On Sept. 21, 2001, Piazza hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning to seal a 3-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves. That moment has been widely credited for lifting the spirts of many New Yorkers following the attacks on the World Trade Center.
The jersey was brought to Goldin Auctions, which is now accepting bids online, by the world’s biggest Mets collector, who purchased the jersey from the team in a private auction three years ago. The collector had loaned the jersey to the Mets to display in their Citi Field museum.
The Hall of Fame catcher told the New York Post he has voiced his frustration to the Mets over the jersey being sold.
“I’m very disappointed with the situation regarding my game jersey from September 21st, 2001,” Piazza said.
“I’ve expressed my feelings to Jeff (Wilpon) and the Mets. And while it never should have left Citi Field, they have assured me that contact with the seller has been made and they are making a concerted effort to get the jersey back. I’m hopeful that an agreement can be reached and we can give back to the fans and all New Yorkers a piece of that evening that was more than just a game.’’
The jersey has an American flag emblazoned on the back collar and “9-11-01″ stitched into the right sleeve. It was also autographed by Piazza. Ken Goldin of Goldin Auctions told the New York Daily News he’d be disappointed if the jersey didn’t fetch at least $50,000. Bidding is scheduled to end April 30.
In a statement to the Post on Tuesday, a Mets spokesperson said: “We made a mistake in selling the jersey and Jeff called Mike to express our regret in so doing. We have dedicated a section in the Mets Hall of Fame and Museum to celebrate Mike’s achievements and his induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and are exploring memorabilia to display in that area.”
Piazza spoke about the home run in January on the day after he was elected into the baseball Hall of Fame.
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“It’s tough because I get emotional thinking back at that week,” he said. “I mean, anybody knows who was there, it’s something you can’t define. It changed all of our lives, not at a baseball level, but personally for me. I mean, it really put my life in perspective and focused what the important things in life are, and that’s family and friends and relationships.
“To be, for me, at the right place at the right time and come through, I can only think it comes from above and a lot of people who put wind under my wings. That was a special moment for me.”