Tuesday, September 11, 2012
On this day in 2001, the White Sox were in New York, waiting to start a three game series with the Yankees, when tragedy struck.
The calls started pouring in shortly after 9AM, to the Grand Hyatt, where the team was staying. Bullpen coach Art Kusnyer got a wakeup call from his wife. Broadcaster Ken Harrelson was brushing his teeth, when he glanced at the television and saw a tower in flames. The team had arrived at the hotel only three to four hours prior, after getting into town late from Cleveland. Mark Buehrle was anxiously awaiting his first trip to Yankee Stadium. That would ultimately be delayed three weeks.
Chaos, confusion and tense moments were commonplace the rest of the visit. The bustling city of New York had turned into a ghost town before the team's eyes. A general haze hung over the sky and players were waiting for a building to come falling down on them, mainly because the hotel they were staying at was connected to Grand Central Terminal, another potential target. The White Sox received permission to bring buses into Manhattan through the NYPD liaison, who normally worked with MLB teams. Two buses arrived for the team on September 12th, just shy of 24 hours after the attacks began. Two nurses hitched a ride with the Sox across the George Washington bridge. One of the last images of a surreal 24 hours.
Many of the team personnel that were on that trip are still with the club. Out of the players that were part of that trip, only Paul Konerko still remains with the White Sox.