Ah, the “Authority of the MLB” and again they take one step too far.
This past weekend was a time of mourning and recovery for all of us. The whole country had their own ways of remembering the events of 9/11/01 and did so.
I was particularly taken with the Shanksville ceremonies. You don’t get the recent and current Presidents to travel there without being very serious about your mission to honor what happened on your ground ten years ago. Shanksville is truly a country town, but they certainly understand how to deal with all Americans, from Presidents to school children.
Amidst all of this honor and respect comes a ‘threat’ from MLB about wearing 9/11 Caps. What? MLB actually threatened the team with not following ‘the guidelines’ and said they would be fined.
No wonder MLB is slowly becoming a shadow of it’s former self. With all the grand new stadiums/shopping centers their fan base is shrinking. Of course it is – MLB has put the new expenses right in front of the fans. From all the merchandise, to the food, to the parking, and the seats, to the expenses of the stadium – the fan gets hit every time.
What was so wrong with wearing those hats?
Joe Torre, who played a large part in it and now works for Bud Selig said this,
“We did it to be consistent around the league. It’s just something we feel is the right thing to do. I’ve had several talks with the Mets the last month or so. They understood and respected it. It’s certainly not a lack of respect.”
Many fans, especially New Yorkers, didn’t see it that way.
Despite all the hat drama, let me say that the Mets did an amazing job last night with their pre-game ceremony that honored all those who died on Sept. 11, 2001 and paid tribute to all the first responders.
NYPD, FDNY, OEM and all the other agencies that heeded the call on September 11, were all very well represented on the field. New York’s Finest and New York’s Bravest were all allowed to wear their hats, MLB wouldn’t dare rush the field to confiscate those hats, the way they did so from the Mets before the game, to be sure no players would defy the MLB ban on 9/11 hats.
It was a touching ceremony that was one of the best we’ve ever seen before from the Mets. Marc Anthony performed the National Anthem and it resonated so wonderfully throughout the stadium and into our living rooms.
It wasn’t a sold out house – not by a long shot, but those in attendance saw a great show that was both poignant and heartfelt. At one point, the fans became a part of the tribute when they dimmed the lights for a moment of silence, and then asked everyone in attendance to hold up their candles.
Even the children of the parents who were lost, were on hand and honored. Seeing that group of kids, aptly called “Tuesday’s Children”, was a beautiful touch. You never saw a more wonderful group of happy kids which after one look, you knew our city was restored and that our future is bright.
And of course, Mike Piazza and John Franco played their parts perfectly. In fact it was all so perfect in every way imaginable.
MLB tried their best to upstage and mar the events with “Hat-Gate”, but in the end, the true spirit and resiliency of a great city overcame adversity once again. Nothing was going to ruin this wonderful tribute, not even Bud Selig himself.
Written in collaboration with Annie Savoy and Joe D.