We’ve been experiencing a really bad national disaster, brought on by a pandemic that originated in China and has now engulfed our shores unlike anything we’ve seen since World War II. Day after day, we’ve been enduring a national emergency. It’s downright scary for all and the circumstances for a cure seem clouded at this moment in time.
Most recently close to 2020- you have to go back to September 11, 2001, to see a nation and a bunch of baseball fans so affected by what went on during that time. On that day, the Phillies were in Atlanta scheduled to take on the Braves at 7:30 PM with the Phils stalking the Braves NL East lead over them by 3 1/2 games. The Fightins were 4 1/2 out of the wild card race on this night. Robert Person was the scheduled pitcher for the Phillies in this game. Baseball would take a 6-day pause while the nation regained some sort of composure after the hi-jackings that lead to thousands of deaths in one of the worst terror attacks ever on US soil.
What other famous event happened on September 11th, but back in 1985? Pete Rose broke the all-time hits record of 4,192. He broke Ty Cobb‘s long- standing record that stood for over 50 years. It turns out according to historians, that Ty’s record was actually 4,189 anyway some years after the record was broken. Cobb’s last game he ever played was for the Philadelphia Athletics, on September 11, 1928, he was a pinch-hitter for the Athletics in a 5-3 loss at Yankee Stadium in a day game that breezed by in 1:55.
Go back in time just to 1989, to October 17th to be exact, and approximately 30 minutes before Game 3 of the World Series between the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland A’s. A 6.9 earthquake on the Richter scale struck an almost full stadium at Candlestick Park, the Giants were down 2-0 on the series before the game started.
Al Michaels and Tim McCarver were live on ABC for the pregame talk when the quake struck. Al Michaels recovered to say, “We’re still here”.
From a news article about the earthquake…
What a tough time that was, it was a miracle that no fans were injured in the quake which postponed the 1989 World Series until it could start up again after it killed over 200 and injured many others around the area. The World Series that has been played through World War I and II and the Great Depression and started back up again on October 27th finishing up on October 28th.
Let’s travel back to World War II specifically to December 6, 1944, the Invasion of Normandy. It was known well in advance that this was the day of the operation. A lot of recreation that was going on around the country came to a halt. Baseball decided to play on though on this night, there were only 2 scheduled baseball games in the NL, and Ford Frick, President of the National League, said the games would go on in Brooklyn and Pittsburgh, and that a moment of silence and or some other appropriate ceremony would take place. The games were never played though, the sentiment was too strong and the games were canceled. The great Yogi Berra and others took part in the D-Day Invasion as told by this MLB story from 2004. Baseball had its share of heroes during WW II for sure.
So baseball and America have a long association of making it together through just about everything. The COVID-19 Pandemic is one of the most significant events in World history and the way it has affected just about everything including baseball.