5 years ago: Phillies fans learn of bin Laden's death

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Five years ago, an early spring baseball game between division rivals the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies turned into something so much more.

The game was televised nationally through ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball.

Towards the end of the game on that night - May 1, 2011 - at Citizens Bank Park, word was spreading that the United States military had killed Osama bin Laden.

Fans check their cell phones during a baseball game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Mets, Sunday, May 1, 2011, in Philadelphia.

Chants of USA broke out in crowd at the South Philadelphia stadium, as players on the field were unsure exactly why.

PHOTOS: Phillies vs. Mets on May 1, 2011

Soon, President Barack Obama announced the death of bin Laden had occurred during a U.S. operation in Pakistan.

On Sunday morning, ESPN's Outside the Lines, in conjunction with E:60, presented a look back at that night through their Sunday Night Baseball telecast which aired the instant reaction of Phils and Mets fans to a worldwide audience.

ESPN interviewed players from both teams including former Phillies Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Madson, as well as fans who were in attendance.

As host Bob Ley said:

Five years ago tonight came that surreal evening when the largest gathering of Americans to that moment watching the national pastime learned moment by moment in view of the entire country that the terror leader responsible for the attacks of September 11th had been brought to justice, killed.

As the word of Osama bin Laden's death was reported across the news landscape, many learned of it as they were watching a baseball telecast.

Listen to the OTL Podcast: May 1, 2011.


ESPN contributed to this report.
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