09/11/2002 10:53 pm ET
Angels players, fans remember 9/11
Edison Field hosts special commemorative events
By Doug Miller / MLB.com
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Angels are in the heat of a pennant race, but their players, fans and organization took time Wednesday to forget about baseball, at least for a few moments.
In addition to Major League Baseball's program of events, Edison Field hosted an array of special happenings to honor the victims and heroes of the tragic events of this day last year.
A pregame video was shown capturing the American spirit during a time of mourning.
Members of local police, fire and EMTs displayed a giant American flag on the infield.
Robbie Britt, who has performed in front of four American presidents, sang "America the Beautiful."
The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by children from Woodsboro Elementary School in Anaheim.
The American colors were provided by the U.S. Army Color Guard.
The National Anthem and a seventh-inning rendition of "God Bless America" were sung by Kristen Romero of the Fullerton Police Department.
The honorary first pitch was thrown by local fireman John Price, who was among members of Southern California Fire Departments who went on their own time and expense to Ground Zero following the attacks to assist in the relief effort.
"We're at the ballpark tonight and we were at the ballpark last year because no terrorist is going to scare us into changing our way of life," said John MacDougal, a retired plumber from nearby Garden Grove who attended Wednesday's game with his wife, Kitty.
The MacDougals, like many of the Edison Field patrons, wore "United We Stand" T-shirts along with their red Angels caps.
Back in the clubhouse, the Angels were quiet and thoughtful when asked about the significance of playing baseball on this day.
"It's a privilege to be able to step on the field and to remember the victims and their families and to acknowledge the heroes -- the firefighters and policemen," shortstop David Eckstein said. "It's an honor."
Outfielder Orlando Palmeiro said he felt last year and this year that baseball can help in some way to bring the country closer together in a time of mourning and remembrance.
"Baseball's one of those things that helped alleviate what the United States was going through," Palmeiro said.
"I'm glad that we can play today. We won't forget what happened, but I'm glad we can give people some entertainment while we remember the tragedies that took place."
Doug Miller covers the Angels for MLB.com and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.