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
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
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
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.”