“Today obviously is an extremely emotional and special day, not just for us players, not just for everyone here in New York, but a very emotional and special day in a lot of ways for our entire country,” Alonso said.
“Going to Ground Zero today was really an emotional rollercoaster for me. Seeing everything and people there paying their respects for loved ones, fallen comrades. It’s really a sobering sight. For me to just be able to show my respects for everybody involved in that day, and people who were involved every moment after with the cleanup and the search and rescue teams. It’s just truly remarkable.”
Alonso went on to discuss how grateful he is for the New York fans and how he wants to give back to the city.
“Being a part of the city, people have treated me so well here, and I’m just forever thankful,” Alonso said. “It’s truly amazing being here part of this city, and I’m really really blessed and want to continue to give back.”
Hall of Fame catcher Mike Piazza also talked to media before Saturday night’s game, as his memorable home run lifted the spirits of New York in the first game back on Sept. 21, 2001. The team will wear similar uniforms on Saturday night to those that Piazza and the 2001 Mets wore against the Atlanta Braves.
“Well perspective in so far as, I don’t think it really gets any easier as the years go on,” Piazza said. “I think time sort of has a healing effect. For me, especially when this day comes by every year, it is difficult to kind of look back. The images for me and for I’m sure a lot of people, are very vivid in their mind.
“I think it’s a wonderful thing that we do to continue to honor them on this day. I don’t think it gets, as I said it, any easier as affection, the years goes by. The positive effect is that you see a lot about the outpouring of love and affection, and the same sentiments that I think we had after the attacks in the city. Unfortunately you do have to experience tragedy to see triumph, and see courage and bravery. As much as I’m sad to see and remember the sad events, it’s still uplifting to see the positive stories that came out of that week.”
Piazza was asked about the relationship baseball players and the New York community have, saying that baseball players are very relatable to fans.
“Here, we’re approachable, we’re part of the community,” Piazza said. “Even though the game has changed, and we’ve gone on to have great livings and make good money, it’s still the same. We’re still people, people still look to us to relate to because we do play almost everyday.
“We’re not like the football guys or basketball guys, we’re like regular guys. Those guys are amazing, they’re tall and the football guys are fast. I think that’s why baseball fans relate more to the players because we’re like regular guys. We’ll have a beer with you. We’re more visible amongst the people.”
Source: Yahoo Sports