New York Yankees and September 11

I was in New York City on September 11, 2001, and the experience made me a basket case. I was paranoid and miserable each day I’d go into work when things resumed to “normal” days later.

But one thing that helped bring me back and get my head straight was baseball and the first game back for the Yankees on September 18, 2001.

September 11 and the Yankees

It may sound trivial, but it was such a fearful and freaky time, and I really needed to grasp onto something. I went to the Yankees game the Saturday before 9/11, and that feeling seemed so easy and free.

That was something I desperately wanted back.

At the time, I was fearful of being with any crowds. I no longer took the train home out of Penn Station. Instead, I took a more circuitous route through Hoboken, NJ.

I worked near the Empire State Building, and I would always cross the street to stay away from the concentration of tourists there at lunchtime and to and from work.

The Yankees games. I wanted to go so bad during the playoff run, but I was paralyzed with fear. Even after things calmed down a little in the city, there was the lingering sense of dread, and the anthrax scares didn’t help.

But I ended up getting tickets for game 5 of the World Series.

I wasn’t sure if I would go. It seemed like such a perfect target for the bastard terrorists. I was seriously thinking of giving away my ticket, and then I had this magical feeling.

It was when President Bush threw out the first pitch in game 3 of the 2001 World Series. His confidence gave me confidence.

I have the picture of him throwing that pitch on my wall, and I often look at it and remember that moment as the one that turned things for me. It was when I started getting a little normal again.

That win in game 5 was the therapy I needed. Man, was that a win.

The picture in this post is a t-shirt I still have from that playoff run, as well as special 9/11 Yankees and FDNY caps.

I have been wearing that Yankees cap to every game ever since then. The pin on it is a commemorative one I got from my cousin Pat, who was NYPD at the time.

Sometimes baseball is bigger than just a game.

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