Chris Janes, the vice president of the Evergreen Park Athletic Association Little League who was the first to blow the whistle on boundary violations of players of the Jackie Robinson West Little League in 2014, has filed a lawsuit against Little League Baseball International stating that he has suffered from severe emotional distress following the incident.
Janes, an Evergreen Park resident, had voiced concerns during the summer of 2014 after hearing complaints from other people. He also noted that some of the players were honored by several south suburban villages where they lived after they had initially won the Little League World Series in 2014.
According to Janes’ lawsuit, he had had death threats and has been humiliated after he first began suggesting that several players on the Jackie Robinson team, that plays their home games at Jackie Robinson Park at 105th and Morgan in Chicago, did not live within the boundaries of the league.
Janes had made his complaints known that fall to The Reporter. However, Little League Baseball International originally dismissed Janes’ complaints and said the players were all eligible. Janes’ Evergreen Park team lost to Jackie Robinson West in the sectionals. Jackie Robinson later advanced to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa. and then became the U.S. champs.
According to the lawsuit, Janes also suffers from “anxiety, loss of sleep and weight loss.” He also said he is suffering from depression. He is seeking $75,000 in damages. Little League Baseball International had no comment about the lawsuit.
Janes said after Little League Baseball International first dismissed his complaints, they started to discredit him. But due to increasing evidence that the Janes complaints were valid, the organization eventually censured the Jackie Robinson West, according to the lawsuit. The team was stripped of their U.S title.
After Jackie Robinson West won the U.S. title, they were feted in a rally in Chicago’s Grant Park and visited the White House and met President Obama and had pictures taken with him. They also attended a World Series game in San Francisco.
In a separate case, the parents of Jackie Robinson West players filed a lawsuit against Little League International. They claimed that there was a cover-up.