An emotional pre-game ceremony and a dramatic come-from-behind victory marked the first Major League Baseball game in New York City since the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.
With the strains of bagpipe music wafting though the air, a parade of Navy personnel and rescue workers entered Shea Stadium for Friday night's homecoming. Before the game, more than 40,000 fans stood still and silent during a moment of silence, which was followed by a 21-gun salute to the rescuers from a Marine honor guard.
Pre-game ceremonies also included Marc Anthony singing the "Star Spangled Banner," Diana Ross performing "God Bless America," and Liza Minelli giving a rousing performance of "New York, New York" instead of the traditional "Take Me Out To The Ballgame."
And, in a sign of togetherness, the Braves and the Mets - longtime rivals - hugged in the infield before the game began.
The emotions of the pre-game ceremony may have stayed with the players for a few innings, including Mike piazza, who dropped the ball at homeplate which allowed a run.
But with the Mets down 2-1 in the eighth inning, Piazza then provided the winning blow with a crushing two-run homer.
Since the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, Shea Stadium had been a place for rescue equipment. Mets manager Bobby Valentine and some of his players spent last week helping workers following the destruction of the World Trade Center.
Valentine, his coaching staff and the 31 uniformed players will donate their salaries from Friday's game to benefit the widows and children of police, firefighters and emergency service workers, a fund totalling about $$450,000.
The Mets are now four and a half games behind the Braves in the National League East.