All-Time Top 10 Most Memorable Mike Piazza Mets Home Runs
- Updated: March 1, 2016
Later this year, Mike Piazza will be inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame and have his number retired by the New York Mets, both very well deserved honors. But not only was his play on the field recognized by his peers, but by the fans as well.
Piazza came back to Shea Stadium as a member of the San Diego Padres back in 2006 and hit two home runs in the second game of the series. I attended that game and all I could remember was how much I loved Piazza while he was playing for the Mets – and so did everyone else in the stands. I never heard a member of another team receive so much praise, but it all made sense. This was Mike Piazza. He was one of the greatest Mets of all-time and we all wanted to make sure he knew that no matter what uniform he played in, he would always be welcome here in Queens.
#10 · April 28, 1999
The Padres entered this game having won 181 straight games when leading after eight innings, thanks to Trevor Hoffman. But Piazza got the better of Hoffman a couple of times. His second career walk-off homer against Hoffman gave the Mets a come-from-behind win and started a six-game winning streak. Piazza hit four walk-off home runs as a Met, tied with Cleon Jones, Chris Jones and Kevin McReynolds.
#9 · July 7, 1999
Mike Piazza hits a three-run homer to left field off Roger Clemens, breaking a tie and giving the Mets a 5-2 lead in the 6th inning. Of course, this was only a drop in the bucket of the numerous events that would occur between these two old friends. What quickly comes to mind is a fastball to the head and shards of a broken bat just to name a couple.
#8 · August 9, 2006
We’re going to cheat and include something Piazza did against the Mets. Piazza homered twice in his second game back in Shea Stadium after signing with the Padres after the 2005 season. Piazza hit two home runs against Mets starter Pedro Martinez, but the Mets prevailed 4-3. This game holds a special place in my heart being I attended the game and couldn’t stop cheering for Piazza.
#7 · June 17, 2001
This wasn’t quite the 10-run, eighth-inning comeback against the Braves (which we’ll get to), but this made for a pretty nice moment for Piazza. The Mets rallied from 7-2 down in the eighth inning to beat the Yankees, scoring six runs, the last two of which came on Piazza’s home run. Piazza hit .317 with eight homers and 25 RBIs in 38 regular-season games against the Yankees as a Met.
#6 · October 19, 1999
Piazza dealt with a severe thumb injury that postseason, but that didn’t hinder his flair for the dramatic. He helped the Mets rally from an early deficit with a game-tying homer against John Smoltz in the seventh inning. Piazza and Al Weis are the only Mets to hit a game-tying homer in the seventh inning or later of a postseason game. This homer might have ranked higher had the Mets not lost the series.
#5 · June 9, 2000
In his first 15 at-bats against Clemens, Piazza had eight hits and four home runs. The one in this game was a majestic grand slam in the third inning. The Mets pounded Clemens for nine runs in five innings in a 12-2 drubbing of the Yankees in the Bronx. Piazza’s four home runs against Clemens matched his most against any pitcher while playing for the Mets.
#4 · September 16, 1998
The Mets and Astros played a memorable series in Houston late in the team’s wild-card chase. On this date, the Mets were shut out for eight innings by Astros starter Mike Hampton, who gave way to Billy Wagner in the ninth inning with a two-run lead. Wagner put two men on base and Piazza smashed a three-run, go-ahead homer. The Astros tied the score in the home ninth, but the Mets won in extra innings on a homer by the man Piazza replaced as the Mets’ full-time catcher, Todd Hundley. It was a game that kept the team’s postseason hopes — that would later be dashed on the final day — alive and well, and solidified Piazza’s reputation as a big-game performer.
#3 · May 5, 2000
The highlight of the disastrous run that was 2002 to 2004 was the day Piazza broke Carlton Fisk’s record for most home runs as a catcher with his 352nd in this game, against Giants starter Jerome Williams. Piazza hit 427 career home runs. Of those players whose careers have started in 1960 or later, only two hit 400 or more homers and struck out less than Piazza did – Albert Pujols and Vladimir Guerrero.
#2 · June 30, 2000
The Mets staged an epic rally to come back from an 8-1 eighth-inning deficit against the Braves, with Piazza’s home run against Terry Mulholland being the perfect capper. It was not a typical Piazza homer – this one was more of a screaming line drive down the left-field line. Piazza hit 16 go-ahead homers in 2000, tying Gary Carter’s single-season mark for the most such home runs in Mets history.
#1 · September 21, 2001
Piazza’s most famous Mets home run was the one that came in the eighth inning of the first game back after the Sept. 11 tragedy. With the Mets trailing in the bottom of the eighth, Piazza hit a moon-shot home run to center against Braves reliever Steve Karsay to put the Mets ahead. They went on to win, with native New Yorker John Franco getting credit for the victory.
But that win was about much more than just a game.
Piazza’s homer is often cited as one that allowed the city to feel good about itself at a time when it needed something to get over the unspeakable tragedy with which it was dealing.