I recently watched “Nine Innings from Ground Zero”, a documentary about the New York Yankees’ amazing playoff run and how it helped the people of New York. Seeing how people reacted, and how much the Yankees baseball seemed to be an emotional outlet for the citizens of New York makes you really understand that sports brings people together no matter the situation. Baseball helped keep the horrific 9/11 attacks off of the people’s minds and let them come together without having to worry about anything but the Yankees winning.
New York resumed play just 10 days after the terror attack. In the Shea Stadium, the New York Mets hosted the Atlanta Braves. In the bottom of the eighth the Mets down by a run and eventual Hall of Famer Mike Piazza steps up to the plate and crushes the go-ahead home run. At that moment everyone in the stadium had gone from mourning to celebrating and it seemed to change the popularity of baseball in America as well. It seemed like baseball became more popular not only in New York but in the entire nation; everyone came together and showed their patriotism and their love for the sport.
When the playoffs came around the Yankees were positioned to face the Oakland Athletics, the second best team in the MLB, in the AL Divisional round. The Yankees soon went down 2-0 in the series and it looked like the Yankees hopes for their fifth straight world series win would come to an abrupt ending. But game 3 began and the Yankees seemed to refuse to lose and came out with a 1-0 victory and that seemed to turn the series around. The Yankees ended up winning the series and moving on to play the best team in the MLB the Seattle Mariners.
The Yankees had no trouble with the Mariners as they easily won the series 4-1 and just like that, the Yankees were back in the world series for the fourth time in a row.
The Yankees were up against the Arizona Diamondbacks. During the first 2 games of the World Series the Yankees just didn’t seem ready to win as they got dominated in those games losing 9-1 and then 4-0. With the Yankees coming back home for games 3, 4, and 5 everyone hoped that the home field advantage would help give the Yankees the push they needed to get back into the series. The Yankees won game 3, 2-1 in a rather calm game compared to the upcoming games in the series.
In game 4 at the bottom of the ninth the Yankees were looking at a 3-1 deficit with Tino Martinez coming to the plate. He hits a home run that brings in 2 runs and ties and pushes the game into extra innings and the Yankees end up winning the game in the bottom of the 10th with Derek Jeter hitting a walk off home run and the final score being 4-3.
The next day game 5 was to be played and once again the Yankees were looking at another deficit being down 2-0 in the bottom of the 9th. Then Scott Brosius comes to the plate and crushes a game tying home run to once again push the game to extra innings. In the bottom of the 12th with a man on second Alfonso Soriano hits a ball that drops in the outfield and brings home the winning run and just like that the Yankees lead the series 3-2.
Game 6, back in Arizona the Diamondbacks came to play and shut the Yankees down from the start, smoking them 15-2 which seemed like a huge body blow to the Yankees spirits. But the loss didn’t seem to bother the Yankees at all as they came into game 7 and was ready for the slug fest between the two powerhouses. Both teams came ready to play but the Yankees magic had just run short as Luis Gonzalez comes to the plate with the bases loaded and hits a walk off hit to win the series and put an end to the Yankees magical run.
Even with the Yankees losing in devastating fashion it seemed like the citizens of New York could stop looking down in mourning, and they could now hold their heads high and look toward the future.