It’s with some sadness and also great joy to report that Mike Piazza has announced his retirement today.
In a statement released by his agent, Mike said the following…
“After discussing my options with my wife, family and agent, I felt it was time to start a new chapter in my life. It has been an amazing journey, so today, I walk away with no regrets. I knew this day was coming and over the last two years. I started to make my peace with it. I gave it my all and left everything on the field.”
Mike Piazza had nothing but praise and adoration for our beloved city and Mets fans in general.
“I have to say that my time with the Mets wouldn’t have been the same without the greatest fans in the world. One of the hardest moments of my career, was walking off the field at Shea Stadium and saying goodbye. My relationship with you made my time in New York the happiest of my career and for that, I will always be grateful.”
Piazza finished his remarkable 16 year career with a .308 career average, 427 home runs and 1,335 RBI’s. He set the all-time homerun mark for catchers with 396 homeruns, surpassing Hall of Famer’s Johnny Bench, Roy Campanella and Yogi Berra. He is one of only eight catchers in baseball history to have a .300 – 30 HR - 100 RBI season. He accomplished the feat an amazing six times ecipsing Campanella who did it three times.
As a Met, he helped lead the franchise to it’s only consecutive post season appearances (1999, 2000) in the team history. Remarkably, they missed going to the play-offs in 1998 by one game. However, his most shining moment as a Met came in the aftermath of the September 11th tragedy.
When baseball finally resumed again after ten days of mourning, Mike Piazza became an icon of hope for millions when he belted a dramatic two-run home run in the eighth inning to beat the Braves 3-2 in an emotional thriller. There wasn’t a dry eye in the stadium, and it was certainly one of the greatest moments in not only Mets history, but New York sports history as well.
His first ballot entrance into the hallowed halls of Cooperstown will resonate with all Mets fans, as he becomes the first Hall of Fame hitter to wear a Mets uniform. On that day, it will be an emotionally charged occasion not only for the greatest hitting catcher that has ever lived, but also for the throngs of adoring fans for whom he always showed the utmost respect and admiration.
He is without question the greatest hitter the Mets have ever had.
Congratulations Mike, we will never forget you!