There will be two days during my life I will never forget: September 11, 2001 and May 1, 2011.
I remember it like it’s yesterday, halting my 7th grade studies as we watched as a class on the news the terrifying events of 9/11. Our nation was torn only briefly before being brought back together even tighter than before.
But on May 1, I will never forget where I was when news broke that after 10 grueling years, America finally captured and killed Osama Bin Laden… I was at a baseball game.
The beauty of sports is the innocence. Baseball has forever brought together parents and children, the east coast and west coast, and for one day, Phillies fans and Mets fans.
In the 9th inning of the Phillies 2-1 14-inning loss to the New York Mets, 40,000-plus screaming fans united to chant “USA, USA, USA.” It was almost deafening, bringing me to tears as Ryan Madson sat down the Mets line up in five batters.
Two fan bases, driven by a hatred for each other, joined together to root for one team – the only winning team among a tied ballgame: the United States of America.
I will never forget where I was when my buddy next to me showed me his phone with the text message, “Bin Laden is dead.” John Mayberry was standing on second and Jimmy Rollins on first with two outs. Tim Byrdak was warming up for the Mets to face Ryan Howard. I read the text, stood there silently and watched Howard rip the 0-1 offering into left to tie the game.
Though six innings later, former Phillies Ronny Paulino ripped an RBI double, his fifth hit of the night, down the left field line to give New York a 2-1 lead, the Phillies, their fans and the rest of America walked away as winners.
This night belonged to New York. Your city, that never sleeps, can finally rest its weary head. Goodnight, New York.
God bless our troops, the NYPD and NYFD and the families of the victims. Thank you to those who have died for our country.
God Bless America and this game we call baseball.