Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Marlins reflect on tragic events of 9/11

@JoeFrisaro
September 11, 2019

MIAMI -- Neil Walker was a sophomore in high school, Curtis Granderson was in college and Don Mattingly, retired as a ballplayer, was at his home in Evansville, Ind. Like millions of others, the three can tell you exactly where they were when the tragic events of 9/11 took place.

MIAMI -- Neil Walker was a sophomore in high school, Curtis Granderson was in college and Don Mattingly, retired as a ballplayer, was at his home in Evansville, Ind.

Like millions of others, the three can tell you exactly where they were when the tragic events of 9/11 took place. The attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the plane crash in Shanksville, Pa., remain as vivid for them today as they were on Sept. 11, 2001.

“I saw a news thing this morning, and they were talking about everyone remembers where they were when it happened,” said Granderson, the Marlins' 38-year-old outfielder. “It’s been 18 years? Wow.”

In honor of those who lost their lives and were impacted by the events of the day, the Marlins on Wednesday joined Major League Baseball and the rest of the country in remembering and reflecting on the 9/11 tragedies.

“It’s obviously a day we will never forget,” said Walker, a 34-year-old infielder. “I remember being a sophomore in high school when 9/11 happened. Just how terrible a day it was for everyone involved. To honor the fallen and to do things the right way and unite, especially in terms of the baseball community, it’s obviously very important.”

At Marlins Park, the Marlins and Brewers sported 9/11 ribbon patches on the right side of their caps. A moment of silence also was observed before the first pitch.

“I was in Indiana when it happened,” said Mattingly, now in his fourth year as the Marlins’ manager. “I was retired. Obviously, all over the country, this is one of those things you remember where you were when it happened.”

Sports, in general, tend to be part of the healing process when tragedy occurs. And MLB is widely recognized for doing its part in the aftermath of 9/11.

“We are a part of honoring the people that paid for it with their lives, the first responders," Mattingly said.

Granderson’s first year of pro ball was in 2002, and that season he played in Staten Island in the New York-Penn League. Less than a year after 9/11, he recalls going with a teammate into Manhattan to visit a friend. He ended up visiting Ground Zero and was moved to see destroyed buildings.

Granderson spent 7 1/2 seasons playing in New York, with both the Yankees and the Mets.

“Everybody continued to move forward,” Granderson said. “We addressed 9/11. We were like, ‘Hey, we were knocked down back then, but here we are. We’re still moving forward.’ Not that we’ve forgotten.

“We were like, ‘We are going to play some ball today. We’re going to go about our lives. We’re going to go to work. We’re going to go to school.’ And highlight the fact we were going to do all that stuff, regardless of what happened.”

Walker played three seasons in New York, also spending time with the Yankees and the Mets.

“Being in New York, especially the last three years, you get a real sense of how tragic it was, when you see the names of the people when you’re down by the monuments,” Walker said. “It really hits you, no matter what time of year it is. In particular, this time of year.”

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.