On the 10th anniversary of one of the most devastating moments in United States history, sports took a brief backseat to tributes from coast to coast.
Among the most moving ceremonies was the one that took place in New York at Citi Field, as the Mets hosted the Cubs on national TV. Mets players donned FDNY and NYPD hats, and players from both teams held the hands of children whose families were changed forever on 9/11. The ballpark lights were dimmed as an impromptu “U-S-A!” chant broke out among the fans before John Franco delivered a pitch to Mike Piazza.
It was a special moment, and it was one the Mets wanted to extend by wearing hats of New York City’s first responders. They were willing to face any fine that may come to them by wearing the caps, but Major League Baseball took that decision out of their hands — or, more accurately, off their heads.
“For all those upset that we didn’t wear the hats, I understand your anger,” Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey said on Twitter. “However, they physically took them from us after the ceremony. We had conspired to wear them but we got found out and MLB got involved.”
The thought that players had to “conspire” to honor the brave men and women who ran toward the Twin Towers as everyone else was running away is certainly troubling, and MLB executive vice president of baseball operations Joe Torre didn’t help matters with his explanation to The Associated Press.
“Certainly it’s not a lack of respect,” Torre said. “We just felt all the major leagues are honoring the same way with the American flag on the uniform and the cap. This is a unanimity thing.”
If you look up unanimity in the dictionary, it will tell you it means “the quality or state of being unanimous.” In this instance, with the players getting denied for wanting to do something special that stretched far beyond the game of baseball, Torre probably should have thought of another word. Unnecessary, ridiculous or thoughtless all work.
The hats, at least, will be autographed and sold, with all proceeds going to charity, but they’d probably fetch even more money if they were game-worn.
Should the Mets have been allowed to wear hats honoring 9/11 first responders during their game?
“You’re out of control. You’re a hater, and you’re just unattractive inside. Really, don’t even look at me.”
–Serena Williams, to chair umpire Eva Asderaki, during Sunday’s U.S. Open final
The Red Sox need more than a Snuggie right now.