Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Yankees, World Series, 2001

Dr. Harvey Frommer on Sports

With Yankee fans fingers crossed for another autumnal appearance in the big show, here's a flash back in non-fiction narrative and exciting oral history to an appearance in 2001.

In 2001, the World Series did not start until Saturday, October 27th, the latest start date ever. The Yanks, facing the Diamondbacks, became the first club to appear in four straight World Series since the Bronx Bombers of 1961-64.

RICH MARAZZI: First game after 9/11 going from my car in the parking lot to the Yankee clubhouse I was photo ID'd four times. In the press box there were about as many policemen as there were writers.

BRAD TURNOW: October 30th: Game Three. My fiancée Tara, now my wife, and I were sent four blocks in one direction and four blocks in another direction. Three and one half hours to get to our seats in the bleachers -- which to me is where all the real Yankee fans go -- and we got there with just five minutes to spare.

We had to go through metal detectors. They went through everything. You could not bring anything into that game except for what you had in your pocket. There was security everywhere. There were cops everywhere, undercover cops, police on horseback, soldiers, big machine guns.

JON MILLER: Broadcasting in Baltimore, I'd seen presidents come to the old Memorial Stadium and then the new Camden Yards. I'd seen Presidents Reagan, Bush Sr., and Clinton throw out the first ball. But I will never forget the night of October 30, 2001 when President Bush came out at Yankee Stadium.

With the other presidents, there would always be a crowd: reporters, photographers, Secret Service agents.

But this night, when Bob Sheppard said: "And please welcome the President of the United States," the President came out of the Yankee dugout all alone. He walked to the mound and threw the pitch from the top of the mound like he was a player. It was a strike. And Bob Sheppard said: "Thank you, Mr. President."

What an ovation! There was such a sense among the fans that night.

BRAD TURNOW: Our Commander in Chief, bare-headed and wearing a light grey-blue NYFD jacket (apparently covering a bulletproof vest) had thrown a perfect pitch. He waved to the crowd. They roared and cheered as the F 15's flew overhead.
There were 55,820 people at the Stadium that chilly night. You had the coats, the hats. People were bundled up. I wore my 1998 championship New York Yankees jacket and my Yankee cap.

We had come back from Arizona down two games to none in the World Series. Spirits were a little down but Jose Posada got them up quickly hitting the home run in the second inning. You could feel the Stadium shake.

Roger Clemens was a little tenuous early on. He had some problems with the splitter. Balls were going into the dirt. Top of the fourth, Arizona tied it. Clemens finally handed the game to Rivera in the eighth inning.

It was Number 18, Scott Brosius, who had the big hit. A single in the sixth putting the Yanks up 2-1.

When Rivera came out of the bullpen to pitch the eighth, the place went nuts. And when he got the final out in the ninth, the place shook again. Yankees won it, 2-1.
The next night was Halloween. Derek Jeter came to bat in the bottom of the tenth. There were two outs. October became history.

The scoreboard messaged: "WELCOME TO NOVEMBER BASEBALL." At 12:04 a.m., Jeter slammed Byung-Hyun Kim's 3-2 pitch for a walk-off home run into the right field stands. The Yankees had a 4-3 victory.

MICHAEL KAY: CBS RADIO: Swung on and drilled to right field, going back Sanders, on the track, at the wall...SEE YA! SEE YA! SEE YA! A home run for Derek Jeter! He is Mr. November! Oh what a home run by Derek Jeter!

1 comment:

Peter Marengo said...

I was at that game, sat in the loge across from O'Neill in RF. It was a strange night, somewhat tense but celebratory. They gave out commemorative pins at the gate but my friend and I never got ours. There was a kind man in front who had two and gave me one, of which I still have. It still is the only WS game I ever attended.