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Sports

Fans react to bin Laden death with ’U-S-A!’ chants

May 3, 2011

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— Fans at the Mets-Phillies game began chanting “U-S-A! U-S-A!” as the news of Osama bin Laden’s death spread through Citizens Bank Park on Sunday night.

“I heard the chants and they were great,” Mets right-hander R.A. Dickey said after New York beat Philadelphia, 2-1 in 14 innings. “It was a pretty neat thing. It was emotional. Hopefully this brings some closure, but it’s still not over.”

People could be spotted all over the ballpark checking their phones as news that the United States had killed the mastermind behind the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the Twin Towers in New York and the Pentagon in Washington was breaking.

The “U-S-A!” chants started in the top of the ninth inning of the game and picked up in intensity throughout the inning.

“It was a big night for us and a big win for America,” Mets manager Terry Collins said.

Mets starting pitcher Chris Young pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing two hits and striking out seven, on a memorable night for him.

“Probably a night I will never forget,” Young said. “I was in the training room when I heard the announcement. I got chills hearing that crowd. It’s a historic night and a great victory for the United States.”

Mets reliever Pedro Beato was a freshman at Xaverian High School in Brooklyn on Sept. 11, 2001. He watched smoke rise from the World Trade Center towers from his classroom.

“I couldn’t see the building, but I did see the smoke and I knew it was something serious,” Beato said of watching the attacks unfold. “History is every day, and we heard history tonight.

“It’s a good feeling for our guys out there fighting and for their families.”

Philadelphia players weren’t sure what was happening until alerted of the news by center fielder Shane Victorino.

For the Mets’ Young, the emotions he felt were of people who lost their lives in the Sept. 11 attacks, including firefighters from a firehouse near his New York home.

“They lost nine people on 9/11,” Young said. “I was just thinking about those who had lost their lives.”

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