NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Cooperstown will welcome another New York Met on Sunday.Police Open Fire After Pulling Over Suspected Car Thief On West Side Highway
PHOTOS: Mike Piazza Through The Years
The Los Angeles Dodgers drafted the catcher in the 62nd round in 1988 as a favor to manager Tommy Lasorda. But Piazza fashioned a career that was a gift to New York.
“As much as I loved my time with the Dodgers, I’m going to go in (to the Hall of Fame) as a New York Met,” he announced in January.
On Sunday, Piazza will join Tom Seaver as the only Mets in the Hall. With Mets fans expected to turn out in full force Sunday, the induction ceremony should turn into a Piazza love fest.READ MORE: Broadway Theaters Can Reopen At 100% Capacity On Sept. 14, Gov. Cuomo Says
“I truly have a special relationship here with the fans of the Mets,” said Piazza, who will be inducted along with Mariners and Reds great Ken Griffey Jr. “I feel the fans here (in New York) truly brought me into their family. Every time I’ve come back, I’ve been so incredibly honored from the response.”
There’s a reason Mets fans love him. He did things in Queens that had never been done before. He still holds the team’s single-season record for RBIs and slugging percentage. But he also hit what may be the most important home run ever by a Met. That home run turned a grieving city into a happy one, if only for a moment.
By now, you know the story. It was the first sporting event in New York after the attacks on 9/11. With the Mets trailing 2-1 in the eighth inning, Piazza did what he almost always did — he came through in the clutch.
Nearly 40 percent of his career long balls came with the team trailing. That night, he gave the Mets the lead — and so much more.
“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,” Piazza said. “That was a special moment for me.”MORE NEWS: FAA Reports Sharp Increase In Reports Of Unruly Passengers Over Past Few Months
The Hall of Fame is the epitome of greatness. And for the Mets, there has never been a greater hitter than Piazza.