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Dodgers, D-backs honor first responders

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was at his home in Evansville, Ill., cleaning out horse stalls in his barn during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

"I was in my barn, mucking stalls," Mattingly said Wednesday afternoon, 12 years after that tragic day. "I had the radio on and heard it. I went up in my office to see it on TV. I remember being glued to the TV for like seven days watching what was going on."

The Dodgers and D-backs joined the rest of Major League Baseball in paying tribute to first responders with a pregame ceremony before Wednesday night's contest at Dodger Stadium.

With the baselines filled by first responders and U.S. Coast Guard second class petty officer Michael Dalager singing the national anthem, two members of FDNY in center field helped unfurl an American flag that was recovered from the wreckage at Ground Zero. After a helicopter flyover, there was a moment of silence for the victims of 9/11.

Both clubs wore caps with an American flag patch embroidered on the left side, as did the umpires. There were also special lineup cards, and each base featured small placards that read, "We Shall Not Forget."

More than 500 veterans received tickets, shirts and a food and beverage voucher for the game as part of Iraq Afghanistan Veterans of America Day, presented by Miller High Life. The Dodgers also hosted a group of veterans for batting practice and 125 veterans were recognized in center field before the game.

Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for
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