Larry Bowa On the First Game Post 911

Larry Bowa On the First Game Post 911

I don't have many of my own personal memories of the first Phillies game at the Vet following the September 11th tragedies. I was living in an apartment with five other guys right outside of Boston in Brighton, Mass. just starting my junior year at B.C. Those were the days before Slingbox and sports blogs. You couldn't even stream 610 WIP on the Internet back then. I remember this because I used to email them begging them to throw a stream up on the 'net. So keeping in touch with the Philly sports world was extra challenging (and eventually some of my motivation for starting this here website). So all of my knowledge of the emotional day at the Vet when baseball returned comes second hand.

The one image that's imprinted in my mind is former Phillies Manager Larry Bowa tearing up during the pregame festivities. I remember thinking, "That's Larry Friggin' Bowa crying up there."

By all accounts it was an incredibly emotional day. And as we all saw this season at Citizens Bank Park after Osama bin Laden was killed, Philly can be quite the patriotic city.

The MLB Network is airing a number of vignettes over the weekend about baseball returning to the field post 9/11. One of them features Larry Bowa sharing his feelings on that day at the Vet. Here's an excerpt:

Larry Bowa: In Philadelphia, there were a lot of mixed emotions. Guys didn’t know
whether they should play and I was one of those guys. I said, “How do we
know when the time is right?” How do you know that you [can] say,
“Okay, let’s try to start this healing process.” It’s easy for us to say
that because a lot of us weren’t involved in what happened here in New
York. What about the people that lost their mom, their dads? You know, I
didn’t know if it was the right time. As a manager, I didn’t care if we
won or lost that night, but the fact that we would start a healing
process with something that you say, “Maybe that might help out.”

As the game unfolded, people started to get involved a little bit. I remember Scott Rolen
hitting two home runs that game. [The] second one, the fans were going
crazy and Scottie is very professional, he does not like to show up the
other team. I said, “Scottie this is a special moment, I think you got
to go out and tip your hat and he did.” After the game, he said, “That
was a very special time.” I said all along that the biggest moment of my
life was winning the World Series, but that night to me was the
ultimate because I do think that we eased the pain a little bit. We
didn’t take it away, but I do know that I saw a lot of happy faces for
two hours and that’s something you never forget.

Feel free to share any memories you have from that day at the Vet if you were there. We'd love to hear them.

Former Phillies pitcher, Hall of Famer Jim Bunning dies at 85

Former Phillies pitcher, Hall of Famer Jim Bunning dies at 85

LOUISVILLE, Ky.-- Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Bunning, who pitched six seasons with the Phillies and went on to serve in Congress, has died. He was 85.

Bunning's death was confirmed by Jon Deuser, who served as chief of staff when Bunning was in the Senate. Deuser said he was notified about the death by Bunning's family.

Bunning won 224 games in a 17-year major-league career and pitched the first perfect game in modern National League history. It came with the Phillies on June 21, 1964.

He became the first pitcher after 1900 to throw no-hitters in both the American and National Leagues.

He belonged to a rare group of major league pitchers to throw a perfect game in the modern era.

A Kentucky Republican, he was the only member of the Baseball Hall of Fame to serve in Congress. He served in both the House and Senate.

Today's Lineup: Cesar Hernandez (groin) returns

Today's Lineup: Cesar Hernandez (groin) returns

Cesar Hernandez returns to the Phillies' punchless lineup on Saturday afternoon against the Reds (4 p.m./TCN).

Hernandez, who missed Friday night's 5-2 loss with a groin injury, is back at second base and leading off. Hernandez has led off in all 44 games he's started this season. The fifth-year pro has struggled after getting off to a torrid start. He's hitting just .185 (10 for 54) over his last 14 games.

After bouncing around the lineup, centerfielder Odubel Herrera returns to his customary spot in the two-hole. Herrera's season is a microcosm of the Phils' woeful offense. An All-Star in 2016, Herrera is hitting just .227 this season. Manager Pete Mackanin hopes the Venezuelan will hit his way out of it soon (see story).

Here is the rest of today's lineup:
1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Odubel Herrera, CF
3. Aaron Altherr, LF
4. Tommy Joseph, 1B
5. Michael Saunders, RF
6. Maikel Franco, 3B
7. Cameron Rupp, C
8. Freddy Galvis, SS
9. Jerad Eickhoff, P