The Mid-Atlantic Championship of the Little League World Series was rocked by its biggest scandal in 10 years when the Bronx team’s starting pitcher, Danny Almonte III, was declared too old to compete in the tournament, causing a forfeiture of all its victories.
Almonte is one of 18 grandchildren of Danny Almonte the First, the legendary Bronx pitcher who taught Leroy “Satchel” Paige the high leg kick pitch during the time when Major League Baseball segregated non-white ballplayers. Almonte the First made his pitching debut for the Bronx baseball team that later went on to win the Mid-Atlantic Championship in 2001.
Like his grandfather, Danny Almonte III was constantly dogged by rumors that he might not be within the 11-12 year-old age limit of ballplayers. And as Almonte III pitched his fifth-straight perfect game with fastballs reaching an unheard of speed of 75 miles per hour, these rumors persisted. When Almonte III failed to produce a proper birth certificate, the Sports Illustrated reporters found photos of the ace pitcher throwing to his old battery mate, Yogi Berra. Also, Danny Almonte’s op-ed piece titled “Why Adlai Stevenson Will Beat Dwight Eisenhower” dated November 1, 1952 sealed his fate.
Speaking through a translator, the heartbroken coach of the Bronx Little Bombers signaled his disappointment.
“My kids go to the same school as Almonte’s children. We were best men at each other’s weddings,” he said. “I cannot believe he would deceive me like this.”
When asked how he plans to move past this latest scandal, the coach said, “Danny Almonte V is tearing up the Pee-Wee League. We look forward to him playing for the senior circuit once he passes the GED.”