On Friday morning, millions of Americans woke up with the intention of remembering Sept. 11, 2001, and those that died in the attacks on the World Trade Center. Many remembered how the nation came together in the wake of the terrorist attacks, as well as the "greatest first pitch in MLB history." Following a postponement of the MLB season, President George Bush headed to the mound on Oct. 30, 2001, and threw a strike prior to Game 3 of the World Series.
The moment occurred at Yankee Stadium with the New York franchise facing an 0-2 deficit against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The security officials wanted Bush to throw out the first pitch at one of the first two games in Arizona, but he only had one destination in mind. He wanted to throw out the first pitch in New York City. Bush made his way to the Bronx in Marine One, donned a bulletproof vest and threw a perfect strike.
President George Bush throws a strike in New York prior to Game 3 of the 2001 World Series 🇺🇸⚾️September 11, 2020
As Bush revealed in later interviews, he had originally planned on throwing from the base of the mound. However, he changed his mind after talking to Yankees legend Derek Jeter. The Hall of Famer told him that the New York fans would boo if the pitch didn't come from the mound.
The president listened to Jeter's advice and made the decision to stand on the plate for the pitch. He also revealed that he didn't have many nerves until Jeter turned around and offered one last bit of advice. "[Jeter] turns around and says, 'But don't bounce it, or they'll boo you," Bush said about the day.
While Bush was not a universally-loved president during his two terms in the Oval Office, he received unwavering support prior to Game 3. Democrats and Republicans alike cheered for him, especially after he threw the strike. They also expressed awe considering that Bush made the throw while wearing a bulky bulletproof vest.
"I am a Democrat, and I remember this game like it was yesterday, and I was cheering for him too! He was a leader, he did some things that I didn't agree with, but he put America at ease on 9/11, he showed that he care for ALL Americans, regardless of their political party!" one person commented on social media after rewatching the video. Several others shared a similar sentiment while thinking back to Sept. 11.