Newsmakers: This Week: Fraud in the Little League, Dennis Rodman Extinguishes a Waitress, and Anne Heche Has a Secret Language with God

By Stroup, Katherine | Newsweek, September 10, 2001 | Go to article overview

Newsmakers: This Week: Fraud in the Little League, Dennis Rodman Extinguishes a Waitress, and Anne Heche Has a Secret Language with God


Stroup, Katherine, Newsweek


Say It Ain't So, Danny

A field of schemes? It seems Danny Almonte--the Little League pitching phenom with a perfect game and a smile to match--is a fraud. A government investigation in the Dominican Republic has concluded that Danny is 14, not 12 as his family had previously claimed, making him way too old for Little League play. Due to "manifest irregularities" on the birth certificate giving his age as 12, officials in his homeland announced that the boy's father, Felipe de Jesus Almonte, could face a three- to five-year prison term. Meanwhile, for using an ineligible player, the Bronx's Rolando Paulino All-Stars forfeited all games and their third-place finish in the Little League World Series. "Clearly, adults have used Danny Almonte in a most contemptible and despicable way," says league president Stephen Keener. This is nothing new in kiddie baseball: the '92 Philippine team was disqualified for using teenage players, and there are countless allegations every year. "You'd go to games and there's a monstrous, hairy, six-foot guy throwing balls at your child," says Bill Geist, former coach and author of the best-selling "Little League Confidential." "We used to always look to see if they drove to the game." Danny, who's a full head taller than his teammates and hurls a wicked fast ball, was this year's obvious target. "We were all protesting about him," says Gary Goldsack, president of Toms River East Little League, the New Jersey team that won the '98 title but lost to the Bronx "Baby Bombers" in this year's regional. "This was a tainted series from the start. …

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