Mike Piazza‘s homerun after 9/11 didn’t just help the New York Mets win a baseball game; it helped a grieving city heal.
Baseball in New York City has been graced with many dramatic moments. Homers have won pennants, World Series games, and given fans a reason to cheer. However, no home run has ever been more important than Mike Piazza’s blast in the first game back at Shea Stadium in 2001.
While the Mets were still in the hunt for a playoff position in September of that fateful year, the game went far beyond baseball. The Mets and Braves were bitter rivals, yet seemingly united on the diamond. A city that was so heartbroken, still mourning, still unsure of what the future held, was able to heal for a night.
An anxious but packed out Shea Stadium erupted after Piazza sent a fastball deep into the night in the bottom of the eighth inning, giving the Mets the lead. They would go on to win the game, but on this night, they weren’t the only winners.
Not only did the New York Mets win an important game, Major League Baseball won. New York City won. The United States of America had won.