World Series First Pitch After 9/11 Attacks Gets 30 for 30 Short

By Brian Flood 

On October 30, 2001, President George W. Bush stepped onto the mound at Yankee Stadium to throw out the first pitch at Game 3 of the World Series, just six weeks after the September 11 terrorist attacks. ESPN Films’ new 30 for 30 Short First Pitch, premieres tomorrow on SportsCenter immediately after the national moment of silence.

First Pitch will re-air on the 6 p.m. ET edition of SportsCenter and will also be available on ESPN.com and Grantland.com. Award-winning director Angus Wall made the 23-minute film that is executive produced by Jim Gray.

“As a fan of the great 30 for 30 series, I’m so pleased that ESPN Films and Jim Gray found Angus Wall to direct this,” Bush said. “They did a brilliant job telling this story about how baseball helped our nation start to heal after 9/11.”

The documentary will feature interviews with President Bush, Derek Jeter, Condoleezza Rice, George Tenet and Joe Torre, Rudy Giuliani and Billy Crystal. First Pitch will recount stories from the Yankees’ visit to the New York City Armory, where they comforted citizens looking for lost family members, as well as what it took for the president’s Secret Service team to safely allow him to throw out the pitch.

“From its inception, 30 for 30 has always looked to tell stories about moments where sports intersects with culture and the culture changes. Perhaps no moment epitomizes that more than the ceremonial first pitch thrown out by the President that day at Yankee Stadium, reflecting the strength of a city and a nation,” ESPN svp Connor Schell said. “The story behind that pitch, as told by the President himself and the others so closely involved, gives a glimpse into the variety of emotions that the country was feeling at the time. We are honored to tell this story as part of the 30 for 30 series.”

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