Connect with us

New York

Memories of tears, cheers and Mike Piazza’s Amazin’ home run after 9/11

Published

on

It was billed as an important step in New York City’s return to normalcy after 9/11. But there was nothing normal about it.

The first professional sports game played in the city following the attacks came at Shea Stadium on Sept. 21, a lovely Friday night and the last evening of summer. The third-place Mets were hosting the division-leading Atlanta Braves, their arch rivals, with first place within reach. 

I’d been to some big games, even historic World Series classics. But nothing prepared me for what I was about to experience, and no game etched itself deeper into my memory before or since.

I was joined at the ballpark by my brother Ray, a New York City firefighter, and two of his colleagues from Engine Co. 280/Ladder Co. 132 in Brooklyn, known as “The Eye of the Storm.” All three firemen had spent the last week on “the pile” at Ground Zero, fruitlessly searching for survivors — including seven men from their own Crown Heights firehouse. They were physically and emotionally spent, and ready to lose themselves in a baseball game. 

Walking from the parking lot to the entry gate, we were puzzled by the slowly moving queue of fans that seemed to stretch a quarter-mile. It was the first clue that 9/11 had forever changed the way Americans would attend live sporting events. Guards checked every bag, frisked every fan and wanded people with handheld metal detectors. 

We took our seats and looked up to see NYPD snipers in the rafters circling Shea. Another chilling first. 

The crowd — and skies — were unsettlingly quiet. Shea was famous for its loud fans and even louder planes roaring overhead from nearby LaGuardia Airport. Post-9/11, flights over populated areas were forbidden.

It was assumed then that NYC and densely-populated targets were still very much in the sights of terrorists. Much debate transpired before MLB, which had moved three Mets home games to Pittsburgh earlier in the week, decided to allow baseball back in NYC. And everyone attending the game that night accepted a certain level of risk. They were also making a statement: New Yorkers would not bow to fear and let terrorists change our way of life.

Shea Stadium on Sept. 21, 2001, was unusually somber as first responders threw the first pitch.
Shea Stadium on Sept. 21, 2001, was unusually somber as first responders threw the first pitch.
Charles Wenzelberg for NY Post

Such weighty thoughts had never entered my mind before something as trivial as a ballgame before.

The pre-game pageantry was gut-wrenching. Most of the 41,235 in attendance didn’t know what to expect or how to act. The crowd mustered only a low murmur and a few scattered cheers of “U-S-A! U-S-A!” Both teams exited the dugouts to line up along their respective baselines — something that only happens on Opening Day or in the postseason. 

Cameras scanned the faces of the ballplayers and their images appeared on the giant screen in centerfield. Mike Piazza, the Mets’ star catcher, was struggling mightily to stay composed. Manager Bobby Valentine egged the crowd on, as if to say, “It’s OK to cheer.”

But I’ll never forget the face of Braves third baseman Chipper Jones. Like most Met fans, I hated this cocky future Hall of Famer and inveterate Met killer. He enjoyed so much success at Shea that he named one of his sons after the ballpark. 

His eyes welled, his bottom lip quivered, as he fought tears. It was a stirring show of compassion for a city that had always treated him as the enemy. I became a Chipper Jones fan in that moment. 

Cavernous Shea fell silent as the bagpipers began their mournful dirge and sailors in their dress whites began the slow march from centerfield holding a horizontal, giant American flag. 

As the city was grieving and healing, the Mets gave fans a reason to be in ecstasy on this night.
As the city was grieving and healing, the Mets gave fans a reason to be in ecstasy on this night.
Charles Wenzelberg for NY Post

The cheers began to build, as another solemn march formed —  dozens of firefighters, police officers, EMTs, and other civil-servant heroes of the city, taking their places next to the sailors to lay their hands on Old Glory. 

I remember thinking, “How many of these men and women lost co-workers, brothers, husbands, wives?”

I began to weep. Embarrassed, I glanced around, only to find everyone else, including my companions, wiping away tears.

Diana Ross sang “God Bless America.” The crowd embraced every note. It was the first time I had heard that song at a sporting event. Now it is almost mandatory.

