On the morning after President Obama ordered US Forces to attack and kill 9/11 mastermind, terrorist Osama Bin Laden, it’s hard to focus on anything Mets. The emotions still run too deep. We are all so joyed and relieved that justice has been done, but it also brings back the memories of how it all began.
I found a wonderful video on MLB.com that does a nice job of retelling those tragic events and how they led up to one of the most memorable games in Mets history. I’m of course referring to that emotional night when baseball came back after ten days of mourning, and the Mets told the rest of the country that everything was going to be okay.
The Mets beat the Braves and Mike Piazza helped to heal a city and a nation with a mighty blast and the most memorable moment of his Hall of Fame career. For one night, that homerun transformed a city in mourning into a pillar of strength for the rest of the country. Piazza ignited the crowd at Shea Stadium that was mostly filled with thousands of people who lost loved ones on that tragic day.
“As far as drama goes, that was like a Hollywood script,” said longtime Mets radio personality Ed Coleman. “You could write it up and people wouldn’t believe it.”
The terrorists underestimated our resiliency and how much we love our American values and our American way of life.
That Piazza homerun remains so significant to Mets fans that it’s been called the second greatest moment in Shea Stadium history, right behind Game 6 of the 1986 World Series.
“I remember standing on the line during the national anthem – actually when the bagpipes and band came out – I said to myself, ‘Please God, give me the strength to get through this,’” Piazza said. “I was fortunate to find the strength to hit a home run in that situation. I’m flattered, I’m honored that people put that moment as a time where it helped the city at least have a little bit of joy in a really tough week.”
And how awesome would it be, if the New York Mets invited Mike Piazza back to Citi Field this weekend to finally retire his number and thank him for a tremendous career and his transcending and momentous post 9/11 homerun.