Chipper reflects on 9/11 after bin Laden's death

Chipper reflects on 9/11 after bin Laden's death

Chipper reflects on 9/11 after bin Laden's death
ATLANTA -- Attempting to recover from a 10-day road trip that concluded Wednesday, Chipper Jones went to bed Sunday night just before the world learned that United States soldiers had killed Osama bin Laden. But the Braves' third baseman was among the millions who spent a portion of Monday morning trying to learn more about the death of the world's most wanted terrorist.

"I woke up today and [my wife] Sharon had the front page all spread out on the island [in the kitchen]," Jones said. "I usually read the sports page first. There was no reading the sports page first today."

When Jones arrived at Turner Field to prepare for Monday's series opener against the Brewers, he quickly realized many of his teammates were just as interested to learn more about bin Laden's death.

"I've never seen so many guys locked into CNN just to get details about how it went down," Jones said.

It has been nearly 10 years since bin Laden masterminded the 9/11 attacks that led United States citizens to mourn the loss of thousands of lives and increase their fight against terrorism. Jones still remembers the eerie feeling he and his Braves teammates felt after busing from Philadelphia to Manhattan during the early morning hours of Sept. 21, 2001.

It was a trip they had made many times before while playing the Phillies and Mets during the same road trip. This time, they weren't greeted with the bright lights of the World Trade Center Towers, which had been destroyed after being hit by hijacked commercial planes.

"There wasn't a word spoken during the last hour of that bus ride," Jones said.

When the Braves met the Mets at Shea Stadium on Sept. 21, 2001, it marked the first time a major sporting event had been held in New York City since the attacks. While the Mets won the game, Jones and former manager Bobby Cox have often said the patriotism and camaraderie created that evening made it one of the most memorable of their careers.

Jones said he remembers being a little bit fearful that terrorists might attempt another attack at Shea Stadium that evening.

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez expressed something similar when he was asked about his reaction when he learned bin Laden was killed.

"The thing that I'm happiest about is that the troops that were in [bin Laden's compound] all came out in one piece," Gonzalez said. "Now you worry about retaliation."