Mike Piazza’s iconic home run after 9/11
It was Septemeber 21st, 2001 and just 10 days prior to New York witnessed one of if not the worst terrorist attack in American history. After the World Trade Center was attacked New Yorkers were devastated as friends and loved ones were lost. With all that happened all sporting events were put on pause in New York for a few days.
When baseball returned to New York it was an NL East rivalry matchup between the Mets and the Braves at Shea Stadium and the place was packed. The emotions were running through all the fans in attendance as it was a time to try and get back on their feet as well as still a time of mourning.
The game started as both teams met after the national anthem on the mound and shook hands. These two heated rivals put baseball aside to remember that things are much bigger than sports at times. When the game started there was not much to cheer about as it was a quiet 1-1 game heading into the eighth.
In the top of the eighth the Braves scored to take a 2-1 lead late in the game and whatever energy was in Shea Stadium was then drained out. After the Mets started the bottom of the eighth with the first batter getting out, Edgardo Alfonzo then drew a walk and up came Mike Piazza. Fans knew if something special were to happen this night that it would have to be at the hands of Piazza.
After taking a first-pitch strike Piazza dug back into the batters’ box against Steve Karsay where magic then struck. Karsay was delivered the 0-1 pitch and next was the famous Howie Rose call:
“And its hit deep to left center…Andrew Jones on the run….this one has a chance…HOME RUN! MIKE PIAZZA! And the Mets lead it 3-2!”
Piazza crushed a two-run home run to give the Mets the 3-2 lead where they didn’t look back. Not only did the Mets come back to beat the Braves but that one swing of the bat got all of New York back on their feet. There was jumping, cheering, and hugging as all became one that night in Shea Stadium.
New York for a moment was able to forget about the terrible attacks ten days prior and were able to have a joyful moment. This moment right here showed what sports can do to people and the world.