Major League Baseball made the decision not to “play ball” Tuesday night, postponing 15 games due to the terrorist tragedies.
“In the interest of security and out of a sense of deep mourning for the national tragedy that has occurred today, all Major League Baseball games for today have been canceled,” MLB commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement.
The commissioner’s office is considering canceling all of today’s games as well. Numerous other sporting events were postponed Tuesday, and the NFL and NCAA are expected to make decisions about forthcoming postponements in the next few days.
The last time baseball canceled a day’s slate of games was April 12, 1945 – when Franklin D. Roosevelt died. In 1942, Roosevelt had urged baseball to continue as a means of keeping society together during World War II.
However, most team officials and players said Tuesday they agreed that the time to play would not be right for a few days. Others said it might be weeks before games resume, because sporting events are potentially ripe terrorist targets.
Authorities evacuated Yankee Stadium even before Baseball handed down its decision.
An icon of Americanism, the ballpark in New York’s South Bronx was considered at-risk for attacks. Their stadium is located more than 10 miles from the World Trade Center.
It is not clear how the attacks will affect UW athletics. Football practice was closed to reporters Tuesday evening, but a decision was expected early this morning about Big Ten weekend games.
Travel arrangements are a large factor in the cancelled events, according to the ACC. The Federal Aviation Administration closed the skies to commercial flights shortly after four hijacked planes became the terrorist weapons.
“The games themselves are insignificant in the face of what has happened today,” NCAA executive director Cedric Dempsey said. “Our focus is entirely on the safety of student-athletes, athletics personnel and fans.”
The NFL remains generally untouched thus far. The Chargers and Browns announced their Sunday matchup would be deferred, but the league issued a statement claiming no action will be taken for at least another day or two.
The lasting effects of lost games could be catastrophic for the sports community. College football cancellations could have national-championship implications.
Major League Baseball has not been forced to miss extended time since a work stoppage in 1995.
If Barry Bonds misses too many games for baseball’s San Francisco Giants, his run at Mark McGwire’s record of 70 home runs may fall short. Bonds has 63 with 18 games on the Giant’s schedule.
“I don’t care if they’re all canceled,” said Arizona Diamondbacks owner Jerry Colangelo. “When it’s deemed safe to proceed or it’s in the interests of our country to go forward, that’s when we should resume, whenever that is.”