It kind of got lost on the blog yesterday, but the Angels pregame ceremony in memory of September 11 was outstanding. It was understated and emotional, and the Angels did a nice job keeping the Yankees involved from start to finish.
“Obviously we have an opportunity to wear New York across our chest, and we take a lot of pride in that,” Derek Jeter said. “This was something that affected the whole country, but during that time right after September 11, when we were playing in the playoffs, and even now, it means a lot to us.”
Jeter, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera caught ceremonial first pitches from first responders who were part of that tragic day in New York. Afterward, all six — the heros and the players — mingled in the infield, with the Yankees signing autographs and making small talk.
“A lot of Yankees fans,” Jeter said. “A lot of the guys were pulling for us. It’s always good to hear. You meet guys that are true heroes and they say how much they appreciate the way you play. It makes you feel good.”
I realize it’s a day later, but we’ll have plenty of time to talk baseball today, and event seemed to really mean something in the Yankees clubhosue. Joe Torre was a surprise guest — no one seemed to know he was going to participate — and it was hard not to have an emotional reaction as the first responders and members of the military were introduced.
“It was a wonderful ceremony,” Rivera said. “They did a tremendous job. They gave us an oppoortuity to be there and be a part of it, which was awesome.”
Here’s Jeter. You’ll be shocked to learn he was terrific talking about the ceremony before shifting gears to talk about the game and the team’s need for a win.