Mets manager Terry Collins received the news of Osama bin Laden's death from bench coach Ken Oberkfell in the dugout.
“That’s certainly something bigger to celebrate than this, I can tell you that,” Collins said. “Obie came over to me and he said, ‘You know why they’re chanting?’ I said, ‘No,’ and he told me. It’s a big night. One of the guys [third base coach Chip Hale] said at the end of the game, ‘That’s as big a night as we’ll have in a long time. We got bin Laden and we won.’
“Obviously, this is a big night for the United States. I wish we could have finished the game two hours ago and celebrated a little bit of it. We’ll take a nice ride home, take the day off and get ready for San Francisco. This is a good win for us, and obviously a huge win for America tonight.”
Reliever Pedro Beato, who tossed three scoreless relief innings in the victory, asked bullpen coach Jon Debus what was going on when the chants arose.
“I asked what was going on with all the yelling ‘U-S-A, U-S-A,’” Beato said. “I just asked Debo, and he said supposedly they caught bin Laden.”
Beato said he focused on the game, but he had more of a direct connection to Sept. 11 than perhaps anyone in a Mets uniform on Sunday night. Beato had watched the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers from the rooftop of Xaverian High School in Brooklyn.
“When I was in high school, we got called into the auditorium,” said Beato, who had moved from the Dominican Republic to New York shortly before. “I thought it was like a routine thing. Five days into the school year my freshman year, I don’t know what’s going on. They called us in. They were talking about what happened, but I didn’t understand too well. Me and a friend of mine just went up to the roof of the building once we knew what it was. We saw the building just smoking from the roof.”
Beato did not stay up there to witness the Towers collapsing.
“I couldn’t stay up there that long,” Beato said. “We didn’t want to get in trouble either.”
Chris Young, who outpitched Cliff Lee for seven innings, was in the clubhouse when the news broke. He was in the training room, doing his post-pitching routine, when he heard the "Baseball Tonight" crew announce bin Laden’s death. One TV remained on the game at that point. The other carried President Obama’s address to the nation, which Young watched.
“It’s probably a night I’ll never forget,” said Young, a former politics major at Princeton University. “I came inside and heard the news. There are some things bigger than the game and our jobs. I was inside. You could hear the crowd chanting, ‘U-S-A.’ And I got chills hearing that. It was a pretty neat atmosphere and place to be to get that kind of news. … It’s certainly a historic night and a great victory for the United States and the war on terrorism.”