Mike Piazza

OTD in Baseball History: Mike Piazza hits most iconic HR of his career

On September 21, 2001 Major League Baseball resumed play after stopping play for 11 days. The terrorists’ attacks of 9/11/01 had left the entire country in shock and the city of New York in complete disarray. The mourning period for the thousands of lives lost that day, now 15 years later, still continues but on a much more mild scale.

The first game played in the city New York was between the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves at Shea Stadium. The stadium was filled with American flags, mourning people and a still a sense of American pride.

The stadium was all together – players and fans – honoring those lost on 9/11 with the Mets’ players even donating their pay to the families of the emergency workers lost that day.

With the Braves up on the Mets 2-1 in the bottom of the eighth inning, then-future Hall of Famer Mike Piazza stepped up to the plate and hit a towering two-run home run to put the Mets, who went on to take the game, ahead 3-2. The crowd of over 40,000 erupted into cheers and finally, after 11 days, a sense of joy was restored to the decimated city of New York.

As then-Mets’ manager Bobby Valentine put it,

“We came here and paid tribute to a lot of heroes. One of the true New York heroes of the sports world put the icing on the cake.”

And he was right. Here’s a video of Piazza’s historic home run just over a week after the tragedy of 9/11/01:

Appropriately, this summer, almost 15 years after his iconic home run, Piazza was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

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