Jackie Robinson West, the championship Chicago baseball team, is cutting ties with the Little League to join the Babe Ruth League, reports the Chicago Tribune.
The move comes after the team was stripped of its Little League World Series U.S. title in February after team leaders were accused of breaking rules to allow players from outside district boundaries to compete on the JRW championship squad, the report says.
The South Side youth team will play this season in the Cal Ripken Division of the Babe Ruth League, a team spokesman tells the Tribune, although it will maintain its Little League charter.
“It’s largely based on the disregard and disrespect shown by Little League that had a 43-year-old relationship with Jackie Robinson West,” spokesman Glenn Harston said of the team’s decision to leave Little League.
He said Little League never had a conversation with team officials about its redistricting plans after the scandal erupted following cheating accusations. Harston said Ruth-Ripken organization’s districting does not follow the same borderlines as Little League but the JRW team would be able to remain together.
Good luck to Jackie Robinson West in its new league.