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 > Little League Online > Media > Little League News Archive > 2006 > Little League Commemorates 9/11 Heroism With Memorial to Fallen Firefighter

Little League Commemorates 9/11 Heroism With Memorial to Fallen Firefighter

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (Aug. 19, 2006) – With the fifth anniversary of one of the darkest days in U.S. history less than a month away, Little League International is commemorating the 9/11 attack with a memorial to a Little League Baseball World Series participant who perished at the World Trade Center.

Michael Cammarata’s photo from the 1991 Little League Baseball World Series

On Sept. 11, 2001, at 8:54 a.m., from the firehouse on East Second Street in Alphabet City, Ladder Company 11, a phone call was made by Michael Cammarata to his family. He left this message on his father’s voice mail: “I am going to the World Trade Center, a plane just hit it. Just tell everyone I am all right.”

Those were the last words he said to his family.

Only 22 years old when he was last seen rushing into the burning World Trade Center, Mike Cammarata was looking forward to graduating the fire academy and being permanently assigned to Ladder Company 11. Michael was to carry on his uncle’s shield number of 33 years, No. 1138, and follow in his brother’s footsteps as one of “New York’s Bravest.”

Ten years earlier, Michael was a Little Leaguer who had reached the pinnacle of youth sports success, playing right field in the 1991 Little League Baseball World Series for South Shore Little League of Staten Island, N.Y. Although his team did not win the World Series title, he counted the experience as one of the best of his life.

To honor Michael Cammarata and all of those who perished in the line of duty on that day, his uniform number, 11, has been permanently affixed to the right field walls of Howard J. Lamade Stadium and Little League Volunteer Stadium, where the Little League Baseball World Series is played every year.

“Michael Cammarata’s willingness to sacrifice his own safety for the safety of others made him the very embodiment of all three words in the Little League motto: character, courage and loyalty,” Stephen D. Keener, Little League Baseball and Softball president and chief executive officer, said. “In the years to come, people will ask, ‘What is the No. 11 in right field for?’ We will be able to tell them the story of a Little Leaguer who became a true hero for all of us.”

Mr. Cammarata’s family was on hand at the Little League World Series in 2002 to accept Little League’s highest honor. He was posthumously enshrined in the Hall of Excellence of the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum.

Along the way to the Little League World Series, Mr. Cammarata’s South Shore Little League team defeated the team from Mid-Island Little League, 6-4. Mid-Island is one of the 16 teams in this year’s Little League World Series.

“Michael left a note behind, in case he was to perish in the line of duty,” Mr. Keener said. “He asked his family to ‘make my spirit live on.’ Little League hopes it has played a small part in memorializing his spirit and his life.”
 

Michael Cammarata, New York City firefighter.
Michael Cammarata’s uniform number at the 1991 Little League Baseball World Series, No. 11, has been permanently affixed to the right field wall at both stadiums in which the Little League World Series is played. Here, it is seen on the wall at Howard J. Lamade Stadium, with Little League International’s administration building in the background.
This is a photo of the player entry line from the 1991 Little League Baseball World Series official scorebook. Michael Cammarata’s position number is noted (9, for right field) as well as his uniform number (11) and the inning in which he entered the game (1).