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Little League Pitcher Danny Almonte is 14 Years Old

Aired August 31, 2001 - 12:01   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: What's in a number? If it's 12 or 14? Well, that number means a lot to a Little League Baseball team in the Bronx. Whether the team's star pitcher Danny Almonte is 12 or 14 depends upon which of his Dominican Republic birth certificates is deemed official. A decision on that just came down.

Let's go to CNN's Jason Carroll. He's standing by live in New York -- Jason.

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Leon, both of us were listening in with the CDM network in the Dominican Republic. The president of the electoral central board there, Ramon Cerda, read a statement. He said "As a result of their investigation, it is possible to determine with absolute precision the child" -- meaning Danny Almonte -- "has two birth certificates," no surprise there. He said, in the case of Danny, it is possible to determine he was born April 19, 1987, making him 14 years old. He said that the civil registry there in the Dominican Republic had accepted false statement for Danny's birth records, signed by two people who may not have even know him. He also said that his parents may face criminal charges in this case as well.

Now just to go back a little bit, as you recall, there were initially two birth records for Danny Almonte. One showing that he was 12, the other showing that he was 14. Almonte's parents provided little league officials with a birth certificate and a passport showing Danny's age of 12 years old, which is the legal age limit to play little league ball.

But earlier this week, birth records were uncovered by a "Sport's Illustrated" reporter, indicating that Danny was 14, and so then a Huge investigation as started in the Dominican Republic surrounding this. We just got the results of this today.

Earlier this morning, we did have an opportunity to speak to a spokeswoman from Danny's team, the Rolando Paulino All-Stars. She said, "We were lied to, we only went with the documents provided to us. We believed the father, who gave us three documents to indicate he was 12. We no experts to examine the documents. We apologize to everyone for not investigating further. We are in shock."

Now, the team members planning to hold a press conference in just a few minutes. We're going to bring that to you in just a few minutes when that happens. Rolando Paulino, the owner and manager of the team, is expected to attend, as well as Alberto Gonzalez, one of the team managers there.

Also this morning, Leon, we were able to get reaction from Dennis Carroll. He is an assistant coach for the Ocean Side little league team. They lost to the All-Stars, and they, as you can imagine, are waiting for the little league officials to take some sort of action in all this case. As you know, that the team could be stripped of their third place title and their charter could be revoked.

At this point, Leon, waiting to hear, to see what the little league team will say in just a few minutes -- Leon.

HARRIS: Man, this thing has turned into a soap opera.

Jason Carroll in New York, thanks. We'll get back to you in just a bit.

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