From the original story that revealed a simmering boundary dispute to the bombshell decision to strip the Jackie Robinson West Little League team of its national title, here is DNAinfo's coverage of the scandal and its aftermath.
Jackie Robinson West Broke Residency Rules, Suburban Coach Alleges (Dec. 16) DNAinfo Chicago's Mark Konkol reports that a suburban league has asked Little League International to review the eligibility of the players, arguing that public accolades offered to the players after the U.S. title exposed many didn't live in the narrow South Side boundaries from where the team is supposed to draw. Read more here.
Coach Who Claims Jackie Robinson West Cheated Has No Regrets (Dec. 17) Despite being heavily criticized on social media, the Evergreen Park coach who alleged Jackie Robinson West players appear to live outside the boundaries says he stands by his decision for the good of all leagues trying to compete. Read more here.
Jackie Robinson West Secretly Changed Boundaries to Add Star Players, Sources Say (Dec. 23) DNAinfo Chicago reports that Jackie Robinson West officials secretly expanded the league's boundaries to grab star players, encroaching on territories belonging to neighboring South Side leagues. And sources tell Konkol that the other leagues didn't sign off, as was required. Read more here.
Jackie Robinson West Sister League Official Calls for an Investigation (Dec. 31) Ricardo Coleman, a top official in a neighboring little league, says his league wasn't told that Jackie Robinson West officials had taken some of his territory for its boundaries, becoming the first league official to speak out publicly. Read more here.
Little League to Come Here to Hear About Jackie Robinson West Boundary Flap (Jan. 29) Little League officials decide to come to Chicago to hear from top officials of the neighboring leagues who lost territory to Jackie Robinson West. Read more here.
Closed-Door Meetings Over Jackie Robinson West Boundary Flap Get Heated (Feb. 3) The closed-door meetings, held at the Chicago Hilton on South Michigan Avenue, get heated. Little League International investigators are told that after Jackie Robinson West won the U.S. championship, JRW officials tried, unsuccessfully, to get sister leagues to agree to the boundary changes already filed with International without their permission. Read more here.
Firefighter Involved in Jackie Robinson West Map Flap Quits as Brooks Coach (Feb. 6) Michael Kelley, the Little League District 4 president who signed off on changes to the Jackie Robinson West boundaries, resigns from his part-time job as softball coach at Gwendolyn Brooks College Prep. Read more here.
Jackie Robinson West Should be Stripped of Title, Las Vegas Team Says (Feb. 9) The top official for the Las Vegas team defeated by Jackie Robinson West for the U.S. championship tells DNAinfo Chicago that the title should be stripped from JRW. Read more here.
Jackie Robinson West Decision Could Come Wednesday (Feb. 10) Little League International's charter committee meets to review findings into allegations of cheating by Jackie Robinson West. Read more here.
Jackie Robinson West Stripped of Title in Scandal (Feb. 11) Little League International strips the title and suspends coach Darold Butler and District Administrator Michael Kelley. The title is awarded to the runner up from Las Vegas.
Little League's Official Statement on Jackie Robinson West (Feb. 11) Little League officials rule officials secretly changed the boundaries, and then tried to get other leagues to sign off after the fact.
Jackie Robinson West Parents 'Totally Blindsided'; Jesse Jackson Cites Race (Feb. 11) Jesse Jackson and the Rev. Michael Pfleger claim race must be involved in the decision to penalize the team.
Jackie Robinson West Saga 'A Dirty Deal' By Adults, White House Says (Feb. 11) The White House weighs in.
Coach Who Challenged Jackie Robinson West Maps Gets Death Threats (Feb. 11) Chris Janes, who first challenged the eligibility of players, gets threats in the hours after the decision to strip Jackie Robinson West is revealed.
Jackie Robinson West Whistleblower Gets Extra Police Attention Amid Threats (Feb. 12) Chicago Police are told to keep an eye out for Janes, who questions the race claims of Jackson and Pfleger.
What Happens to the $200,000 Donated to Jackie Robinson West? (Feb. 12) It's unclear what will happen to the more than $200,000 in donations that poured in for the South Side league after its title run.
Jackie Robinson West Hires Attorney Who Says: 'They Are Still Champions' (Feb. 12) Team officials hire a attorney, who says he need to study the issue before deciding whether a lawsuit should be filed.
Jackie Robinson West Whistleblower Faces DePaul Ethics Class (Feb. 18) Chris Janes, the Evergreen Park Little League coach who filed the first formal complaint against Jackie Robinson West's boundary discrepancies, addresses a DePaul University ethics class, where he says he "had no idea" the backlash over his whistleblowing "could be this bad."
Jackie Robinson West Whistleblower Arrested for Assault (Mar. 3) Evergreen Park coach Chris Janes is arrested on misdemeanor charges after he claims he drunkenly attempted to enter a neighbor’s house by mistake, and later struggled with responding police officers.
Did Neighbor Leagues Get Unfairly Punished for Jackie Robinson West's Sins? (Mar. 17) Ald. Anthony Beale (9th) pushes back against Little League International's decision to dissolve the six-team district on the South Side.
Washington Post: Little League Says Jackie Robinson West Admitted Cheating (Apr. 3) Little League CEO Stephen Keener tells the Washington Post that Jackie Robinson West leader Bill Haley admitted his league filed a bogus, backdated boundary map in an attempt to cover up cheating allegations. A spokesman for Haley denied the claim.
Jackie Robinson West Spokesman Cites 'Racial Tension' in Evergreen Park; Mayor Says No Way (Apr. 3) A Jackie Robinson West spokesman says Evergreen Park, home of the team that blew the whistle on boundary changes, is "perceived as Anti-African American" in Chicago. Evergreen Park's Mayor calls the allegations a "diversion."
Jackie Robinson West Won't Play In Little League This Season, Sources Say (Apr. 22) Early reports indicate Jackie Robinson West will join a competing league after Little League International stripped the team of their title and disbanded their district.
DNAinfo Chicago Wins Three Local Media Awards (May 8) DNAinfo Chicago's coverage of the Jackie Robinson West Little League Scandal wins Best Investigative/Public Service reporting award at the Peter J. Lisagor journalism awards.
Jackie Robinson West Set For First Opening Day Since Little League Divorce (May 15) After being stripped of their national title and leaving Little League International, Jackie Robinson West kicks off a two-day season-opening celebration after joining the Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken league.
JRW Preps for Season Under New League, Parents Hope for 'New Beginning' (May 16) South Side parents say the transition from Little League International to the Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken league has been easy for their kids.
Jackie Robinson West Celebrates New Season, New League at Opening Day (May 17) Parents of kids in disbanded Little League District 4 call their first day with the Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken league "a wonderful beginning for great things to come."
Jackie Robinson West Replaces Little League With Babe Ruth 'Real Baseball' (May 18) Jackie Robinson West players say they prefer the different set of rules used by Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken to the game structure in Little League International. Notable differences include longer distances between bases and the ability for kids to take leadoffs.
Jackie Robinson West Files Legal Action to Regain Title (Jun. 24) Officials with Jackie Robinson West file legal action demanding that Little League provide information explaining how they discovered where players lived and who gave them that information. The filing also questions whether Little League International followed proper protocol with its investigation.
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