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|| News Item: Posted 2002-05-27

Subway Series to 9/11

By Chuck Solomon, Sports Illustrated

Photo by Chuck Solomon/Sports Illustrated

Photo by Chuck Solomon/Sports Illustrated
October 2000 brought the Subway Series to my hometown. As a lifetime New Yorker I was as excited as most residents of The Apple at the prospect of the Mets and Yankees battling in the World Series. Covering historic games like these come along once in a lifetime. Indeed the games were classics with the Piazza/Clemens confrontation leading the way.

Before the games even started, our editors at Sports Illustrated wanted several photographers to roam the city capturing the anticipation and hysteria for the upcoming games. There would be a special issue commemorating the Subway Series.

I was looking forward to not only covering the Series; but also hitting the streets and subways to photograph fans on both sides of the aisle. I'd lived in this town all my life and knew this might be a once in a lifetime opportunity.

And I didn't have to look very far.

One of the first few places I went to was the police station around the corner and the firehouse down the block in my Tribeca neighborhood. The station house, the 1st. Precinct, connects to the stables which house many of the horses for the city's mounted patrols. The hostler there, Jimmy, would often let some of the kids in the area feed one of the horses when not on patrol.

An avid Met fan, Jimmy often wears a Mets cap and shirt even during the football season. He was only too happy to have me photograph him with of the police horses. After purchasing some officially unlicensed Yankee and Mets caps on Canal Street I visited the firehouse, Ladder 8, down the block. I asked a few of the guys if I could photograph them with a truck in front of their building.

A couple of them explained that they would love to except departmental rules required permission from their captain, who wasn't around. But then a big friendly fireman wearing a blue shirt said he would take responsibility since "hell who would object to a picture like this when the whole town was abuzz with baseball craziness?"

He organized a few guys, who already had hats, took a few hats that I had and gave them to the appropriate Mets or Yankee fans. He even pulled out the fire truck 8 so I could shoot in decent light.

Great guys, nice picture.

Photo by Chuck Solomon/Sports Illustrated

Photo by Chuck Solomon/Sports Illustrated
When the Subway Series commemorative was published I knew Jimmy, the stable keeper, as well as the group of guys from Ladder 8 would be elated that pictures of each ran. I was happy for them too.

Our office made prints for each of the guys and I personally delivered them, along with copies of the magazine. Jimmy told me he was now a celebrity in the precinct and that my daughter had unlimited visitation and feeding privileges with the police horses. She now knows each by name.

The firemen were great. They invited me to their Christmas party and of course joked about being in the swimsuit issue next.

I was in Florida on Sept. 11, 2001, when planes smacked into both towers of the World Trade Center just ten blocks south of where I live. My wife and daughter were home and heard both planes as they approached the towers.

I was in just about constant contact with them all day as events unfolded. Our neighbors and friends were with them and helped keep things under control and I rented a car to drive back to the city.

One of my fellow SI shooters, Al Tielemans, wanted to drive from Philadelphia to pick up my wife and daughter and have them stay with his family. My family wound up staying with relatives in New Jersey. But this is not about my family.

Photo by Chuck Solomon/Sports Illustrated

Photo by Chuck Solomon/Sports Illustrated
Upon returning to New York I was eager to hear about the fate of friends and neighbors; including the men of Ladder 8 one of the closest ladder companies to the tragedy. A neighbor told me that the 1st Precinct was okay and that Ladder 8 was "lucky" in that they only lost one firefighter.

I walked over to the firehouse and saw one of the guys whose picture I'd taken eleven months before. He told me that one of the guys in the picture, "the one wearing the blue shirt" was missing. He told me they still had hope but as the weeks went by that hope faded.

Lieutenant Vincent Halloran, 43, died as he led his men to help evacuate the North Tower. He left a wife and five boys ranging in age from two to fifteen. His wife is expecting number six this May. There is a picture of Vincent Halloran outside the station with what looks like his four sons. If you look close you can see the fifth tucked in the crook of his arm.

The New York Times wrote about how Lt. Halloran loved spending time with his boys. He would take his sons fishing, camping, swimming and boating. He invited friends along and if that wasn't enough, during the summer the Halloran's had children from Ireland stay with his family. In the Times Mrs. Halloran said,"What can I say, he just loved kids."

On May 17th. Marie Halloran gave birth to her sixth child. This time a girl joined the five Halloran boys. Her name is Phelin.

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