PHILADELPHIA -- Eleven years ago Tuesday, Marlins pitcher Mark Buehrle was in New York City for the first time in his life, preparing to play at old Yankee Stadium. Jose Reyes, Miami's shortstop, was back home in the Dominican Republic, a few days away from a scheduled flight to New York to receive a Minor League award from the Mets.
Everyone remembers where they were upon hearing the news of the terrorist attacks that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001. Before the Marlins' game at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday, the Phillies hosted a "Patriot Day" tribute that included a State Flags presentation with local police and firemen. The ceremonial first pitch was thrown out by Christopher Suprun, a paramedic/firefighter and Sept. 11 first responder.
Anytime a tragedy occurs, "it kind of puts everything into perspective, realizing baseball's not really No. 1 on the list," Buehrle said.
On Sept. 11, 2001, Buehrle, then a member of the White Sox, woke up to the news in a New York City hotel. He said he and his teammates spent the day in the hotel watching television to figure out what was going on. The next morning, with the airports closed, they took two buses back to Chicago. A week later, on Sept. 18, Buehrle started an emotional game between the White Sox and Yankees in Chicago, New York's first game since the attack on the World Trade Center.
Each Major League club was asked to participate in a day of service in their community this week as part of Major League Baseball's remembrance of Sept. 11. On Tuesday, members of the Marlins' front office prepared and served meals at Chapman Partnerships. Other events are scheduled for the coming days.
"I think this day makes the United States stronger and more unified," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said. "I think this makes us realize how much we love the country and how important this country is around the world. ... One thing [people are] never going to forget is that day. And that's very important that people don't forget that day."