The social climate on September 10th, 2001 couldn’t be any less different. A busy city in New York City was as busy as ever. The New York Mets were taking a day off as they didn’t have a game and they were gearing up for play the next day. They weren’t favorites in the playoff race as a brutal start at 38-51 made it hard to get back into the playoffs. On the other side of New York baseball the New York Yankees like always looked poised to make a title run. They too had September 10th off, and they were coasting in their division race. It wouldn’t be long before they’d suffer the most iconic tragedy in NYC history. 9/11 would rock the core of people, but MLB and its players stood up and gave us a reason to smile.
Shaking Up NYC and the USA
While New York City felt crumbled, destroyed, and utterly haunted after the disastrous attacks, the USA felt the ripples. While New York City isn’t the capital, it’s arguably the most iconic city in the country. If this could happen to New York City, this could happen anywhere. The most iconic city had lost something more important than buildings, it lost 3,000 of their own. It lost those who made the city lively, and for a moment it had stopped the ever-beating heart in New York City. The city was different, and all baseball activities stopped until the 17th where the Mets played a road series and the Yankees followed suit on the 18th. The first taste of baseball in New York would have to wait until the 21st.
Mike Piazza and the Mets Give New Yorkers Someone To Rally Behind
In a crucial series for the Mets to maybe have a fighting chance, they took on the division-leading Atlanta Braves, and they had youngster Jason Marquis go out there and dominate with 6 innings of 1 run ball. The Mets came into the bottom of the 8th down 1 with a runner on. Lopez wanted that pitch away. Mike Piazza sent that pitch FAR FAR away. He hit it deep into the night, and he gave the Mets a lead late, as over 40,000 fans roar joyfully. It was a home run for New York. They won the game, and while they missed the postseason, that game, that day, that home run, it lives on forever. The hearts touched in just an MLB game merely 10 days after 9/11 is simply indescribable.
The Country Rallied Behind New York After 9/11
The iconic moment of Sammy Sosa running across the outfield with an American flag and then hitting a home run also resonates with the country. Baseball and its fans rallied behind New York and those they lost. They honored and cheered for those who lost their lives running towards the buildings as people frantically ran away. The 2001 World Series between the Yankees and Diamondbacks captured the hearts of Americans, as George Bush threw out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium, and the teams battled until the very last hit. As the Diamondbacks raised the Commissioner’s Trophy in November for the first time ever, it felt like for the first time since the attacks, America won.
MLB Will Never Forget 9/11
Never forget. You hear this phrase every time you hear about 9/11 and what it means. What never forget means for MLB on 9/11 is never forget that when they take the uniforms off, they’re just people. They come and go, and they hurt just like we do. They stood on the mound, took the plate, or ran the bases knowing someone affected by the attacks. With a heavy heart, they gave us something to smile about. The players did something for us that we should be grateful for, they played and smiled so that we could too. That’s the beauty of baseball, and why baseball fans should never forget.
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