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Carroll’s Cuisine: Museum Sports Exhibit

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New York, NY – Nothing can erase the horrors of what occurred on September 11, 2001 but sports did help us resume trying to live our lives the best that we could at the time.

Back in 2004 HBO Sports produced a terrific documentary, “Nine Innings From Ground Zero,” which showed how the Yankees’ post-season run in the fall of 2001, which ended with them coming out on the short end of a seven-game World Series with the Arizona Diamondbacks, helped speed the healing process for New York.

The 9/11 Museum & Memorial, located on the site of the old World Trade Center, has just opened a special exhibit that should run for about a year titled “Comeback Season: Sports After 9/11″ which expands on that HBO documentary.

Yes, there is a Yankees World Series section that shows a tape of President George W. Bush throwing a perfect strike to open Game 3 to the cheers of everyone including ardent Democrats who was in attendance that night. What I remember about that HBO Sports documentary was that the Mets and Shea Stadium got very little play in it. The 9/11 Memorial and Museum took pains to make sure that the Mets were front and center.

As soon as you walk into the exhibit there is a photo of how Shea Stadium in the days following the attack became a staging area for sending food, water, and supplies to responders. The jersey that Mike Piazza wore when he hit that big eighth inning home run on September 21, 2001 against the Braves, the first sporting event in NYC following the attack, is here as is a tape of the late Bob Murphy’s call of it on WFAN.

Former Mets closer and native New Yorker John Franco, along with ex-Giants running back Tiki Barber, and onetime Rangers goaltender Mike Richter made speeches at the exhibit dedication last Thursday. Each choked up a bit recalling their memories of that fateful day and its immediate aftermath.

Franco spoke about how his teammates were determined to wear FDNY, NYPD, and Port Authority police caps the rest of the season as a way of honoring the first responders. Baseball commissioner Bud Selig initially objected and threatened to fine the Mets. Selig smartly backed down after talking with Mets CEO Fred Wilpon and team union rep Todd Zeile.

The Mets were in Pittsburgh on September 11.. With airlines forbidden to fly the team had to bus back from Pittsburgh. I asked John about his memories of that unexpected bus ride back to Queens.

“There was nothing out of the ordinary until we got to the George Washington Bridge and saw the smoke coming from the World Trade Center site. Guys from the left side of the bus all came over to the right to watch it. Everyone was eerily quiet the rest of the ride to Shea,” Franco recalled.

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About Lloyd Carroll

Lloyd Carroll is the Senior Columnist for the Queens Chronicle, an award-winning weekly newspaper that has served the communities of Queens since 1978. This article as well as many future articles will also appear at Queens Chronicle. In addition, Lloyd also writes for our friends over at NYSportsDay.com. In today’s world of online publications, we at Latino Sports understand and value the importance of collaborating with other online publications in order to showcase and create awareness of each other’s work and dedication to our respectable communities.