DANNY ALMONTE Biography - Famous Sports men and women


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Name: Danny Almonte Rojas                                                           
Born: 7 April 1987                                                                   
Danny Almonte Rojas (born April 7, 1987 in Moca, Dominican Republic) is a former     
Little League baseball pitcher, the subject of a media circus in 2001.               
Considered a phenomenon as he led his Bronx, New York team to third place in the     
2001 Little League World Series, Almonte was revealed to have actually been two     
years too old to play Little League baseball. Although there were many               
allegations during the 2001 Series the truth was not revealed until weeks later.     
Danny's imposing appearance and command on the mound led to rumors that he was       
more than 12 years old. A team from Staten Island hired a private investigator       
to look into the ages of the entire team. A similar investigation was conducted     
by a team from Pequannock Township, New Jersey. Neither turned up any evidence       
that the players were too old. Paulino adamantly insisted that Danny had in fact     
been born on April 7, 1989. Paulino was initially backed by Little League and       
Dominican officials, who said the Baby Bombers had followed all proper               
procedures regarding age verification. Officials at Little League headquarters       
even took the unusual step of checking each of the players' documents due to the     
rumors surrounding the team. Little League officials had increased scrutiny of       
player eligibility after the 1992 Series, in which the champions from Zamboanga     
City in The Philippines were stripped of their title due to a large number of       
Sports Illustrated reporters Ian Thomsen and Luis Fernando Llosa went to the         
civil records building in Moca two weeks after the end of the Little League         
World Series. They discovered a notation in the birth ledger showing that in         
1994, Felipe Almonte had registered his son's birth date as April 7, 1987 at Dr.     
Toribio Bencosme Hospital. It is very common for Dominican parents to wait years     
before registering the birth of a child. Their report, published on SI's Web         
site just days before being published in the September 3 issue, triggered a full     
investigation by Little League, even as Almonte and his teammates were being         
feted in the Bronx. His mother, Sonia Rojas Breton, owned a handwritten birth       
certificate saying that he had been born at home in Jamao with the help of a         
midwife in 1989. She'd registered Danny's 1989 birth date in 2000.                   
Both of Almonte's parents, though separated, unilaterally insisted their son was     
born in 1989, condemning the other documents as false. Felipe Almonte appeared       
on Good Morning America at the time of the investigation, proclaiming his son's     
As part of Dominican officials' investigation, Victor Romero, head of the           
national public records office, interviewed the witnesses whose signatures           
appeared on the 1989 birth certificate. They both denied knowing Rojas or Felipe     
Almonte, let alone signing the certificate. On August 31, they announced that       
Danny had in fact been born in 1987.                                                 
As a result, Danny was retroactively declared ineligible, and the Baby Bombers       
had to forfeit all their wins in tournament play. All of their records were         
wiped from the books, and the team was required to demonstrate compliance with       
all regulations before entering the 2002 tournament. Felipe Almonte and Rolando     
Paulino were banned from Little League for life. Dominican prosecutors filed         
criminal charges against Felipe Almonte for falsifying a birth certificate.         
Danny, who did not speak English at the time, apparently knew nothing about the     
falsified documentations, and was cleared of wrongdoing. Little League president     
Stephen Keener said that Danny and his teammates had been "used ... in a most       
contemptible and despicable way" and that "millions of Little Leaguers around       
the world were deceived." ESPN's Jim Caple called Felipe Almonte "the worst         
stereotype of the Little League parent sprung to life.". Danny's godmother           
later begged forgiveness, saying that "we had to commit this little fraud" to       
give Danny a chance at a better life.                                               
In a related case, New York City child welfare officials discovered that Danny       
had not been enrolled in school for the 2000-01 year--which would be a violation     
of state law, and grounds for placing Danny in foster care. Danny's registration     
listed him as attending P.S. 70 in the Bronx. However, Dominican school             
officials said they had records that Danny had actually attended school in the       
Dominican Republic until June 15. This would have made him ineligible for the       
Little League World Series even if he had actually been 12 years old. Little         
League rules require a player to have appeared in at least half of his team's       
games by June 15 in order to be eligible for the all-star team that competes in     
the tournament. However, Danny enrolled at P.S. 52 in the Bronx in September.       
After his father's visa expired, Danny remained in New York under the               
guardianship of Rolando Paulino, who insists to this day that Danny's father was     
responsible for providing falsified documents. He played, along with four of his     
former teammates, in the 2004 Public School Athletic League championship. In         
early 2005, Danny moved to the Miami area, where he did not play baseball. As of     
April 2006, he was back in New York and pitching for James Monroe High School in     
the Bronx.                                                                           
In September 2005, Almonte was rumored to have been married to an older woman.       
This allegation was later confirmed in May of 2006 as Almonte proclaimed he was     
married to 30 year old Rosy Perdomo.                                                 
There had been some reports that he would be selected in the 2006 Major League       
Baseball draft; however, that did not happen. He was at a major league tryout in     
October of 2006, at which it was rumored that he was going to be signed by the       
New York Mets later that month. After the draft he said he would play baseball       
for a college in New Mexico.                                                         
Danny Almonte was mentioned in a 2006 book Heat by Mike Lupica. A character in       
this book was suspended from playing Little League baseball because of no record     
of his Cuban birth certificate, though in the end his birth certificate was         
found and he was able to take his Bronx Little League All-Star team to the           
In 2007, Almonte joined the Southern Illinois Miners of the Frontier League, an     
independent minor-league circuit. He pitched his first game on May 27, 2007         
against the Evansville Otters. The Miners lost 3-2. He was released by the           
Southern Illinois Miners on June 30, 2007. His record was just 0-1 with a 5.29       
ERA in six appearances.