I liken the hoax pulled by the ADULTS, behind the Chicago JACKIE ROBINSON WEST, LITTLE LEAGUE SCAM, as a form of child abuse.
It is a shame when ADULTS, place their own pride, if you can call it that. Let’s say it is a shame when ADULTS, place their DESIRES, above the ideals founded behind something as noble as LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL. These ideals have been a long time basis for children to compete, and have fun all over the USA, as well as other countries. The sense of playing a game you love. Playing all out to overcome your opponent and get the “W”. But also enjoying the competition if you happen to get the “L”.
Let me interject here. The one thing I hate in Sports is the word LOST. Few players are losers. Losers don’t leave all they have on the field of play. So it is one thing to get BEAT. Which means you gave it all you had, you just got out played. If you are a loser you know it, and you have to live with it. But if you get BEAT; keep your head up. Nothing to be ashamed of .
Somewhere in the case of the Chicago Little League Organization, The adult leaders of this scam became lost. I don’t know if it was a money thing, (hoping to bring their area to the forefront, and amass some kind of new income for the area. Maybe their thinking was to gain some publicity for the program and maybe gain more backing for the area’s Little League Organization. I just don’t know what their thinking was.
What I do know is the result was a big BLACK EYE for Chicago, Little League, and YES even our hero JACKIE ROBINSON. What a tragedy for all.
But the biggest loss of all was the lain on the KIDS.
The Kids who, I am sure were unaware of the way the the Adults behind the scam were using them. All the kids were good players, and seemed to be good sportsmen, (you always have one or two who, although truly good sports will let their exuberance get out of hand and appear to have a bad effect. You have this in all walks of life and at any age. But truly good sports regret it if they see it). I feel these kids most likely feel betrayed, by their adult leaders. Now instead of the adulation of many, these children will most likely feel the scorn, for the ACTIONS of the adults involved. Will those Adults? Most likely not. They will shed it like water off a ducks back. My Message to those kids, is BE BIGGER THAN THOSE adults. Learn from their mistakes and don’t repeat them. You were used as a tool for the EGOS of your Adult leaders. You will all be grown, and no one will think about your participation, only that there was a wonder team assembled, but by unscrupulous men.
To the team who fell victim to the ruse. All I can say is I’m Sorry. We will never know if any one of the teams knocked out of competition by this scam, could have went on to win the “LITTLE LEAGUE WORLD SERIES”. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not taking anything away from the eventual Champions. They worked hard to get there, and they beat the Chicago team.
I am aware of these things going on all over the place. I recall a few years ago witnessing it. It was a 12 year and under tournament. A team from Lexington Ky. came up and played. I can’t prove they were older. But most of them were 6 feet tall (at least). Some had mustaches. One had a little boy come up and (maybe called him Andy), but to the most of us around it sounded like Daddy. But boy could they hit. The game was played on an oversize field. These kids. many of them. were hitting one bouncers to the 308 foot left field fence. Needless to say they went undefeated through the tournament.
In closing let me say the National Little League Association did all they could to atone for the mess.
Let’s just hope everyone learned a lesson from this unfortunate event.
That Is How I See It.