The world observed the 13th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks on Thursday with countless memorials and the yearly ceremony at Ground Zero.
At Citi Field, the two major affected cities, Washington D.C. And New York, met in a series-opening game of America’s pastime. Unfortunately, the Mets’ fans (and partially, the organization) dropped the ball on what is now called Patriots’ Day, as an uninspiring crowd showed up to the game and even less saw the pre-game ceremonies involving victims, heroes, and their families.
The Washington Nationals defeated the New York Mets by a 6-2 score, giving the visitors its 12th consecutive win at Citi Field. There are more important things than baseball, and one of them is remembering that horrific Tuesday in September more than a decade ago.
As a Nationals fan and a New Yorker, this game meant a lot to me and it was an honor to have saw such an event in person. It truly is a shame that not many people felt the same way.
The opening ceremonies began shortly before 7:00pm eastern time. Standing near the pitcher’s mound was a member from the Port Authority, the NYPD, the NY Fire Department, and a few other significant groups that were greatly affected during the attacks.
While the National Anthem was being sung by a 9/11 first responder, less than 5,000 fans were standing in front of their seats and showing their respect.
Shortly after, several members of the group Tuesday’s Children were escorted onto the field and were able to chat with the umpires and Mets players. Video tributes were shown in between innings and a father who lost his son in the attacks, threw out the first pitch.
The announced attendance at the game was 21,111, which misrepresents the actual attendance last night. Citi Field would have been lucky to see 10,000 people go through the turnstiles during the contest on 9/11. Certainly the team’s poor performance and a lack of interest contributed to the poor showing, but what about showing your national pride during our national pastime?
Not only are the fans (and New Yorkers in general) at fault, but so is the Mets organization.
The Mets should have given out tickets to the game to bring as many people to Citi Field as possible on a day like the 9/11 anniversary. There were empty sections around the stadium and in a couple of them, there were more pigeons than people.
Not only would the extra fans bring in concessions revenue for the team, it would show loyalty for one’s country over their favorite sports team.
The idea would make sense in terms of public relations, but the owners of the team, the Wilpon family, are still recovering financially from the Bernie Madoff scam. Prior to this season, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said that the Mets are a 90-win team.
Such reasons prevented any thought of giving thousands of free tickets away, but last night’s game made the team and their fan base look horrible. The New York Mets played the first baseball game in New York after 9/11 and who could forget Mike Piazza’s clutch home run against Atlanta?
The Mets’ organization played a pivotal role in baseball’s return from the attacks and now, it’s night and day. The team didn’t even put an emblem of sorts on the field, which was surprising and disappointing. Overall, the Mets organization and their fans should be ashamed, and not only because they field a Triple-A team night in and night out.