It was a rather dull night at the ballpark.
Sunday's nationally-televised game between the Phillies and Mets lacked the intensity that was a hallmark of the NL East rivalry in the last five years.
There were also few offensive fireworks, as the teams combined for four extra-base hits, none of which were home runs, and a total of three runs in 14 innings.
But the action on the field took a back seat as the game neared its fourth hour. When Ryan Madson took the mound to face David Wright in the top of the ninth inning of a 1-1 game, chants of "U-S-A, U-S-A" began to fill a sold-out Citizens Bank Park.
Although the breaking news wasn't announced inside the stadium officially, enough fans had received phone calls, text messages or were plugged into news via their cell phones.
As the Mets and Phillies played on, President Obama held an impromptu press conference in Washington, announcing that the United States military had killed 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden.
At first, the players didn't have any idea what sparked the "U-S-A, U-S-A" chants.
"Sitting in the dugout, I didn't really understand what was going on there for a minute, and then someone came in there and said bin Laden had been killed over there," Philadelphia starter Cliff Lee said.
"It took them long enough."
But once the news circulated within both dugouts, the Phillies and the Mets realized how special it was to be a part of a spur-of-the-moment, patriotic celebration in Philadelphia, the unofficial birthplace of America, where the Declaration of Independence was signed.
"I don't like to give the Philly fans too much credit," Wright said. "But they got this one right. It's a proud moment to stand out there and you've got 45-50 thousand people chanting. That was pretty special."
Said Shane Victorino of the Phillies: "The game is the more important than anything else, but after the outcome you sit back and you kind of think about something like that happening.
"It's been 10 years (since 9/11) and for those who have suffered ... I heard a couple statements via the news that some people who had family members lost in 9/11 have some kind of closure, so it's definitely a big day for American history."
Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.
Philadelphia Phillies Celebration
$129.95 Shop Now!