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Sep 15, 2004 10:46 am

Nine Innings from Ground Zero

I watched last night's HBO showing of"Nine Innings from Ground Zero." It's got some problems as a documentary, but for this Yankee fan, it had many moments of poignancy. It told the story of how baseball helped to heal many of the gaping wounds in the souls of New Yorkers in the days after the 9/11 attack.

The film mentioned that a Yankee game had been rained out the night before the tragedy. I remember it well. As I reminisce here:

I was scheduled to go to Yankee Stadium on Monday, September 10th 2001, to see the Yanks play their long-time rivals: the Boston Red Sox. But the game was rained out. I would have driven past the WTC that night. So, when I awoke on the morning of September 11th, I was convinced that Murphy's Law was second only to the Law of Identity in significance."Sure, it's a beautiful day today," I said."Why wasn't the sun shining yesterday?"

That sun quickly lost its shine. But those New Yorkers who found solace in sports were treated to some remarkable games when Major League Baseball resumed play some time after the attack.

The film recounts how President Bush came to Yankee Stadium to throw out the first pitch. Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter told him to throw the ball from the mound, and"don't bounce it," he warned,"they'll boo ya." Bush didn't disappoint. Nor did the Yanks, who eventually took their three home games in a World Series face-off with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Arizona may have won the series, but those three"miracle" wins at The Stadium lifted the hearts of many. This Yankee fan included. (Heck, even Boston Red Sox fans were singing"New York, New York" in tribute ... that, perhaps, was among the greatest post-9/11 miracles...)

It's a worthwhile film.

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