PHILADELPHIA (CBSNewYork/AP) – As word of the killing of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden swept through Citizens Bank Park during Sunday night’s game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Mets, excited fans erupted in thunderous chants of “USA” during the top of the ninth inning.
During the broadcast of the game, cameras cut away to fans shouting in unison, and many checking their phones to read the news. One cutaway showed a fan holding up a cell phone with an image of the headline.
“I heard the chants and they were great,” Mets right-hander R.A. Dickey said after New York beat Philadelphia 2-1 in 14 innings . “It was a pretty neat thing. It was emotional. Hopefully this brings some closure but it’s still not over.”
People could be spotted all over the ballpark checking their phones as news that the United States had killed the mastermind behind the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the Twin Towers in New York and the Pentagon in Washington was breaking.
The “U-S-A!” chants started in the top of the ninth inning of the game and picked up in intensity throughout the inning.
“It was a big night for us and a big win for America,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “It’s a huge win for everybody and I’m really proud of our troops.”
Mets starting pitcher Chris Young pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing two hits and striking out seven, on a memorable night for him.
“Probably a night I will never forget,” Young said. “I was in the training room when I heard the announcement. I got chills hearing that crowd. It’s a historic night and a great victory for the United States.”
Mets reliever Pedro Beato was a freshman at Xaverian High School in Brooklyn on Sept. 11, 2001. He watched smoke rise from the World Trade Center towers from his classroom.
“I couldn’t see the building, but I did see the smoke and I knew it was something serious,” Beato said of watching the attacks unfold. “History is every day, and we heard history tonight.
“It’s a good feeling for our guys out there fighting and for their families.”
Philadelphia players weren’t sure what was happening until alerted of the news by center fielder Shane Victorino.
“I was sitting in the dugout and didn’t understand what was going on for a minute,” Philadelphia starting pitcher Cliff Lee said.
Asked his reaction, Lee said, “It took them long enough.”
For the Mets’ Young, the emotions he felt were of people who lost their lives in the Sept. 11 attacks, including firefighters from a firehouse near his New York home.
“They lost nine people on 9/11,” Young said. “I was just thinking about those who had lost their lives.”
(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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