With Yankee fans fingers crossed
for another autumnal appearance in the big show,
here’s a flash back in non-fiction narrative and
exciting oral history to an appearance in 2001.
In 2001, the World Series did not
start until Saturday,
October 27th, the latest start date ever.
The Yanks, facing the Diamondbacks, became the
first club to appear in four straight World
Series since the Bronx Bombers of 1961-64.
First game after 9/11 going from my car in the
parking lot to the Yankee clubhouse I was photo
ID’d four times. In the press box there were
about as many policemen as there were writers.
October 30th: Game Three. My fiancée Tara,
now my wife, and I were sent four blocks in one
direction and four blocks in another direction.
Three and one half hours to get to our seats in
the bleachers -- which to me is where all the
real Yankee fans go -- and we got there with
just five minutes to spare.
We had to go
through metal detectors. They went through
everything. You could not bring anything into
that game except for what you had in your
pocket. There was security everywhere. There
were cops everywhere, undercover cops, police on
horseback, soldiers, big machine guns.
Broadcasting in Baltimore, I'd seen presidents
come to the old Memorial Stadium and then the
new Camden Yards. I'd seen Presidents Reagan,
Bush Sr., and Clinton throw out the first ball.
But I will never forget the night of October 30,
2001 when President Bush came out at Yankee
other presidents, there would always be a crowd:
reporters, photographers, Secret Service agents.
night, when Bob Sheppard said: "And please
welcome the President of the United States," the
President came out of the Yankee dugout all
alone. He walked to the mound and threw the
pitch from the top of the mound like he was a
player. It was a strike. And Bob Sheppard said:
“Thank you, Mr. President.”
ovation! There was such a sense among the fans
Our Commander in Chief, bare-headed and wearing
a light grey-blue NYFD jacket (apparently
covering a bulletproof vest) had thrown a
perfect pitch. He waved to the crowd. They
roared and cheered as the F 15’s flew overhead.
55,820 people at the Stadium that chilly night.
You had the coats, the hats. People were bundled
up. I wore my 1998 championship New York Yankees
jacket and my Yankee cap.
We had come
back from Arizona down two games to none in the
World Series. Spirits were a little down but
Jose Posada got them up quickly hitting the home
run in the second inning. You could feel the
Clemens was a little tenuous early on. He had
some problems with the splitter. Balls were
going into the dirt. Top of the fourth, Arizona
tied it. Clemens finally handed the game to
Rivera in the eighth inning.
Number 18, Scott Brosius, who had the big hit.
A single in the sixth putting the Yanks up 2-1.
When Rivera came out of the
bullpen to pitch the eighth, the place went
nuts. And when he got the final out in
the ninth, the place shook again. Yankees
won it, 2-1.
The next night was Halloween. Derek Jeter came
to bat in the bottom of the tenth. There were
two outs. October became history.
The scoreboard messaged: “WELCOME TO NOVEMBER
BASEBALL.” At 12:04 a.m., Jeter slammed Byung-Hyun
Kim’s 3-2 pitch for a walk-off home run into the
right field stands. The Yankees had a 4-3
MICHAEL KAY: CBS RADIO: Swung on and drilled to
right field, going back Sanders, on the track,
at the wall...SEE YA! SEE YA! SEE YA! A home run
for Derek Jeter! He is Mr. November! Oh what a
home run by Derek Jeter!