The 2021 Heroes Baseball Classic - Let's Call it Even
by Warren Rosenberg - MetroSports Magazine August 28, 2021
The 22 year old series now stands at even - 11 wins a piece. “There’s always a rivalry, and there’s a respect for each other.” These were words stated in the 2018 documentary, “Rivalry City”, about the relationship between the New York City Police Department (NYPD) and Fire Department (FDNY) as manifest through their sports teams.
As we recognize their heroism and sacrifice on this 20th anniversary year of the 9/11 terrorist attack, this rivalry and respect take on a heightened importance. This year, on June 6th 2021, NYPD and FDNY football teams held their 8th Annual Fun City Bowl at MetLife Stadium and on September 9th, 2021, the NYPD and FDNY Hockey teams will face off in the 47th Annual Ice Hockey Heroes at Madison Square Garden. This weekend, on Saturday evening August 28th, 2021, the NYPD and FDNY Baseball teams took the field in the 22nd annual Heroes Baseball Classic at Rockland County’s Palisades Credit Union Park, home of the New York Boulders minor league baseball team.
This year’s event held special meaning as it took place just 14 days before the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack. Proceeds from the game will go to the NYPD and FDNY teams, as well as the Widows and Children’s Fund and the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation.
Rockland County Executive Ed Day, a former NYPD Lieutenant-Commander of Detectives, was on hand to throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the game followed by FDNY Commissioner Dan Nigro, FDNY Chief of Department Thomas Richardson and John Feal or the FealGood Foundation. The opening celebration continued with an NYPD helicopter flyover and aerial display from the Patriot Parachute Team.
Through the first seven innings, the game was close with both the visiting NYPD Finest and home team FDNY Bravest scoring one run in their respective half of the first inning. The score stayed even at 1-1 through the second and third innings as tough pitching predominated. The Bravest managed another run in the bottom of the fourth and added another in the bottom of the fifth.
Going into the sixth inning with a 3-1 advantage, it looked like the FDNY Bravest were pulling ahead. The score held through the sixth. In the top of the seventh, it looked like the tide was turning. With solid hitting and aggressive base running, the NYPD Finest scored four runs and took what looked like a solid advantage with the score now standing at 3-5. In the bottom of the inning the Bravest put two more runs on the scoreboard and sent the game into the eighth at an even 5-5.
Saturday evening fireworks are a tradition at the Boulder’s home in Palisades Credit Union Park and, in the bottom of the eighth inning, the home team Bravest let the fireworks fly. Churning through the Finest’s bull pen, the FDNY scored eleven runs, ultimately sealing the deal at 16-5.
At the postgame ceremony, NY Boulders president, Shawn Reilly, presented to Championship Trophy to FDNY Bravest team manager, Scott Miller and the Most Valuable Player Trophy to the Bravest first baseman and designated hitter, Tom Reznick.
Although the New York Boulders season will be coming to an end shortly, please check out some of the upcoming Fall activities scheduled at Palisades Credit Union Park and plan on attending some of the Boulders games next year. https://www.nyboulders.com/home
Be sure to catch next year's tie breaker between the NYPD and FDNY baseball teams as they return to Palisades Credit Union Park.