MINNEAPOLIS — Dave Martinez vividly remembers watching Mike Piazza round first base in front of him, and fans crying in the stands, and the crowd being so loud that, even 18 years later, it still plays straight into his ears.
In the wide shot of Pizza circling the bases, Martinez steps onto the infield grass and pats his glove.
There were baseball matters to talk about — his bullpen , the health of his players, a game that would start at 6:40 p.m. local time in Minneapolis — but Martinez had spent the day recalling 9/11 and what happened afterward.
He took his kids out of school, scrambling like the rest of the country, and turned on the TV to see a clip of the first plane hitting the World Trade Center.
The Mets and New York Yankees didn’t play at home until days after that, their city reeling, and that’s when the Braves arrived at Shea Stadium for that game.
He recalled the national anthem, and then the singing of “God Bless America” in the seventh inning, and then Piazza lifting that pitch beyond the center field wall.
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