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Mets, Yankees and others pay tribute to 20th anniversary of 9/11


ANAPOLIS, MD – Jacob deGrom was standing next to Gerrit Cole with the first-base line, and Brandon Nimmo wedged between Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton on the other side.

Side by side, New York Mets and Yankees players share a diamond during the national anthem Saturday night at Citi Field, with a giant ribbon emblazoned with first responders, former players and the American flag.

“As a unified New York,” said public address announcer Marisol Castro.

The city’s baseball teams held a Subway Series game for the first time on September 11, the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, as stadiums across the country paid tribute to the nearly 3,000 people killed in the terrorist attacks. A raucous, emotional crowd packed the stadium in Flushing 45 minutes before the first pitch, waving American flags and holding signs promising “Never Forget” during a ceremony that featured more than a dozen of the 2001 team. Mets players and representatives from several organizations and charities were involved. For first responders and victims.

“Very emotional night,” said Yankees star Aaron Judge. “But it was good for the city to have everyone together. It was a great game.”

The loudest cheer came for Hall of Famer Piazza, who memorably hit a go-forward homer in the eighth inning when the Mets defeated the Atlanta Braves in the team’s first game at Shea Stadium on September 21, 2001. Highlights of that game were played on video boards before Bobby Valentine and Joe Toure – 2001 managers of the Mets and Yankees respectively – threw ceremonial first pitches.

Piazza said, “For me, especially when this date comes up every year, it’s hard to look back, and myself and I’m sure a lot of people still have it very vivid in their minds.” “I think it’s a wonderful thing that we do, continue to respect them.”

In a sign, perhaps, of how much healing has happened since then, fans in Queens screamed out loud when Yankees star DJ Lemahieu was introduced to bat before the game. The energy kept going back and forth, through an 8-7 victory by the Yankees.

“It was great, it really was,” said Yankees manager Aaron Boone. “Weather, perfect, full of different chants and cheers, a little bit for a night, I think maybe both sides have a little compassion for each other. I guess that’s what it felt like.” , anyway. United States!’ Chanting, it felt like a unified crowd, and it was nice to be a part of it.”

Two years after Mets slugger Pete Alonso wore hats representing New York’s first responders, the league rejected his proposal for a specially designed cap. Instead Alonso made custom cleats for each of his teammates – without MLB’s permission – and later donated his shoes to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

Alonso, who was 6 years old and was living in Tampa, Florida, at the time of the attacks, made several visits to the museum and was at Ground Zero on Saturday morning, following the ongoing efforts to benefit 9/11 survivors. is part of the job. Plagued by health problems caused by exposure to debris.

“Today is a day of remembrance,” Alonso said. “Not just that day, but still people are being affected every single day.”

The Navy and Air Force played football at the earliest date in the calendar for the 1960 rivalry. When the two service academies announced late last year that the sport was being moved from its usual location in early October, no explanation was needed.

As the American sports world celebrated the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the Navy-Air Force somewhat took center stage. Before kickoff, players of both the teams hoisted the flag on the field. There was a moment of silence before the national anthem, and then a flyover featuring two Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning and two Boeing F/A-18 Hornets.

During a halftime signing of America the Beautiful, midshipmen hoisted a large American flag, and the names of Navy and Air Force lost graves on 9/11 were videoboarded.

“It hits us very close,” said Navy coach Ken Nimatalolo. “We have a few players on our team — I think we all know someone in this room who was there, or a relative or a friend. And so, I thought the best thing to do to this day, we’re all Americans And just remembering the people of 9/11.”

Elsewhere, Army players also waved flags on the field for their home game against Western Kentucky. In Nebraska, former Navy SEAL Damian Jackson, a 29-year-old backup linebacker, led Cornhuskers to the field carrying a flag and flanked by first responders, including a health care worker.

Nebraska coach Scott Frost presents to the family of the fallen Marines Cpl. Deegan Page with a Cornhuskers jersey before the game. Page was one of 13 US service members killed in a terrorist bombing at Afghanistan’s Kabul airport on August 26. Page, 23, was a resident of Omaha.

In Minnesota’s game against Miami, Ohio, the family of the late Tom Burnett Jr. was honored on the field after the first quarter. Burnett, a Minnesota native, was one of the passengers of Flight 93, which crashed in rural Pennsylvania on 9/11.

In a ceremony before their game against Kennesaw State, Georgia Tech recognized Jay Pagan, an Atlanta police officer and former New York City paramedic who worked at the Twin Towers on search and rescue after the attacks and was trapped in the rubble. A game ball was presented to the pagan at a pregame Heroes Day celebration.

Boston College wore its red bandana uniform against Massachusetts, and the names were changed to “for Wales”. Since 2014, the Eagles have occasionally worn uniforms with red bandana trim in memory of former BC lacrosse player Wells Crowther, who died helping to rescue people from the World Trade Center during the 2001 attack. . Survivors identified Crowther by the red bandana he was known to wear at all times.

At the US Open in Queens, before the start of a women’s final between two players who were not yet born on 9/11, female cadets from the US Military Academy unfurled a giant American flag, which covered almost the whole of Arthur Ashe Stadium. Court covered. . While Britain’s 18-year-old Emma Radukanu beat Canada’s 19-year-old Leyla Fernandez, “9/11/01” was stenciled by the court.

Later, Fernandez asked for the microphone back to address the 23,703 crowd during the post-match trophy.

“I know this day it was especially hard for New York and everyone around the United States. I just want to say that I hope I can be as strong and resilient as New York was in the past. Have been in 20 years,” said Fernandez, who was born in September 2002. Thank you for always patting my back, thank you for cheering for me. I love you New York and look forward to seeing you next year Am.”

At Richmond Raceway, Virginia, a 1,100-pound piece of steel from the Twin Towers, with the Wall of Remembrance, was displayed in the middle. Cub Scouts headed to the Pledge of Allegiance before kicking off the racing doubleheader of the NASCAR Xfinity Race before noon.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. was racing in the Xfinity race for his only race of the year before heading to the NBC booth to race the Cup later on Saturday. Earnhardt won NASCAR’s first Cup race back when the series resumed after the week of 9/11.

Earnhardt, who also lost his father in February of that year, held the American flag out of the window of his car while celebrating an image from the game and in tribute to 9/11.

“I feel connected to that date because of what happened in our sport when we went back to Dover and what was going on in my own life that year,” Earnhardt Jr. said on Friday. “It was a very challenging year. I think it’s important that we continue to remember and honor all those affected by (9/11) all these years later.”

On September 11, 2001, IndyCar was already in Germany (in the form of the CART Series) preparing for its weekend race – and was the only US-based series to compete that weekend. Teams were called into the grid for 15 seconds of silence on Saturday at Portland International Raceway.

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Traister reported from Annapolis, Maryland.

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