Mets Hot Corner

Mike Piazza Hall of Fame Bound?

Mike Piazza

My room is officially booked for Cooperstown this coming July, and unlike years past I will not be calling in a cancellation. I have all the faith in the world that one of my favorite players of all-time will finally be enshrined in his rightful place at Baseball’s Hall of Fame.

Michael Joseph Piazza is the greatest hitting catcher of all-time and lifted New York City high after one of the darkest days in its history. Recently his career has been overshadowed by mere speculation of PED use, and in my opinion, is the only reason he was not a first ballot hall of famer.

This is a pretty sore subject for me.

Certain writers who think they know everything there is to know about baseball hold a very undeserving grudge against Piazza. They’ve never played a day of professional baseball in their lives, yet they condemn a man for his ability to hit a baseball over a fence in an era marred with performance enhancing drugs. Jim Bowden was very vocal on MLB Radio this evening saying that something as stupid as seeing pimples on someone’s back is no way a reason to keep them out of the hall of fame. It’s nice to hear common sense still being used on the radio nowadays, even if it is the unpopular view at the time.

Over 16 years, Piazza hit .308/.377/.545 (143 OPS+) with 344 doubles, 427 homers (32 in the postseason), 1335 RBI and 1048 runs. He was awarded the 1993 NL Rookie of the Year,  10 Silver Sluggers, elected to 12 All-Star Games, and finished in the top 10 of MVP voting seven times. These numbers are more than enough to justify his call to the hall, but I will always remember Mike Piazza for a single at bat on September 21st, 2001.

You listen to Howie Rose make that call and you can’t help but get goosebumps. When he yells, “HOME RUN!”, you can actually feel it run down your spine. The crowd erupts and cheers even louder than the infamous Game 6 played there a little less than 15 years earlier, yet the stadium is nowhere near as full.

He gave the Mets the lead. He gave New York City hope. If it was a movie you would call it cheesy because things like that never happen in real life – but it did.

Watch the video again and I guarantee you will feel every emotion once more like it was the first time. This is not merely a home run, it is one of the greatest moments in baseball history and it’s all because of Mike Piazza. It may sound crazy, but I would vote him in just for the one home run. That’s how important it was to me, to Mets fans, and to the city of New York.

I’ve never attended a Hall of Fame induction ceremony before out of selfishness. I wanted my first time to be Piazza’a induction because I believe he will be inducted as a New York Met, only the second in team history. Tom Seaver was the first. I plan on taking advantage of every moment possible, sharing it with my family, and re-living my fondest memories with thousands of fellow Mets fans I know will be in attendance. Wednesday’s announcement can’t come soon enough.

I just watched the video again. Goosebumps.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *