The special exhibition, Comeback Season: Sports After 9/11, explored how sports helped the country unite and start to heal in the aftermath of the attacks.
About the Exhibition
Sports have long claimed a central position in American life. In the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, as they had during previous moments of crisis, sports helped to shape a national response to events far beyond the playing field.
Almost immediately, there were questions of propriety. Should games go on as planned? When would it be acceptable to resume competition? Sports figures spoke of their unwillingness to move too quickly, their desire to provide solace to the country, and the responsibility to honor the victims. They would go back to the games, they said, when it would help.
In the months that followed, sports set an emotional cadence for a grieving nation. Ballparks, racetracks, and arenas offered fans a place to come together and cheer. The rituals of sport were extended to commemorate those killed on 9/11 and honor those who protect us. In stadiums around the country, millions found a path forward, combining reverence for the fallen with devotion to the games.
This was the comeback season, reminding a nation that what we have in common is more powerful than what divides us.
Presentation of Comeback Season: Sports After 9/11 was made possible in part through the support of the Anheuser-Busch Foundation, Major League Baseball, and the New York Mets/Jeff Wilpon.
Video: Comeback Season Exhibition Trailer
Objects on View
This special exhibition immersed visitors in unforgettable sports moments through displays of artifacts and cherished memorabilia, and stories from athletes, coaches, and fans.