Fans of this year’s Little League World Series have heard about the phenomenal pitcher Danny Almonte, who was born in the Domincan Republic, but played for the Bronx. He pitched the first perfect game seen in the LLWS since 1957. He struck out the first 15 batters out of a possible 18. (LL games are only six innings.) He gave up ONE run for the whole season and it was unearned! He shows enormous promise as a baseball player. But there’s just one slight hitch:
LL players can be no more than 13 years old by August 1 of the year they play in the WS. But li’l Danny may already be 14.
I DEFINITELY care. I was saying from the beginning that I thought that kid was too old to be playing. Admittedly, I thought he was older than he really is (Like 16 or 18), but still, I have been vindicated.
Nice to see the kids gettting an early start on cheating and winning at all costs, just like their big league couterparts.
I lay the blame for this on the parents and coaches more than the kid himself. I have coached peewee football for 3 years and umped little league for 4, and the parents routinely inspire homicidial rage.
This seems to be a recurring problem at the LLWS. Wasn’t an entire TEAM overage a few years back? You’d think they’d start checking a little closer.
Why would the kid want to hang around the little league longer than he had to? Why wasn’t he bumped up to the starting rotation for his varsity team or something? Reminds me of the scene from Billy Madison where Adam Sandler is playing dodge ball with a bunch of 3rd graders. Where is the pleasure in beating someone when there is no challenge involved?
My question (and I have not yet heard a satifactory answer):
Forgive my ignorance here: Is he a resident of the U.S. or of the Dominican Republic, or is he a resident of both? He was here on a year-long visitor visa (which I understand expired) and yet he was considered a resident of New York?
By the way, on the news this morning - Universal Studios this evening is having a ticker tape parade for the kids from Apopka, then giving each team member and his immediate family lifetime passes to Universal Studios.
According to the Little League officials I’ve seen quoted in the papers, it’s not the player who has to be a resident within the boundaries of the Little League, but a parent or guardian. I imagine it’s to allow a child who lives with his mother to play in the Little League covering his father’s residence, for example.
What I find more shocking even than a phony birth certificate (if there is one) is that the parents of another Little League spent $10,000 trying to dig up dirt on the Rolando Paulino players. It’s only a kid’s game, and no one’s going to get drafted based on how they played when they were eleven or twelve.
This is only speculation, but I think we may have here a case of a desperately-poor family who see a son with great athletic gifts as their only way out of poverty. They’re hoping he’ll be another Sammy Sosa or Pedro Martinez and make millions playing baseball. I actually feel as sorry for them as I do for Danny, because he probably IS their only way out of poverty. Desperation can make people do things they know are wrong.
I have to say this much: the father has a lot of explaining to do: from mishandling the brother’s papers, to not havign Danny go to school other than to practice, to having sex with someone when she was, wow, 11 years old.
He’s 14. The Dominican government plans to charge his father for falsifying documents. I believe NYC could also charge him for not putting the boy in school. He could have been home-schooled, but he would still have to pass certain tests.
I don’t know why the league would have to disband, but if so, they could always start another one.