It isn’t Cooperstown, but it is still an honor. On September 29th, the Mets will be inducting Mike Piazza into the Mets Hall of Fame. It seems like a small gesture. Something so little. Yet it can lead to something more like the retiring of number 31.
Mike Piazza meant so much to the franchise, the fans and the nation. In 1998 he came to this city with the franchise on his shoulders. There was so much expectations that came with him.
Expectations to succeed, to take the New York Mets somewhere they had not been in ten years, the playoffs. Mission accomplished in only one year. Back to back playoff berths in 1999 and a World Series visit in 2000.
With one swing of his bat, he brought euphoria to a depressed city back in September 2001. It was one moment that almost stopped time. It didn’t matter what team you rooted for. Everybody was a Mets fan on that night. It brought everyone together.
Above all else, he brought life into a franchise that was dealing with the repercussions of the worst team money could buy and a strike that almost crippled baseball. Fans everywhere could be heard rejoicing at the sound of Mike Piazza coming to town.
Sadly it was time for this hero to depart Flushing, NY after dedicating eight years to the franchise. Then after two more years, it was time to leave the game that loved him as much as he loved it. Mighty Mike retired from baseball.
Though so many have questioned his career, nobody has ever turned against him. Piazza continues to be one of the most loved players in the history of the New York Mets. On September 29th, proof of that love will be displayed for all to see.
It may not be Cooperstown, but to Mets fans everywhere, Mike Piazza is a Hall of Famer. Next up, the official retirement of number 31.