1. Piazza’s home run heals NYC
The tragic events of September 11, 2001, were very much alive when the New York Mets took the field for the first time in New York City following the attacks. The Mets played against the Atlanta Braves in front of a packed house at Shea Stadium, as New Yorker’s tried to have a few hours of normalcy in the midst of all the tragedy.
In typical Mike Piazza fashion, the slugger took the opportunity to shine on the big stage and bring some happiness to the fans he loved so dearly. In the eighth inning, Piazza stepped to the plate and smashed a game-winning, two-run home run off of Braves’ reliever Steve Karsay. As the ball flew into the night’s sky, the fans felt normal for the first time in ten days.
The 41,235 fans at Shea Stadium gave him a standing ovation as he rounded the bases and chanted “USA! USA!’’ as many waved American flags.
The United States of America was an uneasy place in the days following the September 11 terror attacks, but for one night in Queens, the Mets became America’s team, and Piazza a hero.
In his career, Piazza hit 427 home runs, but the one he hit on September 21, 2001, is the one that will forever go down in history as the biggest one of his career.
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