(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images).

It’s hard to believe that 21 years ago today, Little League phenom Danny Almonte threw a perfect game in a round-robin game at the Little League World Series.  His team from the Bronx ended up finishing 3rd in the tournament.

However, weeks after the tournament, it is revealed that Almonte is actually 14 years old,  2 years older than than the maximum age for participation in the LLWS.

His team had to forfeit all victories and records from the tournament.  The story is told in the 2014 ESPN 30 for 30 short “Kid Danny”

A Look Back

Danny Almonte Rojas was born April 7, 1987 in Moca in the Dominican Republic.  In 2000, Danny Almonte moved to The Bronx in New York City where he began playing Little league baseball.  That’s when this Little League phenom developed quickly.

Almonte was already 5 foot 8 and threw a 76 mile an hour fastball.  That’s equivalent, from Little League distance,  to a 102 mile an hour major league fastball.  He was known as “The Little Unit” due to his big frame and a tribute to “The Big Unit” MLB pitcher Randy Johnson.

Almonte threw a no-hitter in the 2001 Mid-Atlantic Regional finals against State College, Pennsylvania.  That victory sent his team to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.  Almonte’s next game was indeed “perfect”.  Four days later, during a round robin game he threw a perfect game against Apopka, Florida.  The first perfect game in the Little League World Series since 1979.

However, his team was defeated by the same Florida team in the U.S. championship game.

The Aftermath

There was a lengthy investigation done in the United State and the Dominican.  After all the smoke had cleared, Danny Almonte was retroactively declared ineligible, and the Baby Bombers had to forfeit all their wins in tournament play.

All of their records were removed from the books, and the team was required to demonstrate compliance with all regulations before entering the 2002 tournament.

Danny Almonte pitched for James Monroe High School in the Bronx.  After graduating, he bounced around and pitched for several junior college teams and a couple of low level minor league clubs.  Many thought he would be drafted to the majors in 2006 but it didn’t happen.

Danny Almonte is currently an assistant baseball coach at Cardinal Hayes High School in New York City.

 

 

 

 

 

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