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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

REMEMBERING 9-11: THE NEED FOR BASEBALL AT A TRAGIC TIME


The eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks is here. It’s strange to me to think that there is a group of children that weren’t alive for those attacks and won’t ever know what it was like for those of us who were.

I was a high school senior at the time. I kind of remember it with a sad haze. Almost as if I was walking in a dream state the entire time. I remember a griping sadness. The idea that someone could harm so many innocent people would just not register to me. It was a dark, sad time for all of us. But I remember also how baseball helped bring us out of it.

During the time both the Mets and the Yankees helped aid in the relief efforts. Shea Stadium was used to hold relief supplies. And ball players from both clubs visited firehouses and police departments. It was New York as united as I have ever seen it. The message was clear and it rang out in the ballparks.
When the Yankees came back to play in the Bronx it was clear how much New Yorkers and Americans needed baseball. It was a little bit of normality amongst the sadness and insanity. Fans were on their feet, cheering and screaming. Holding signs that said things like “God Bless America!” and “The USA Fears No One!” Baseball was our way of saying, “You may have knocked us down, but you better believe we are going to get back up!” And it was beautiful!

There is an article written last year on MLB.com where Rudolph Giuliani talks about what it was like when he got to Ground Zero that day, read HERE. He talks about hearing rescue workers cheering for Roger Clemens. He had gotten his 20th win of the season that day. “They were all clapping. They were clapping for baseball!”
I often tell people that baseball is more then just a game and unless you are a true baseball fan, you won’t understand it. There are life lessons to be learned from watching baseball. And during that time, there was something more; There was sanity, unity and normalcy. It made us feel stronger and it made us remember that we would not allow those events to defeat us. The Yankees lost in the World Series to the Diamond Backs that year, but you know what? I’m okay with that. The win would have been nice sure, but there was so much more at stake, I think, if baseball hadn’t returned.


--Erica Morales, BYB Writer
Twitter: @e_morales1804



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