The little league baseball team that won the Little League World Series United States Championship last year was stripped of the wins leading up to, and the championship itself as a result of the team having players on the team who lived outside of the geographical location that the team represents.
Darold Butler, who managed the team, has been suspended from all little league activity, while the Illinois District 4 director has been removed from his position. Both punishments are results of using a falsified map in order to recruit players from other districts effectively forming a super team. The US Championship has been awarded to Mountain Ridge Little League from Las Vegas Nevada.
“Quite honestly, we had to do this,” Little League International president and CEO Stephen D. Keener told ESPN on Wednesday. “We had no choice. We had to maintain the integrity of the Little League program. … As painful as this is, it’s a necessary outcome from what we finally have been able to confirm.”
“The real troubling part of this is that we feel horribly for the kids who are involved with this. Certainly, no one should cast any blame, any aspersions on the children who participated on this team. To the best of our knowledge, they had no knowledge that they were doing anything wrong. They were just kids out playing baseball, which is the way it should be. They were celebrated for that by many, many organizations, many people. What we’re most concerned about today is that it’s going to be hard on these kids. And that’s the part that breaks your heart.”
The results of this are definitely unfortunate for the kids. Even the White House, where the Chicago team had gone to be congratulated by President Obama, released a statement of sadness for the kids involved on the team, as they had no part in the tampering that occurred.