How sports helped America heal after 9/11


SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – Sept. 11, 2001 a day that forever changed America’s history.

The memories are so vivid and the feelings still so close. It was the New York Yankees, Mets, Giants and Jets, who took it upon themselves to play a special role in the city’s recovery.

Fans looked to sports to find peace as it served as an inspiration for people around the globe.

The first Major League Baseball game returned on Sept. 21, 2001, just eleven days after the tragedy.

The New York Mets faced the Atlanta Braves. The game turned out to be one of New York’s most memorable games. The Mets went on to defeat the Braves, 3-2 in a comeback victory with a home run from Mike Piazza off Steve Karsay in the eighth inning.

You can find his jersey from that day hanging in the National Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum in New York City.

Just a few days later on Sept. 25, the Yankees played against the White Sox, but this time someone made a special appearance.

Fans stood to their feet as the President of the United States, George Bush, walked onto the field to throw the first pitch.

Two days later, Chicago Cubs’ right fielder Sammy Sosa left his mark against the Houston Astros.

When Sosa took the field, he was seen sprinting to his position with the American flag. The crowd cheered louder as Sosa raised the flag with honor.

The NFL was at the beginning of their season.

The New York Giants resumed practice on Sept. 17. Players struggled to find it in them to keep playing the game they loved.

Thinking to themselves, in the grand scheme of everything that was taking place, how could an NFL game mean anything?

As time healed the players knew they had a purpose. To bring happiness to each and every person, even if it was only for a short while.

The NFL had taken a pause after the devastation.

When games resumed Sept. 23, NFL commissioner, Paul Tagliabue, made sure each and every game had a patriotic feel.

Tagliabue said, “It was to show as a nation we were unified, resilient and determined.”

18 years later, sports is still remembering that horrific day, paying respects to those who’ve lost their lives, those who serve, who have served and remembering as a country we stand.

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