On 9/11, I did not think about baseball. I was trying to find out what happened. On September 12th, I did not think about baseball either. I was trying to find out what happened to myself. On September 13th, I went to see Les Miserables which helped me understand more about what happened and what I could do about it than baseball, at the moment, could. But then baseball started creeping back into my thoughts. Not that baseball healed me, per se. I do not think a game can erase and can barely diminish the reality of what happened. I can also imagine that for those who, unlike me, lost friends, coworkers and families in the tragedy, baseball would be an inadequate medicine.
But the return of baseball to New York and to my thoughts provided, to me at least, a return to normalcy. Seeing Mayor Rudy Giuliani in the stands at Shea in his FDNYPD cap seemed to make it ok for me to enjoy “leisure” activities without feeling guilty and in a way that “Let’s Roll” never did. Knowing that Shea stadium was used as a place where Mets players and average New Yorkers worked together to coordinate relief supplies made me feel that by watching baseball, I was acknowledging their efforts as human beings and realizing those efforts as humanitarians and public figures were more important than low batting averages and high salaries. Thus, I began to remember that the big picture, whether it is the love of America or the love of the game of baseball, is more important than some of the quirky actions of a society or a baseball team that perhaps too often, we all tend to nitpick about. Sometimes, even a tragedy can help to remind us of that.
Others have used much better words than I ever could about how the events of 9/11 affected baseball or themselves. Thus, I provide some of these links to you as a way to commemorate what others thought during the events of 9/11 and its aftermath and to provide an echo of the numbness that I felt during that horrible period in our history.
“How Major League Baseball Responded to 9/11” – Rob Neyer http://mlb.sbnation.com/2011/9/11/2414430/mlb-response-9-11
“Baseball And 9/11: Continuity and Not Healing” – Keith Olbermann
“Our Flag Was Still There” – Joe Posanski
“As Mets prepare to commemorate 9-11, Valentine, Franco recall day baseball returned to NYC” – Associated Press
“Near 10th anniversary of 9/11 terrorist attacks, former Met Mike Piazza recalls emotional home run” – Christian Red
“Yankees’ Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera recall events of September 11, honor veterans” – Anthony McCarron
“When the Yankees Skipped Security” – Daniel Barbarisi
“9/11 spurs baseball player to join Marine Corps” – Katalynn Thomas
“September 11: How Baseball Turned Into a Microcosm Of a City’s Fight” – Andrew Devereaux http://bleacherreport.com/articles/251874-september-11-how-baseball-turned-into-a-microcosm-of-a-citys-fight
My nonbaseball thoughts on 9/11 are at http://bergstromblogs.wordpress.com