Has there ever been a more heroic home run then Mike Piazza’s go-ahead shot on September 21, 2011?
I’m not talking your standard baseball heroics, obviously there have been greater moments in bigger BASEBALL context throughout the history of the game. By baseball standards, Piazza’s home run was simply a go-ahead home run in an ordinary regular season baseball game. It was the kind of moment that happens almost every single night during the season. It wasn’t even hit in the playoffs or World Series.
However the true meaning of heroism, at least to my understanding, is when someone inspires hope and can provide an emotional lift and influence to a certain number of people, under the most difficult of circumstances. One could argue that in the history of baseball, no home run gave more “hope” or “influenced” more people than Mike Piazza’s post-911 home run.
The city of New York was in shambles. Never before had we as a country been attacked on our continental grounds. I’d bite my tongue before I’d say we felt weak, however I would say we felt violated. America inspired its citizens to never worry about such a thing. Terrorism was a word most Americans were not even familiar with before 9/11. After that day it became a word that our generation, and future generations would have etched in their minds for years to come.
I’ll never forget where I was when the Twin Towers were attacked – sitting in the 2nd row from the back of 8th grade wood tech class. Until September 21, I really didn’t see many bright things about the new disparaging world we were all pluged into after the attacks. Like many other Americans (and Mets fans), I was glued to my television for many days following the attacks and watching the non-stop coverage. It was all so depressing. However, that changed when I watched Mike Piazza’s home run on September 21st. It was the first ray of sunshine in the otherwise gloomy aftermath of 9/11.
It was a moment that lifted an entire city up. At that moment it didn’t matter if you were a Mets fan or a Yankees fan, you were from New York, and beyond that you were an American.