MLB remembers Sept. 11 with on-field tributes

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“One of my best friends in college has just been appointed the head of the N.Y. Port Authority. Neil Levin,” he said. “So then I’m thinking, `OK, Neil’s pretty cool, he’s the boss, he’s going to show up late, he’s not going to be there early.”

“As it turns out he was having breakfast that morning in that restaurant on the top floor. So we lost Neil on that one,” he said. “So whenever I hear 9/11, this date … while I was riding my bike today, seeing the flag at half-mast, I thought of Neil.”

Washington star Bryce Harper was just 8 and at home in Las Vegas when the attacks occurred.

“I was in my mom’s bed, watching TV. I used to watch `CHiPs’ and `Saved by the Bell’ in those days. Then it came on, all over the news,” he said Wednesday. “I was trying to understand it, we were trying to decide whether I should go to school.”

“I remember my dad came right home from work. I remember he came in the door and I ran right to him, gave him a big hug and told him, `I love you.’”

Harper said he and some Washington teammates hoped to visit the National Sept. 11 Memorial plaza in lower Manhattan late Wednesday night, after their game against the Mets, to see the “Tribute in Light.”

“We wanted to see the beams,” Harper said. “I think it’s important.”

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AP Baseball Writer Ben Walker and AP freelancers Tommy Magelssen in Arlington, Texas, Mark Schmetzer in Cincinnati, Steve Herrick in Cleveland, Rick Eymer in San Francisco and Mark Didtler in St. Petersburg, Fla., contributed to this report.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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