Mets Legend and future Hall-of-Famer Mike Piazza managed the 2011 XM Futures Game, sporting a Mets cap, not a Dodgers. He also wore a Mets cap during last night’s All-Star Legends and Celebrities Softball game, not a Dodgers. A decision similar to this will have to be made in the coming future once Piazza is elected to Cooperstown, Mets cap or Dodgers?
Now Piazza won’t be making this choice, the Baseball Writers Association of America will, but this topic has still been a highly debated question in the baseball world for years. The debate is, once Piazza makes the hall, on his plaque, should he be wearing a Mets cap or Dodgers. The cap that a hall-of-famer wears on his plaque symbolizes the team that he had played the most significant part of his career with. There are two schools of thought on Piazza though as he had very significant tenures with both ballclubs.
The case for the Dodgers is that he had his most “athletic” years and his best statistical years with them. He won the rookie of the year in a Dodger uniform and in 1997 had arguably his career year in LA, batting .362 with 40 homers and 124 RBIs, not to mention 201 hits, as a catcher! Another argument that Dodgers fans make is that he was young and athletic as a Dodger, playing for them from his early twenties until being dealt to the Marlins and eventually Mets at age 29. One other little tidbit, Piazza was drafted in the 62nd round by the Blue Crew, only as a kind gesture because he was a family friend of one of the LA scouts, so Piazza likely would never have made it to professional ball if not for the Dodgers.
Then, there is the argument for Piazza as a New York Met. Piazza played eight seasons with the Mets, one more than he had with the Dodgers. Dodger fans try to make the argument that he played basically the same amount of years between both ballclubs, but he only had only five full seasons with the Blue Crew in retrospect. Piazza, in 246 more games as a Met, has 43 more home runs, 92 more RBIs 335 mor total bases and 132 more hits than that of his career in Dodger Blue.
But Regardless of stats, two of Piazza’s most iconic moments of his career, the 9/11 home run and the Bat throwing incident with Roger Clemens in the 2000 World Series, were both as a Met. Almost any baseball fan, when you speak the name “Mike Piazza”, will think of either of those two moments. If the stats and the seasons are not enough, that should put it over the edge.
I would see it as a disgrace if Piazza was not a Met in the Hall of Fame. There are two Mets in their nearly 50-year history that have been considered a cut above the rest, a franchise type player, one of the best of all-time. One is Tom Seaver, the other is Mike Piazza. Tom Seaver is all ready in the hall sporting a Mets cap, why shouldn’t Piazza?
If the entire baseball world knows Piazza as a Met, if Piazza himself identifies himself as a Met, why shouldn’t Cooperstown?