Skip to main content /transcript




Little League Team Lauded After World Series Appearance

Aired August 28, 2001 - 12:23   ET


DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: Now I want to take you live to New York City, to city hall, where the Bronx Baby Bombers are being presented with keys to the city. Let's listen in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can see them, but I can't tell who is who from here.

KAGAN: I you can see to the right there Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and then these are the members of the Bronx Bombers. They very successful at the Little League World Championship. They reached as far as Saturday's U.S. championship game. That's when they lost 8-2 to Apopka. Since that time, they have gained national attention because of some questions about their ace pitcher, questions about Danny Almonte. He's the star pitcher from there the Bronx.

It turned out he might be two years older than the 12-year-old cutoff to play little league. More going on that. More investigation and what that might mean for their standing in the little league playoffs, but today, they are the stars of New York City and being presented the keys on the city of by Rudy Giuliani.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And we appreciate those of you waiting for us as we begin the program. And I just want to start out by saying, welcome to today's celebration, really honoring the culmination of a great run, a great season by New York's Baby Bronx Bombers, the Rolando Paulino All-Star little league team.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I use the world culmination of great season, not the end, because when you have memories like the ones that these Baby Bombers have given over the last couple of weeks, those good times will always last in our minds and in our hearts. A lot of time those in the media, rightfully so sometimes, are accused of overhyping a story. Well, the saga of the Rolando Paulino All-Stars was really one that was singly driven by all of New York, and most of the nation, in fact, and the reason driven that way is because when you think about it, it's a story really about people.

It's about the people and the kids that are playing on this team, the coaches and the managers giving their time, and the kids, and the parents, and the friends, and all the people who watch them play in the neighborhood, who went to ballparks in the neighborhood and watched them before they become national phenomenon, fans who watched this team marched step-by-step into the Little League World Series. and then watched it on TV in record numbers, showed up in record numbers in Williamsport to offer support for this team.

And while we all marveled at a lot of the individual performances they provided, I think one of the things that really was admirable about this team was that they were always a team no matter what. When you look at manager Alberto Gonzalez, he did an amazing job of making sure the team played as a team no matter who was in the spotlight that particular day.

So it is that we have gathered to to honor, celebrate and really thank this team for the great memories they've given us. The champions of the Mid-Atlantic region, the best little baseball team in the Bronx, the Rolando Paulino All-Stars.

So better way to begin our celebration then by starting with a man who knows a thing or two about putting together winning teams and also a guy who has personally given so much of time and money to make sure that kids here in New York City have proper facilities play the games on, please welcome the chairman and co-founder of the Take-The- Field program and co-owner of the New York football Giants, Mr. Bob Tish (ph).


BOB TISH, TAKE-THE-FIELD PROGRAM: Thank you. Thank you, Kirk, mr. Mayor.

On behalf of Take the Field, we are proud that we are able to give the Rolando Paulino the first homefield at the $3 million athletic facility we just completed at South Bronx High School.

We started Take the Field, because it's so important, and the importance of athletics and education. As many of you know, there's rundown conditions in many areas of the city of New York, and that we hope to get to them in due time.

Thanks to Mayor Giuliani -- Mr. Mayor...


TISH: ... we recived a commitment of $100 million to build the field and rebuild the fields over the next three years, of which we have to raise another $30 million to assess the $100 million. South Bronx one of the seven fields we completed to a date. We have started seven others, and burrough president Ferraro (ph) will be happy to know that it's Kennedy and Stevenson, and in this frame we hope to be start Columbus High School in the Bronx.

Our goal to finish 52 high schools in the next three years. But we have to have people like Merrill Lynch, who is a corporate sponsor of the South Bronx High school, to name the field the Merrill Lynch Field of Dreams. They contribute $500,000, and they got the naming of the field. burrough president Ferraro committed $500,00 for that particular field, and additional monies for other fields also. Now that we have the field of dreams, I'm sure that the Rolando Paulino team will go further. On behalf of all of us on take the field, we thank them and you for being here today.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Up next, we have from Modell Sporting Goods, Mr. Bill Modell himself.

BILL MODELL, MODELL SPORTING GOODS: On behalf of the Modell sporting goods company, the Modell family, the burrough of the Bronx, the city of New York, we are proud to pay homage to a great team and a great bunch of boys. The Modell company will be donating $200 of gift certificates to each of the members of the team, and we expect some great things out of the boys are times goes on.

There's a special occasion we have now. There's a lucky baseball shirt that we have donated, and every signature that's on the shirt, 25 cents will be donated to the team. So Mr. Mayor, we need your signature, and...


KAGAN: Mayor Rudy Giuliani offering up his John Hancock there as the celebration continues for the Bronx Baby Bombers, the little league team from the Bronx, that has picked up that name after they did so well making it to Saturday's U.S. championship game at the little league championships series, where they lost 8-2 to a Apopka. Since then, the controversy has swirled around this team and their star pitcher Danny Almonte. He's from the Dominican Republic, and there's some question as to whether he's 12 years old or 14 years old, after acing out the competition at the Little League World Series.

Let's listen in once again to the ceremony.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And Mr. Tish, we value our partnership with Take the Field and applaud your leadership.

And now to our champs, you're amazing spirit and talent have inspired our employees and their families. From the very start you won the heart of our chairman David Kimenski (ph), who you met twice, once in the office, the other on the Field of Dreams.

Merrill Lynch feels proud to support you. We at the Sport Employee (ph) and their children truly enjoy giving you a home away from home. And as the season unfolded, you taught us that with perseverance, practice and teamwork, dreams can come true. In addition to your hard work, you've been very fortunate to have great coaches, families and friends at your side.



Back to the top