Ohhhhhh Danny Boy, you really thought you had us didn't you? I'm guessing most of you remember this flame-throwing "12-year-old." In the 2001 Little League World Series, Almonte was ruthless. He threw a perfect game in the Regional Finals to send his Hard Ball-esque squad from the Bronx to Williamsport and threw another perfecto in a round-robin game four days later. He finished the 2001 tournament with 62 strikeouts (out of 72 batters faced), giving up only three hits in three starts. He was 5-foot-9 and hurling 75 mph. Not suspicious at all in hindsight.
The only reason Almonte, G-Baby and the rest didn't win the whole thing is because Danny wasn't allowed to pitch in the championship game due to Little League regulations. Probably the only rule he followed when it was all said and done. It was later discovered that Almonte was born in '87 and not '89 and had only arrived from the DR on June 15 of that year. In the end, both facts disqualified him, though just one would have been sufficient. The aftermath of this incident is where things get comical (if you think a life spiraling into a pit of despair is comical). He played in high school and had brief stints with the Southern Illinois Miners of the Frontier League and the Division II Junior College (yes, the famed NJCAA DII) Western Oklahoma State Pioneers. Turns out he wasn't stellar when the other kids were his age. The two most interesting tidbits: In September 2005 (when he was 18), he married a 30-year-old. Let's not not give credit where credit is due. Also, in early 2005, Danny moved to the Miami area, where he did not play baseball. You just can't help but wonder what he did instead.
Last night I found myself feeling a little jealous of Danny. I would have really enjoyed mowing down helpless Japanese 12-year-old after Japanese 12-year-old. Nothing racial, I simply despise the way they curve their hats.
P.S. Almonte is now a volunteer assistant coach at James Monroe High School. So he's got that going for him.