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February 12, 2015

Taney takes high road, praises stripped Chicago LLWS team

LLWS Investigation
021215_taney_AP Mike Groll/AP

Members of the Taney Little League-Anderson Monarchs teams pose for a photo with their team bus in front of the Baseball Hall of Fame on Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014, in Cooperstown, N.Y.

It would have been easy for the Taney Dragons to react with anger upon hearing the team that eliminated them from the Little League World Series, Chicago-based Jackie Robinson West, had been stripped of its U.S. title for using players from outside of its boundaries.

But anyone who watched their magical run to the U.S. semifinals knows that’s not what Taney was all about, and Thursday, the team proved it once again, choosing instead to praise the Jackie Robinson West team in a statement on its website.

“Over the course of the Little League World Series, Taney Little League players, along with so many of the players from the other 14 teams, developed a great and lasting friendship with the Jackie Robinson West kids,” the statement read. “The camaraderie that formed over the course of the tournament among all of the teams was, and continues to be, the most memorable outcome of the entire LLWS experience.

“The decision by Little League International will in no way affect the level of respect that we have for the JRW players. On the field, they competed with discipline and class, and played the game the right way. Off the field, they carried themselves as gentleman and represented their city and families well. They should be proud of their accomplishments.

“We thank Little League for the incredible lessons, friendships, and lifelong memories that our players gained from the LLWS experience.”

RELATED STORY: Chicago team that ousted Taney stripped of LLWS title

Jackie Robinson West’s title was stripped Wednesday by Little League International after an investigation found the team used a falsified boundary map to acquire and use players from neighboring districts in order to build a superteam.

In the U.S. semifinal game, Jackie Robinson West eliminated phenom Mo'ne Davis and the Taney Dragons Little League team, 6-5, before beating the West team from Mountain Ridge Little League (Las Vegas), 7-5, to advance to the title game, where it ultimately lost to South Korea.

Mountain Ridge was awarded Jackie Robinson West’s stripped title.