Facebook Twitter

Bush: Disappointed adults changed Almonte’s age

SHARE Bush: Disappointed adults changed Almonte’s age

WASHINGTON - President Bush, the newest member of the Little League Hall of Excellence, Friday said he was disappointed that adults would falsify the age of pitcher Danny Almonte.

Bush, who attended the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, Sunday, said he was impressed with Almonte but disappointed to hear the Little Leaguer was 14 years old—too old to play in the baseball league.

"I'm disappointed that adults would fudge the boy's age," Bush said. "I wasn't disappointed in his fast ball and his slider—the guy was awesome. I mean, he's a great pitcher."

"But I was sorely disappointed that people felt like they could send in a false age—particularly when it comes to Little League baseball, of all places."

Bush, 55, who played Little League as a child in Texas, Sunday was inducted into the Little League Hall of Excellence. He then threw out the first pitch for the championship game of the Little League World Series.

The president did not get to watch Almonte pitch, however, because his team, the Rolando Paulino All Stars, lost in the U.S. championship game to the Apopka, Florida, All Stars who ended up playing in the final game against Japan.

Almonte, who threw a 75 mph fastball, pitched the first perfect game in the Little League World Series since 1957 and allowed only one run all year.

After opposing coaches questioned whether Almonte was too old to be playing at the Little League level, officials launched an investigation.

Friday, an official in Almonte's native Dominican Republic said one of the two birth certificates for Almonte—the one that said he was 12—was falsely obtained. He said Almonte was actually 14 years old.

Bush, a former part-owner of the Texas Rangers major league team, was the first American president to attend the Little League World Series.

He has given Little League a high profile since becoming president. He had a baseball diamond set up at the White House and had Little League organize Tee Ball games on the South Lawn during the summer.