Saturday February 14th, 2015

Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel plans to give each member of Jackie Robinson West a championship ring, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

After Little League announced Wednesday that Chicago's Jackie Robinson West has been stripped of its U.S. title, Emanuel issued a statement saying the city still considers Jackie Robinson West champions and spoke of the impact the team had on the city in its run to the championship. 

"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."

Jackie Robinson West agreed to vacate its title after knowingly violating residency rules, which were revealed by a Little League investigation.

According to the Sun-Times, Emanuel sought private donors to fund championship rings shortly after the Little League World Series, and they are expected to arrive in the coming weeks. Each ring will have the player's name, jersey number and the number 42, in tribute to Jackie Robinson, the league's namesake. They are expected to be presented to the team at the March City Council hearing.​

On Wednesday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said President Barack Obama is still proud of the way Jackie Robinson West "represented their city" and the country at the Little League World Series.

"The fact is, is some dirty dealing by adults does not take anything away from the accomplishments of those young men," Earnest said. 

The Chicago Blackhawks are hosting Jackie Robinson West at Friday night's game, honoring a commitment the team says it made months ago. 

- Molly Geary

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