Some of the details of the game have grown fuzzy with time. But these are inconsequential when measured against the enormity of what we had lost, and the huge national catharsis we were experiencing firsthand. It was a tight, low-scoring game.

In the fifth inning, I climbed the stairs to buy more beer. But when I got to the concession, I was told they had run out. The next stand was sold out too. I was stunned. A giant stadium had run out of beer halfway through the game. Fans were drinking as if at an Irish wake — some to forget, some to toast those we’d lost, but I believe most were celebrating getting back to living. 

By the 7th-inning stretch, when Liza Minelli belted out a rousing rendition of “New York, New York,” the crowd was raucous. 

In the top of the eighth inning, the Braves scored to take a 2-1 lead. The hope of a fairy-tale ending to an extraordinary night seemed to be draining away.

In the bottom of the inning, with one out and a man on base, Piazza stepped to the plate. He had seemed more affected by 9/11 than most of the players. Maybe it was because he lived in an apartment not far from Ground Zero.

As if scripted, the future Hall of Famer slammed a towering home run into the night, and the Mets took a 3-2 lead they would not relinquish. Delirium filled the stands. The normally stoic Piazza pumped his fist as he rounded first base, knowing he had given New York a gift it would never forget. 

Over the years, several Braves players, including Jones, have come out and said it was the one game of their careers they did not mind losing. John Smoltz put it best: “It was like a game that wasn’t really a game. It was a healing.”

For further reading visit Source

Continue Reading

New York

What Time Will ‘Riverdale’ Season 6 Be on Netflix?

Published

on

The season finale of Riverdale aired in late July on The CW. Notice we said season finale? Thankfully, the beloved series will return for a seventh season, but, unfortunately, Season 7 will be the final installment of Riverdale.

If you already streamed the current season, make sure to read Alex Zalben’s interview with Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa on Decider. If you’re waiting to binge Season 6 on Netflix, well, you better clear your calendar because all 22 episodes are about to drop on the streamer. What time will the sixth season of Riverdale debut on Netflix? What time does Netflix release shows? Here’s everything you need to know.

WHEN IS THE RIVERDALE SEASON 6 NETFLIX RELEASE DATE?

Riverdale Season 6 premieres Sunday, August 7 on Netflix.

HOW MANY EPISODES ARE IN RIVERDALE SEASON 6?

The sixth season of Riverdale consists of 22 episodes.

WHAT TIME DOES NETFLIX RELEASE NEW SHOWS?

Netflix releases new episodes at 3:00 a.m. ET/12:00 a.m. PT.

WHAT TIME WILL RIVERDALE SEASON 6 BE ON NETFLIX?

Netflix is based out of California, so Riverdale Season 6 will be available to stream at 12:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time (3:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time) beginning Sunday, August 7. If the clock strikes 12:00 (or 3:00 a.m. for folks on the East Coast) and you don’t see the new episodes, give it a moment, hit refresh, and then enjoy the show!

WILL THERE BE A SEASON 7 OF RIVERDALE?

Yes! Decider recently covered that very topic.

For further reading visit Source

Continue Reading

New York

Actress Anne Heche Suffers Severe Burns After Crashing Car Into Los Angeles Home

Published

on

Actress Anne Heche, known for her roles in such films as Donnie Brasco, Volcano and I Know What You Did Last Summer, was involved in a fiery car crash in the Mar Vista area of Los Angeles on Friday.

According to TMZ, Heche was driving a blue Mini Cooper and had first crashed into the garage of an apartment complex. Residents of the apartment complex tried to get her out of the vehicle but she backed up and sped off.

Footage of Heche speeding down the streets of her neighborhood had been obtained by TMZ as well as her initial encounter at the apartment complex.

In the first clip, you can hear her car crash towards the end. It has been reported that the actress crashed into someone’s home, causing her vehicle and the house to erupt into flames. Heche suffered severe burns and was resisting being taken away in a stretcher. You can also view footage of this via the TMZ article.

It has not been confirmed whether alcohol has been involved in the incident since her condition prevents doctors from performing any tests to determine if she was driving under the influence. She is currently intubated in the hospital but expected to live.

For further reading visit Source

Continue Reading

New York

These are the vulgar license-plate requests the DMV has rejected

Published

on

Stay CL4SSY, New York!

