Mets Lose But We will Always Remember... • Latino Sports


Mets Lose But We will Always Remember…


Flushing, NY:  You can’t forget those events of September 11, 2001.  For the world of sports that was a day when fun and games also went dark with the cancellation of Major League Baseball games and the NFL season was temporarily on hold.

In the end, though, it was sports that once again united this country and the first game played as the nation continued to mourn took place at Shea Stadium. The Mets and Braves were united that evening as a country that needed the unity after the tragic events.

Citi Field Tuesday night there were the ceremonies before the Mets took the field against the Marlins with over 100 uniformed representatives of first responding agencies participating in on field ceremonies as they stood on the sidelines in between the players and Mets manager Mickey Callaway.

The manager, a minor league ballplayer in Durham at the time,  said he was proud to be a New Yorker before the first pitch that was thrown by FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro.

Baseball and the meaning of this day is very common. It was again as Jacob deGrom and the Mets wore their pre game NYPD , FDNY, and other hats of first responders.

That morning of September 11th, as the events were unfolding sports was the last thing to be concerned about. There was no time to contemplate who would win a ballgame that evening. There was no time to think about pitching matchups  or the lineups.

There was only time to be with someone, anyone who also was following the events and believing this was a script from a movie and not reality.

Most of these Mets and Marlins were observers and aspiring ballplayers seventeen years ago, even deGrom  on Tuesday night who set a Major League season record holding his opponent to three or fewer runs for the 26th straight start.

He remains the NL leader in ERA at 1.71 after the Mets 5-3 loss.  Different outcome from that Mets-Braves game that resumed the baseball season in 2001, when Mike Piazza hit that walk-off home run that got the Mets a win at Shea Stadium.

deGrom, who had his start pushed back because of a ran out Monday, and after a rain delay to the start of Sunday’s game said, “Looking back wish it was Sunday.” You sense he is finally aware how significant the Cy Young Award is to him and the Mets organization.

But that day, you heard and watched the Towers fall and those running for safety. It was  a city coming together to save others and realize this was a historic loss of lives on American soil.

Yes, it is in the history books and with hopes it will never happen again. Citi Field did not have that post 9/11 atmosphere, 20,849, with the Mets and Marlins finishing out their dismal seasons and preparing for next year.

However, in that slim crowd there still  were people embracing others, almost like strangers in the night and done that way because they remembered that day of  unity. A nation was united and the world of fun and games, what is called sports, played a major role in bringing back some normalcy to the darkest day and weeks to come in this nation.

Years later we reflect.  And sports still remains the other outlet that diverts attention from the negativity of an everyday society. The loss of lives will always be sorrow, and the thrill of victory and agony of defeat from a game or competition will always be sports.

But the events and those who sacrificed that day of September 11, 2001 will always be remembered. Sports and reflection this day are good. Never forget and the Mets did their part Tuesday night to make us always remember.

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About Rich Mancuso

Established sports journalist and educator. Contact Rich at [email protected]

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