2001 World Series

This a picture of me before game 7 of the 2001 World Series in Arizona between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the New York Yankees. I was living in AZ at the time but as my friends know I am a die-hard Yankee fan.

Let me explain the feel of what was going on before I go any further. This World Series was happening right after the 9/11 attacks and America as a whole was concerned about what might happen next. Would the terrorists next strike at a huge American event like the World Series?  Nobody knew, but what I did know was that nobody was going to change the way I live my life. So when I found out the Yankees were going to be playing Arizona I immediately called all my Yankee friends to plan out how we would get tickets.

I lived in Arizona at the time and bought tickets to all 4 games. We decided the best way to ensure we got tickets to all 4 games (if needed) at the right price was to wait in line over night outside the BOB (Bank One Ballpark, now it’s something else).  That being said, I thought we (the Yanks) would win in 4 or 5 games and tickets for games 6 or 7 wouldn’t even be needed. (That was a mouthful...whew!)

So... for game 7 I bought the best single ticket they had left in the stadium, thinking if it did happen I would have a great seat for game 7 of the World Series that the Yankees were playing in!

If you follow baseball you know it did go to 7 games with the Yankees losing in dramatic fashion in the bottom of the 9th inning.

Anyway, game 7 arrived and I knew I had to do something special so I painted my chest with the American Flag, to symbolize (1) that I’m crazy :), and (2) that we as Americans would not live in terror, would not change the way we live our lives, would not cower down to the terrorists who bombed the greatest city on earth.

But I am a Yankee fan, so instead of the stars in the flag I put the New York Yankee logo (NY) in it’s place.  I also brought a huge New York Yankee flag into the stadium and was waving it around all game.  The single ticket I bought for the game was about 12 rows from the field and less than 20 feet from where Mayor Giuliani was seated.

Needless to say, I was making a scene all game. Between the painted chest, the Yankee flag, the natural NY Yankee attitude, compiled with the fact that the Yankees were winning all game, I was a menace to all D-Back fans with in 100 feet of me and beyond.

During one of my Yankee chants and out of control flag waving up and down the isle, I caught the attention of the NY Mayor who was seated a few rows from me. I approached where he was sitting and after being swarmed by his body guards, he let me through and spoke with me for 30 seconds or so. After we spoke, we shook hands and I asked him to sign my Yankee Flag. He obliged for what became a great moment in my life.

As I stated earlier the game went to the bottom of the 9th inning with the Yanks winning 2-1 and the best closer of all time coming into the game for NY, his name... Mariano Rivera.

Mariana had never blown a WS game and considering how well he was pitching nobody including D-back fans thought they had a chance. So there I was with a painted chest waving a Yankee Flag yelling at all the D-back fans to go home, it’s over, go beat the traffic. And the crazy thing was nobody was saying anything back, it was as if they knew I was right and couldn’t even rebut me.

Then it happened... the most improbable thing I could think of... Mariano just blew the game and World Series in one pitch. At that moment every fan as far as I could see was throwing anything they could at me, old hot dogs, popcorn, sodas, whatever was within their reach was being thrown at me from every angle. Security had to come down to my seat to make sure I got out of the stadium safely. It was a crazy seen, one that I wish had a different outcome but it was a good moment for me in one way, I started to move forward from the 9/11 attacks..

For the record, I can't remember which game I painted my chest for. It could have been game 1, 2, 6, or 7. I called my friend who I was at all four games with and he couldn't remember either.  Game 7 was definitely the game I got the Yankee flag signed and one of the games I did paint my chest.

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