The state Department of Motor Vehicles nixed 3,752 requests for vanity license plates in the last three years because it deemed them too raunchy, radical or simply ridiculous.

New York’s personalized plates go for $60 initially, and then $31.25 annually for renewal. You can get any plate as long as no one else has it and it’s not offensive.

Odds are a request for a plate that marks a wedding anniversary or shows your allegiance to a team — like METS86 — will pass muster with the DMV gatekeepers.

Vulgarity won’t get you to first base.

So plates with the phrase LFGM — the acronym for Pete Alonso’s “Let’s F–king Go Mets” rallying cry — did not make the cut.

And you won’t see anyone driving around with the custom plates MILFDAD, AS5M4N and WLHUNG.

Crude meanings such as “MILFDAD” are unacceptable by the DMV.
Crude meanings such as “MILFDAD” are unacceptable by the DMV.
New York DMV
NYC123
New York state Department of Motor Vehicles denied more than 3.5 thousand requests for license plates deemed inappropriate.
New York DMV
“AS5M4N” was rejected for referring to “Ass man.”
“AS5M4N” was rejected for referring to “Ass man.”
New York DMV

The DMV also put NICEBUNS, FATFANNY, GOTAPOOP and BENDOVER in the rear-view mirror.

One player unsuccessfully tried to score the plate YESDADDY, to no avail.

The DMV also shot down such dark requests as DEADGIRL, GENOC1DE, S8TAN, DETONATE and MURDERM3.

“SUM8ITCH” is not allowed.
“SUM8ITCH” is not allowed.
New York DMV
The DMV thoroughly nixed a request for “CNNLIES.”
The DMV thoroughly nixed a request for “CNNLIES.”
New York DMV
BOOBIE is prohibited.
BOOBIE is prohibited.
New York DMV

Getting political is a dead end too — FJOEBIDN, FDTRUMP and CNNLIES were nixed.

LUDEDUDE, NARCO, GOT METH and BLUNT also went up in smoke.

Staten Island attorney Bill Dertinger said his blue 1995 Jaguar SJS was tagged with ESQLTD after his company and his 2014 Porsche had the plate GHOSTGTS because the sleek sportscar was white.

“The plates can make you stand out — which can be a curse or a blessing,” the 54-year-old Dertinger said. “Make sure you don’t cut anybody off.”

A man attempted to sneak in “YESDADDY” onto his license plate.
A man attempted to sneak in “YESDADDY” onto his license plate.
New York DMV
The DMV stopped a request for “FJOEBIDEN.”
The DMV stopped a request for “FJOEBIDEN.”
New York DMV
The DMV also rejects any license plates referring to politics.
The DMV also rejects any license plates referring to politics.
New York DMV

There must be a New York Jets fan playing referee at the DMV because a request for the seemingly innocent plate GASE was sidelined. Ex-Jets head coach Adam Gase had an offensive 9-23 win-loss record during his forgettable two-year tenure.

The DMV would not reveal who gives the final yea or nay.

“The DMV reviews all custom license plate requests and works hard to ensure that any combinations that may be considered objectionable are rejected,” said agency spokesman Tim O’Brien.

“GLOCKS” referring to guns is not accepted by the DMV.
“GLOCKS” referring to guns is not accepted by the DMV.
New York DMV
“FLYMOFO” is not approved by the DMV.
“FLYMOFO” is not approved by the DMV.
New York DMV

He said guidelines on what plate combinations are restricted can be found on the DMV website: https://dmv.ny.gov/learn-about-personalized-plates. Approximately 50,000 personalized and custom plates are sold per year, O’Brien said.

Bagged Tags

The state DMV has rejected 3,752 requests for custom license plates in the last three years because it deemed them potentially offensive. Here are some:

YESDADDY

FJOEBIDN

FDTRUMP

GLOCKS

FLYMOFO

BOOBIE

AS5M4N

BUDLIGHT

DEADGIRL

SUM8ITCH

GENOC1DE

S8TAN

CNNLIES

DETONATE

MURDERM3

MILFDAD

WLHUNG

Source: NYS DMV

For further reading visit Source

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2017 Zox News Theme. Theme by MVP Themes, powered by WordPress.