Dodgers, Marlins participate in 9/11 tribute

Dodgers, Marlins participate in 9/11 tribute

MIAMI -- Reminders were everywhere at Marlins Park that Sunday was a day to remember the tragic events that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001. The large video scoreboard displayed the special Major League Baseball logo, which featured a red, white and blue ribbon between the date and the slogan: "We Shall Not Forget."

As part of a league-wide commemoration of the events that took place 15 years ago, the United States flag was stitched on the caps of the Marlins and Dodgers, who completed their three-game series. Pregame, there was a moment of silence, and special lineup cards were used.

To a number of players, Sept. 11, 2001, hits close to home.

Marlins right-hander Tom Koehler was a sophomore in high school in New Rochelle, N.Y. His father, Rolf, a retired New York City police officer, was a first responder at the World Trade Center that day, and in the months afterward, he was part of the cleanup efforts.

"I was fortunate I didn't lose anybody, but I know a lot of people who did," Koehler said on Sunday. "I think about [my father] on this day, and I can't speak to the amount of respect I have for him for sacrificing going down there."

Dodgers third baseman Rob Segedin was raised in Old Tappan, N.J., about 30 minutes from Ground Zero. Then a seventh grader, the attacks impacted the lives of some of his friends.

"There were kids in my area whose parents survived, some parents didn't survive," Segedin said. "It was one of those things that was so sad, and yet it makes you appreciate everything you have in this country after experiencing something so devastating like that."

In honor of the day, Koehler sported a navy blue NYPD T-shirt on Sunday before getting ready for the Marlins-Dodgers' series finale.

"It's my small way to pay respect to everybody who sacrificed going down there," Koehler said. "There is a lot going on in this country right now. I think we lose sight of respecting those who have sacrificed a lot. This is my small token of honoring those who went in and sacrificed, and I just wish more was done for first responders, not only that day, but people who sacrifice on a daily basis."

For Segedin, the Sept. 11 attacks came while his school was starting a three-day sleepover camp in upstate New York. His bus left around 7 a.m., and during the ride, the World Trade Center was struck.

"None of us had cell phones at the time, so we didn't know what happened," Segedin said. "I think some of the teachers knew because they were in a bad mood. That night, the principal came up and told us what happened. It was kind of weird, because during the day, parents were showing up and picking up their kids, and we were thinking, like, these kids are scared to sleep over. We had no idea. We stayed the next three days and really had no idea what was going on back home until we got back."

Historic game at Fort Bragg

Earlier in the season, the Marlins participated in another game that paid tribute to those who serve. On July 3, Miami and the Braves played at Fort Bragg in the first regular-season professional sports game played on an active United States military base.

"That was obviously special for us, not only to be part of that game, but to visit the troops and their families and to see the support they gave to us was really unbelievable," Marlins catcher Jeff Mathis said. "We look up to them, and the things they do for us is so much more important than that game and the game we play. Today, obviously, is really, really special. I hope everybody understands and never forgets about it."

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.