The ring is the thing!
Sneed has learned Mayor Rahm Emanuel plans to give a Little League championship ring to each member of the beleaguered Jackie Robinson West All Stars baseball team.
The mayor, who earlier this week appealed to the president of the Little League International to reverse his decision to strip the kids of their hard-earned championship title, plans to present the rings to the team at a ceremony at next month’s City Council hearing.
“Mayor Emanuel believes it is unfair for the organization to have punished the children who did nothing wrong,” said a mayoral source.
“These young men demonstrated tremendous character both on and off the field, and Chicago will honor them as the champions they are,” Emanuel said.
“The memories they created will last a lifetime, and so will the championship rings they have earned.”
Shortly after Jackie Robinson West won the Little League World Series title last summer, Emanuel sought private donors to fund championship rings for the young men. The rings, which take months to manufacture, were already slated to arrive in Chicago in the coming weeks.
Each ring bears the player’s name, their jersey number and the number 42, in tribute to Jackie Robinson — league’s namesake.
Lester Lampert Jewelers was commissioned to produce the rings.
The Jackie Robinson West All Stars were the biggest story in the country last summer when their dominant play in the Little League World Series brought them the national title.
It all slipped away Wednesday when Little League International stripped the team of their championship after it came to light that the adults putting the team together had fudged the boundaries of Jackie Robinson West’s territory to include players from other leagues.
Emanuel said Wednesday he called Little League International President and CEO Stephen Keener to ask the championship be reinstated. The White House weighed in, saying the “dirty dealing” of the adults shouldn’t change the way we think of the kids.
Rev. Jesse Jackson and Fr. Michael Pfleger hosted a news conference with some JRW parents a few hours after the decision, saying the punishment was too harsh and had racial overtones. Jackson’s Rainbow Push Coalition will host a Jackie Robinson West Championship Reaffirmation Rally at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Sneedlings. . .
Source: Chicago SunTimes