball World Series. Little League again reviewed the Jackie Robinson West documents and required the league to provide further information on each player to confirm residency eligibility. Following this additional review, our initial determination that the Jackie Robinson West players meet eligibility requirements still stands. Little League considers the issue closed at this time.”

Little League rules state that players must live or attend school within the established boundaries of the individual league. The Evergreen Park Little League submitted documentation to Little League International which launched an investigation. According to the report, Jackie Robinson West complied with Little League International’s request for the Morgan Park-based team to supply additional documentation. Jackie Robinson West officials complied and, so far, Little League International has sided with the team.


Twitter: @SethGruen