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Yankees to face Mets in 2021 on 20th anniversary of 9/11

A man walks by the front entrance to Citi Field, home of the New York Mets, in the Queens borough of New York City on June 5. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
A man walks by the front entrance to Citi Field, home of the New York Mets, in the Queens borough of New York City on June 5. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

July 8 (UPI) -- The New York Yankees will face their crosstown rival New York Mets next year on the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Sources told Newsday, The Bergen Record and the New York Post of the match-up on Tuesday. The clash, at the Mets' Citi Field, will be the first time the teams have played against each other on Sept. 11.

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"I can't imagine how emotional and how powerful that event could be," Yankees manager Aaron Boone told reporters Tuesday. "Especially after all we have gone through this year, it's something that'll get the magic that it deserves."

Former MLB Commissioner Bud Selig halted the season immediately after the 2001 attacks, which killed 3,000 people at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon near Washington, D.C. The Yankees didn't return to the field until a week later after a Sept. 8 home win against the rival Boston Red Sox.

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Weeks later, former U.S. President George W. Bush famously threw out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium in Game 3 of the 2001 World Series between New York and the Arizona, a series the Diamondbacks ultimately won in dramatic fashion in the sixth game.

President George W. Bush throws out the ceremonial first pitch to start the third game of the 2001 World Series between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on October 30, 2001. File Photo by Monika Graff/UPI

"I'm sure it will be a very emotional night as we continue to honor the legacy of those perished on 9/11/01," former catcher and Mets legend Mike Piazza told the Post. "As much as it is still very painful for me personally to reflect on the tragedy of the day's events, we must never forget their sacrifice.

"MLB, as well as both New York teams, were particularly instrumental in the recovery process, so it is very appropriate they will be together that day."

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The Yankees also announced three exhibition games before the start this month of an abbreviated 2020 season. They will play the Mets at Citi Field on July 18 and July 19 before returning home to host the Philadelphia Phillies on July 20.

The Yankees are scheduled to open the regular season July 23 against the Washington Nationals at 7:08 p.m. EDT at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. The Mets will open against the Atlanta Braves on July 24 at 4:10 p.m. EDT at Citi Field.

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Kansas City Royals batter Alex Gordon connects for a sacrifice RBI during an exhibition game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on July 22. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo
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