SEATTLE -- Before batting practice on Sunday, the Royals' clubhouse had an air of normalcy. The players had breakfast and were lounging around the TV, watching pro football.
Yet it really wasn't a normal day, not on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Earlier in the morning, the TV was tuned to more serious matters on the East Coast.
"As I walked in, I was thinking about our game today and I was assessing what I did last night personally," second baseman Chris Getz said. "We were able to win and then I looked on TV and there were people at a memorial, remembering some of the people that were killed during that whole thing.
"Talk about perspective. It reminded me that this [game] pales in comparison to what happened on 9/11 or any other day even like that. It helps you remember how quickly life can change and what's important and what isn't. And today is one of those days that puts it into perspective."
A stark reminder: Two King County Sheriff Dept. officers came through the clubhouse at mid-morning with explosive-sniffing dogs.
"We do it on a random basis throughout the year," one of the officers said, "but especially today."
The trained dogs would be on patrol at Safeco Field throughout the day.
It was a special anniversary in a different way for third baseman Mike Moustakas. Sunday was his 23rd birthday. He remembers Sept. 11, 2001, at his home in California vividly.
"I remember waking up and I was happy. I was 13 years old, my first teen-age birthday," Moustakas said. "I walked into the kitchen and saw my mom and dad watching the news on TV and they were crying. My whole family was sitting there crying, I think the whole world was crying a little bit. I stayed home from school and we just stayed home as a family and watched everything that happened."
The day forever will be important to Moustakas in two ways.
"It's not just a birthday I'll never forget, it's a day this country will never forget," he said quietly. "I think that's a little more important."
Most of the Royals' players were high school age or younger at that time. Everett Teaford remembered being in Algebra II class at Centennial High School in Roswell, Ga. Later his teacher, Miss Tia Jolley, learned that her brother-in-law, who worked in an adjacent building, had been having a late breakfast in the World Trade Center when the planes struck.
"He was in one of the Twin Towers still eating breakfast on the fourth floor when it happened and they told them it was nothing." Teaford said. "Obviously when the second plane hit, they went running out and he was all right and able to get away from everything."
Getz was a senior in class at Grosse Pointe South High School in Michigan.
"I was in TV production so we had access to the TVs," Getz said. "I remember they were showing the first tower and we were just watching and all of a sudden the second tower went and it was still burning. It hadn't collapsed yet. . . . We were sitting there when one went down and the next went down. Then the Pentagon happened and no one knew what was going on."
The world knew soon enough.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.