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Nine Innings From Ground Zero

October 29, 2009 - Kim Collette
The World Series is here....and my Yankees are back! (A little disappointed that they are already behind in the series but happy nonetheless).  You might be wondering how this "OHIO" sports gal ended up rooting for "The Evil Empire."

The tragedy and horror of the 9-11 attacks started changes in our country, especially the role of sports.  I found myself in late fall of 2001 glued to my television.  I was watching the New York Yankees and the Arizona Diamondbacks.  They were in one of the most dramatic World Series ever.  Were the games that great?  Some of them were, but certainly not enough to make me a fan! But, it was the role that baseball played in New York's recovery effort and the role it played in uplifting all American's spirits.  That is what drew me in...not the names Jeter, Rivera, Posada, Clemens....the spirit of America.  The New York Yankees became the most beloved team in the country instead of the most hated (if only for that one World Series in 2001).  And....I became a fan too.  Watching the Yankees play meant I too could get back to normal.  The Yankees and Diamondbacks made it okay to cheer for a team and be happy again. 

The most poignant moment for me wasn't even during an actual game.  Game 3 sent the series back to New York City.  The game was opened by President George W. Bush who threw out the ceremonial first pitch.  He stood defiantly on the mound and gave a "thumbs up".  A chorus of  "U-S-A, U-S-A" echoed threw the stadium and threw television sets.  New York and President Bush were showing the world the WE would be okay.  Game 3, October 31, 2001 I became a New York Yankee fan.....forever.

So what does all this explanation have to do with pop culture?  A documentary  called "Nine Innings from Ground Zero" was made by HBO Sports.  You get an insight into what the World Series meant to the workers at Ground Zero and people who lost loved ones during the attack at the World Trade Towers.  You get an insight in what it was like for players on both teams taking part in the World Series.  The film goes back and forth between  the World Series games and with the recovery effort going on simultaneously only 9 miles south of Yankee Stadium at Ground Zero.  One of my favorite parts has to do with the ceremonial pitch thrown by the President.  Derek Jeter (who happens to be my favorite Yankee) meets the President in the clubhouse.  Derek Jeter kindly lets the President know  "You better not bounce it . We're in New York....the fans will boo."  If you haven't seen "Nine Innings from Ground Zero,"  I urge you to. "Nine Innings from Ground Zero" shows the remarkable and inspiring events in New York City in the fall of 2001.

The 2001 World Series and the New York Yankees helped me heal after 9-11.  I will always be a fan of  "the most hated team" in baseball.  So....GO YANKEES!  Beat the Phillies!

Until next time friends !


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