Tabbed as the Yankees’ starting pitcher on that date 21 years later, German sensed an opportunity to follow in his fellow Dominican’s footsteps. After a rain delay of nearly two hours, Germán burst out of the dugout toward Yankee Stadium’s right-field bullpen, drawing cheers as he recreated Sosa’s red, white and blue dash.
“I was 9 years old, watching baseball with my granddad, and I remember seeing Sammy Sosa run out there with the flag,” Germán said through an interpreter after Sunday’s 10-4 win over the Rays. “The way I took it, it was a way to show support to the country, to the people, to the victims.
“Today I felt it was a good way to replicate that and show that even after that horrific event, you remember what happened and that it’s close to your heart.”
All Yankees uniformed personnel wore the caps of New York City’s first responder agencies, honoring the men and women who perished at the World Trade Center.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone laid a wreath at the 9/11 monument in Monument Park; following a moment of silence, FDNY firefighter Regina Wilson performed the national anthem, with a presentation of colors by the Port Authority Police Department Honor Guard.
“It’s incredibly meaningful to all of us in there to get to play, and to get to play in New York, on this day that means so much to so many people,” Boone said. “It’s not something we take lightly.”
Working on short rest and serving as the opener on a day in which the Yankees used eight pitchers, Germán tossed a scoreless inning after his tribute, saying that it was something he had been thinking about for quite some time.
“I always felt that, given the opportunity and given the right time, I wanted to do it,” Germán said. “It happened here with the Yankees. It’s something that my kids can see and hopefully use it as inspiration.”