Report: Little League Star Sat Out School

ByABC News
August 30, 2001, 7:53 AM

Aug. 30 -- Danny Almonte never attended school during the 18 months he lived in the United States, according to a report today, adding to the controversy surrounding whether the boy was young enough to play Little League baseball when he led his team to the national championship.

The boy's father, Felipe Almonte, told the New York Daily News that he never enrolled his son in PS 70 in the Bronx section of New York City, the public elementary school he told Little League officials that Danny attended.

When asked what the boy did with his time, Felipe Almonte told the newspaper: "He has been eating and he has been playing ball."

The left-hander used his 75-mile-per-hour fastball to lead the Rolando Paulino All Stars to the U.S. championship of the Little League World Series. They lost the U.S. championship game to the Apopka All Stars from Florida, but Danny did not pitch that game.

The Daily News report is the latest revelation in a controversy that threatens to tarnish the youngster's phenomenal season. He hurled the first perfect game in the Little League World Series since 1957, and allowed only one run all year in the final inning of the final game he pitched.

But questions have whirled around the 5-foot-8 youngster from the Dominican Republic all season, as opposing coaches questioned whether he was too old to be on the field.

Both National Little League officials and the Dominican Republic government have launched investigations. Initially, Dominican Republic investigators were expected to announce their findings today but government officials said the president of the registrar's office never showed up. The results of the Dominican Republic's investigation are now expected to be released Friday.

The Little League Baseball today announced it would accept the decision of the government of the Dominican Republic regarding Almonte's date of birth.

In a statement released to the press today, Stephen D. Keener, president and chief executive officer of Little League Baseball, said the organization had been in contact with U.S. State Department officials as well as Dominican Republic officials. "We are confident that the matter is being handled appropriately by the Dominican Republic, and we have every reason to abide by its determination," he said.