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 > Little League Online > Media > Little League News Archive > 2011 > May-August > Families of Little Leaguers Michael Cammarata, Christina-Taylor Green to Throw Ceremonial First Pitches

Families of Little Leaguers Michael Cammarata, Christina-Taylor Green to Throw Ceremonial First Pitches

Families of Little Leaguers Michael Cammarata, Christina-Taylor Green to Throw Ceremonial First Pitches

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Christina-Taylor Green

On Sept. 11, 2001, New York City firefighter Michael Cammarata was last seen entering the World Trade Center as the Twin Towers were burning. On the same day that Michael lost his life, Christina-Taylor Green was born, and so forged a bond between the lives of these two Little Leaguers.

On Saturday, Aug. 27, before the United States Championship game of the 65th Little League Baseball World Series in South Williamsport, Pa., the Cammarata and Green families will meet on the mound at Howard J. Lamade Stadium to throw out ceremonial first pitches in recognition of the 10-year anniversary of 9/11 and to celebrate two lives — one that began, and one that ended on that fateful day.

“Little League International is deeply honored to welcome Michael’s brother Joe, and Christina-Taylor’s mother and father, John and Roxanna Green, and Christina-Taylor’s brother, Dallas, to the 2011 Little League Baseball World Series,” Stephen D. Keener, President and Chief Executive Officer of Little League Baseball and Softball, said. “It is one small way Little League hopes it can fulfill one of Michael’s last wishes, and honor the memory of a little girl who touched the hearts of a nation. Dallas and Joe, the brothers of two Little Leaguers the world should never forget, will deliver the ceremonial first pitch at this year’s Little League Baseball World Series U.S. Championship Game.”

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Michael Cammarata

Michael, a rookie with the New York Fire Department (NYFD), was among the hundreds of New York City firefighters who rushed into the burning World Trade Center and was the youngest to be killed. Ten years before that, Michael played in the Little League Baseball World Series for South Shore Little League of Staten Island, N.Y.

After 9/11, Michael’s remains went undiscovered for many months in the rubble, along with hundreds of other victims. At the 2002 Little League Baseball World Series, Michael’s mother and father accepted enshrinement of their son into the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum Hall of Excellence — the first person to be honored posthumously. (Little League mourned again in 2009 when Michael’s mother, Linda, passed away.)

Following his death, Michael’s family found a letter he had left in a drawer, to be opened only if he were to perish in the line of duty. It read, in part: “Make my spirit live on.”

Today, only one number is officially retired from use in the Little League Baseball World Series. It is Michael Cammarata’s No. 11, and it still graces the right field wall of Lamade Stadium, where he patrolled proudly as a member of his team at the age of 12.

Nine-year-old Christina-Taylor Green was the youngest of the six victims shot and killed during a shooting outside a Tucson, Ariz., grocery store in January.

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Christina-Taylor Green

Following her passing, the Green family began the Christina-Taylor Green Memorial Foundation (www.christina-taylorgreen.org) to galvanize projects in the community that reflect her interests, values and dreams. These projects may include: Educational funding for children and their families that are deemed less fortunate; Leadership programs that promote awareness and hope to those who strive to achieve, and; Scholastic activities throughout the community that promote a positive influence to youth.

“Despite these tragic losses, we know there are still many other reasons to hope — including within the ranks of more than 2.5 million Little Leaguers around the world,” Mr. Keener said. “Many of them will become teachers, firefighters, law enforcement officers, soldiers, and countless other occupations of service to society and humanity. This is somber reminder to the children and adult volunteers in our program that Little League is about setting positive examples and learning life lessons through sport, not making great ball players.”

 

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In 2002, New York City Firefighter Michael Cammarata, who lost his life on Sept. 11, 2001, was the first person to be posthumously enshrined in the Little League Hall of Excellence. He played in the 1991 Little League Baseball World Series for South Shore American Little League in Staten Island, N.Y. At the 65th Little League Baseball World Series in South Williamsport, Pa., members of the Cammarata family, pictured above, will join the family of Christina-Taylor Green to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the United States Championship game, in commemoration of the 10-year anniversary of 9/11.