Former Little League baseball prodigy Danny Almonte, who sparked one of the biggest scandals in amateur sports, is now telling his side of the story in a new ESPN documentary. NY1's Erin Clarke filed the following report.
In 2001, Danny Almonte propelled his Bronx baseball team to the Little League World Series, gaining national stardom.
"There was an entire summer where every single news channel, every single sports channel where everyone was talking about this boy named Danny Almonte. Mayor Giuliani was giving them keys to the city and introducing them at City Hall," said "Kid Danny" Producer Jeremy Workman.
But that fame turned to infamy when it was revealed that the supposedly 12-year-old prodigy was really 14, making him too old to play in Little League. But as the scandal unfolded, one voice was never heard.
"If you look back at the incident and I looked back on hundreds of hours of footage. There's not one interview with Danny during that time and it's unfortunate that he didn't get to defend himself because he didn't speak English," said "Kid Danny" Director Andrew Cohn.
Now, for the first time, a grown up Almonte is telling his side of the story in a new ESPN documentary called "Kid Danny." The documentary's producer says Almonte's silence is no surprise.
"Danny rightfully should be so suspicious of the media. The media came out and attacked him in such a horrible way," Workman said.
Before even taking out a camera, the director spent hours getting to know Almonte. He still lives in the Bronx where he's married and coaching high school baseball. The director says he wanted to tell a story that got lost in all the media coverage.
"You get a portrait of a boy who is caught in this firestorm and is being tugged in many directions by people he loves and what the movie is really about is about forgiveness, it's about the relationship between him and his dad and his mom," Cohn said.
"Kid Danny" debuts on grantland.com Wednesday and airs on ESPN on August 19 at 9:30 p.m.