Doug Glanville, who some of us may remember wore the blue pinstripes during his Major League debut in 1996, and also in 1997 and 2003, wrote a great opinion piece for the New York Times about the first game played after the attacks on our nation.
Seven years ago this week — Sept. 17, 2001, actually — my team, the Phillies, played a key game against the Atlanta Braves inside a packed Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia. The electricity in the stands was stunning. The pre-game ceremony showed off one of the biggest American flags I had ever seen, and the video presentation was one of a kind.
Because the three upcoming games would most likely make or break our season, we expected the series to bring Phillies fans from far and wide to support our efforts. At this point, every game counted — we were neck and neck with the Braves for the division title with only two weeks remaining. Even under the circumstances, though, we never expected this degree of support.
But we realized that the fans came out only partly to see a playoff race.