MLB employees pack meals for 9/11 Day event at Intrepid

September 12th, 2022

NEW YORK – The memories remain vivid for anybody who called New York home during the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

It was one of the darkest days in American history, but more than two decades later, hundreds of volunteers used the anniversary as a reason to make the world a better place.

“For New Yorkers in particular, you need to find a way to reflect about 9/11 and make sure it's not just another day,” said Commissioner Rob Manfred. “To me, the perfect way to do that reflection is to do something where you give back a little bit.”

Manfred and more than 100 Major League Baseball employees gathered at the Intrepid Air, Sea & Space Museum in Manhattan on Monday to pack meals that will be distributed to food pantries around the area.

“I love the idea that our employees show up in force here to participate,” Manfred said. “I think it's important for the organization. It's a team-building opportunity that gives people an opportunity to work together. More importantly, it's a statement about what our organization stands for. We were really involved in the recovery from 9/11 and it's important for our young people to remember that.”

Among those joining Manfred were MLB senior directors of on-field operations Gregor Blanco and Dan Otero and MLB Network’s Anthony Recker and Keiana Martin.

“New York City gave so much to me in my time here; my wife, we raised our first child here for six months, so it means a lot to us to be able to come back here and give back to the city,” said Recker, who played for the Mets from 2013-15. “This time of year brings a lot of sorrow and heartache, but it also brings that hope for a better future with what we've tried to do with it since.”

Art Shamsky, a member of the 1969 World Series champion Mets, was also on hand to help pack meals for those in need.

“I was around on 9/11 and it's a very special, sad remembrance of what happened at that time,” Shamsky said. “This is great; we have so much enthusiasm here and so many people involved, young and old. It’s nice to be able to contribute something to what's going on in remembrance of this day. I'm really happy to be here.”

The event was run by 9/11 Day, a non-profit group that organizes the annual September 11 National Day of Service as a tribute to those who lost their lives or were injured in the attacks, as well as those first responders who rose in service on that day.

Just months after the attacks, Jay Winuk – whose brother, Glenn, was killed at the World Trade Center – co-founded the organization with David Paine, seeking a way to honor those who lost their lives. Their grassroots initiative aimed to transform Sept. 11 into a day of good deeds, trying to replicate the spirit they saw throughout the United States following the attacks.

“We started the initiative as a grassroots initiative right after the attacks, because we did want to try to create a ritual in this country where people return to that phenomenon of coming together and focusing in on our common humanity, which is what happened after 9/11,” Winuk said. “If you lived through that time, you remember the way everybody came together, put aside our differences and focused on that which brings us together in common purpose. In these divided times, we need that perhaps more than ever now.”

9/11 Day has grown into the country’s largest annual day of charitable engagement, as events such as the one at the Intrepid took place in 11 different cities around the U.S.

This marked the second straight year that Manfred and a group of MLB employees took part in the event, one of many major corporate sponsors that helped make the day a rousing success.

“The support we get from MLB is extraordinary,” Winuk said. “We feel blessed to have such great support from MLB and really from the entire sports industry. It's one thing to write a check; it's another thing to show up and do the work. Having all these people from MLB here just packing meals and having a good time and paying tribute on 9/11, it’s really very gratifying.”

For more information on 9/11 Day, visit