The acts that took place on September 11, 2001 rocked our nation and reshaped the way we look at our country, family, friends and more. The nation took time to pause from our every lives to reflect and pay tribute to the victims of the terrorist attacks. The sporting world took a step back to allow the grieving and healing processes take place. Of course, sports were no small party in the eventual healing process.
How many people remember the fact that the Phillies were actually in a playoff chase at the time, with a pivotal series with the Atlanta Braves getting ready to start up in Atlanta. Of course, that series was rescheduled as Major League Baseball postponed a full week’s worth of games, but baseball would come back, and the it would return in the city in which this nation’s independence was born on that first night back.
Who better to offer the appropriate monologue for Philadelphia than Harry Kalas, in one of his finest moments that will forever be ethced in my memory bank.
I remember watching this game, more so because baseball was going to be the national stage for the nation to heal and come together with a reason to hopefully smile and escape the terror that wrecked us all the week before. But the Phillies were also playing an important game, a fact that is often, and rightfully, overlooked when we reflect back on that night in September. Mike Piazza’s majestic home run for the Mets a few days later, in the first baseball game played in New York since the attacks, may be the lasting memory nationally, but for Philadelphia fans we had Scott Rolen’s RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Phillies a 4-3 victory over the Atlanta Braves.
The win pulled the Phillies within 1.5 games of the NL East leaders, but that didn’t ultimately matter that night.