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Twins, Indians remember 9/11 with ceremony

MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS -- As a nation mourned after the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, baseball was something that the citizens of New York -- and the United States as a whole -- rallied around as part of the healing process.

Fifteen years after that fateful morning, baseball still remembers the American lives lost on that day. Before Sunday's game between the Twins and Indians, the Twins hosted a pregame ceremony that included a moment of silence as part of a league-wide remembrance of the tragedy that rocked the United States.

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MINNEAPOLIS -- As a nation mourned after the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, baseball was something that the citizens of New York -- and the United States as a whole -- rallied around as part of the healing process.

Fifteen years after that fateful morning, baseball still remembers the American lives lost on that day. Before Sunday's game between the Twins and Indians, the Twins hosted a pregame ceremony that included a moment of silence as part of a league-wide remembrance of the tragedy that rocked the United States.

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Both teams wore special caps with American flag patches, with proceeds from sales of those caps donated to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, the Pentagon Memorial and the Flight 93 Memorial. Special lineup cards and base jewels were also used in the game.

"Baseball is a big game, but there's a lot of things out there that are a lot bigger than the game, so it's definitely important to take the time to acknowledge all that," said Twins reliever Pat Dean.

In both clubhouses, there are players that still remember their own connections to those events as if they happened just yesterday.

Cleveland outfielder Rajai Davis, who was 21 at the time, remembers being home in Connecticut and speaking to friends who worked in the tower but didn't go in to work that day. They had co-workers who lost their lives in the attack.

Indians first-base coach Sandy Alomar Jr. was actually in New York at the time with the White Sox. Alomar remembered the silence on the bus as the team drove away from the city.

"It was kind of eerie," he said. "It's something that you can't believe that it happened. We had many conversations about many different things, but we were all kind of in disbelief about what just happened."

On the Twins side, Dean grew up in Connecticut and attended Boston College, where he remembered the significance of fellow alum Welles Crowther, the "man in the red bandana" who reportedly saved as many as 18 people from the towers before he ultimately perished.

Reliever Pat Light, who was in fifth grade in New Jersey at the time of the attacks, lost one of his Little League coaches that day. The coach, the father of one of Light's friends on the team, had been working on the 111th floor in one of the World Trade Center towers as the planes hit.

Light currently resides in Hoboken, N.J., just across the Hudson River from Manhattan. He and his siblings still take walks to the pier, and he can't help but look at the skyline in front of him and remember how the smoke lingered about those very buildings for days.

He is honored to be a part of Major League Baseball's continued efforts to remember the events of that day.

"I lost a baseball coach that I was close with at the time," Light said. "You have people that have lost fathers, husbands, wives. It's tough for people, no matter how far in the past it was.

"For baseball to keep remembering those people and keep remembering the people that ran to the buildings when people had to run out, I think it's really important for our country, our people. It's an honor to be able to play baseball on days like this. It's pretty important."

Do-Hyoung Park is a reporter for MLB.com based in Minneapolis.

Cleveland Indians, Minnesota Twins