Digging In: Little League Baseball Has Big-League Issues
February 20, 2015
By Sean Duncan
Sandwiched at the top of the national nightly news last week, the Jackie Robinson West Little League “scandal” held company with the latest ISIS atrocity, the United States evacuating its embassy in Yemen because of imminent danger from rebels, and the record-breaking snowfall that continues to cripple the Northeast.
That is crazy.
Indeed, the Jackie Robinson West team captured the attention of the nation when a group of incredibly talented players from the South Side of Chicago won the U.S. Championship before falling to South Korea in the World Championship game. So celebrated were the accomplishments of these 12-year-olds that a parade was held in the heart of Chicago, hundreds of thousands of dollars of Jackie Robinson West gear was sold and, ultimately, their whirlwind tour led them to the White House, where President Obama took time away from dealing with the tumults in the Middle East, the growing tensions in Russia and fundraising to pose for pictures with the team.
Then the “scandal” broke, and the collective egg slowly leaked down the face of the nation. By now you likely know that the Jackie Robinson West team had its U.S. championship stripped for violating a rule prohibiting the use of players who live outside the geographic area that the team represents. In other words, they were playing with ringers; several of the players lived outside the south side of Chicago in the suburbs ...