As a New York Mets fan, hearing Mike Piazza get the call to the Hall of Fame was extra special cause of what he meant to the organization.
By David Hong
As we heard on Wednesday, Mike Piazza (along with Ken Griffey Jr) was finally inducted into the 2016 Major League Baseball Hall of Fame, after missing out on his first three tries of eligibility.
For the New York Mets organization and their fans, it is clearly a glorious moment in franchise history.
Piazza was part of the Mets from 1998 to 2005, and was one of the best, if not the best, hitters the team has had. He was a consistent home run threat and became a handful for the opposition.
Most importantly, Piazza was a true franchise player.
Congratulations Mike Piazza on your election to the Baseball Hall of Fame! #PiazzaHOF #Mets https://t.co/qWegLAL1dx pic.twitter.com/qHfM0Zhywc
— New York Mets (@Mets) January 6, 2016
He helped turn the Mets around and got them back into the postseason, including the World Series in 2000.
There were a lot of great and big home runs Piazza hit.
The walk-off home run off the great San Diego Padres closer Trevor Hoffman to win it for the Mets. The huge three-run home run vs the Atlanta Braves to cap off a 10-run eighth inning to propel the Mets to a 11-8 win. And, his two home runs off Roger Clemens, especially the grand slam at Yankee Stadium were many of the highlights of Piazza.
Related: Mike Piazza- Top 5 New York Mets Moments
His most memorable moment came in the first Mets home game after 9/11 on September 21, 2001.
With the city still grieving, Piazza lifted up the city with one mighty swing. It was the go ahead two-run home run off Steve Karsay in the eighth inning to give the Mets a thrilling 3-2 victory over the Braves.
Finally, who could forget the record breaking home run by a catcher?
Piazza accomplished that with home run 352 in 2004 to pass Carlton Fisk as the greatest home run hitting catcher in baseball history.
Those were some of the great feats Piazza has accomplished.
For all of what he’s done as a Met, this is truly a special moment for this organization and it means a lot.
If Piazza goes in with a Mets hat, he will only be the second Mets player in Cooperstown. The only other player inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame was Tom Seaver.
And for a franchise that hasn’t had many to garner the distinction, this would be huge.
Mike Piazza brought excitement, credibility, winning, and respectability back to an organization that was in desperate.
The trade to get him from the Florida Marlins definitely had to be one of the best, if not the best, Mets trades of all time. Back then, it felt like a revival at Shea Stadium. There was instant hope, and the Mets became watchable again.
Piazza also showed grit as a catcher, giving it his all despite his struggles throwing out base runners at times.
Lastly, Piazza brought class to the Mets organization.
He was one the greatest Mets there ever was. He is one of a kind, and not a lot of previous players made a significant impact that big Mike did.
If you were a Mets fan growing up in the late 90’s, it’s extra special cause you witnessed all the special feats Piazza accomplished. Shea was always an exciting atmosphere when he was playing.
Piazza truly made his mark on this organization. That’s why his Hall of Fame induction announcement was a special moment for this franchise.