Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Where Are They Now: Danny Almonte
I stumbled upon a great ESPN article, which now serves as the basis for this post. We all remember the story: Danny Almonte, a young phenom, dazzled the sports world in the 2001 Little League World Series. This kid was throwing college level stuff at the age of 12. Or, should I say, the age of 14, as investigations into Almonte's age later proved that he was two years too old for eligibility in the LLWS, and his parents and coaches had been part of an elaborate cover up.
Cheating at the Little League World Series is sad, in a pathetic way. The story of Danny Almonte from 2001 on is sad, in a sad way.
Almonte lived in the Bronx for a few years and then moved to Florida. After spending a year in Miami, Almonte returned to the Bronx in 2005. Towards the end of the year, the then 18-year-old Almonte married 30-year-old hairdresser Rosy Perdomo (after extensive investigation, however, it was discovered that Perdomo was indeed 32 and thus in violation of the Hairdresser League rules).
There were many rumors indicating that Almonte might be signed or drafted by a major league team in 2006, but these never came to fruition. He bounced around independent leagues, a state college, and semi-pro ball, always hoping of making it to the majors but never quite getting there. Now, he's a volunteer assistant coach at his old high school, and (who saw this coming?) he's no longer with his wife.
Everyone who knew Danny Almonte's name thought he'd be a great player some day. Barring a small miracle, we're all wrong. This story provokes the classic question: what if? The national exposure - first sweet, then sour - might have ruined a young man. Or it might have been wholly irrelevant to Almonte's future path. But we'll never know.
For the ESPN story, click here.