1) NY Mets catcher Mike Piazza
When the Mets acquired Mike Piazza in 1998, they knew they were getting the game's most feared power hitters. But they didn't realize they were also getting a player who would become one of their biggest superstars in franchise history and an American icon.
In 1998, he batted .348 with 23 home runs and 76 RBIs. Earning him a $91 million deal for seven years. Piazza was very much still in his prime and continued putting up similar numbers when he was with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Florida Marlins.
Piazza led the Mets to their first postseason since 1988 in 1999, when he hit .303 with 40 home runs and 124 RBIs. His batting average would continue to rise as he finished the following season batting .324, knocking out 38 home runs and 113 RBIs. In 2000, the Mets' season didn't end in the regular season nor the playoffs; it ended in the World Series. Unfortunately, they fell short when they went against their cross-town rival, New York Yankees.
Piazza will always be remembered being one of the best offensive catchers to wear the Mets uniform. Piazza had a Hall of Fame career and rightfully is in Cooperstown for it, with many remarkable moments to talk about for the next generation. None more remarkable than his two-run home run in the 8th inning on Sept. 21, 2001, the first game played in New York City after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Not only did Piazza's home run lift New York, but lifted the nation. I call the home run a shot to the face to the terrorists. New York and the United States are still standing tall, more unified than ever.