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Baseball Hall of Fame: A King in Queens

Getty Images

Getty Images

On Wednesday night, longtime catcher Mike Piazza was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Piazza, the all-time leader in home runs by a catcher, spent five full seasons and parts of two others with the Dodgers, had stints with the Marlins, Padres and Athletics, but most memorably was the pride and joy of the New York Mets.

But how special was Piazza? Well a fan of baseball would definitely know Piazza as a great catcher, but for Mets’ fans, Piazza meant so much more.

Piazza had a powerful classic home run swing, a distinct bat pose and a look like none other. Piazza was a super star, or in the words of former Mets pitcher Al Leiter “he’s a rock star.”

In a time when the Yankees ruled the city and were in the midst of a dynasty, Piazza gave Mets fans a reason to be proud. Upon his arrival in 1998, his grit behind the plate, determination in the clubhouse and power at the plate gave Mets fans not only pride, but a reason to believe.

Piazza led an underdog team to the World Series in 2000, and then one year later delivered the most emotional moment in New York sports history: his home run at Shea Stadium after 9/11 didn’t just win a game, it brought tears to the eyes of New Yorkers everywhere, who not only need a reason to cheer, but also a reason to feel good about themselves.

The moment created a bond with Piazza and the City of New York, a bond that we all now know will never be broken. Piazza announced that he will be heading into the Hall of Fame as a Met. A decision that allows Mets fans to revel in tradition, something the organization has been lacking of late.

Although not the Yankees in history, the Mets have had plenty of their own historic moments including five trips to the World Series, most recently last season.

The Mets could use more history, and Piazza joining Tom Seaver and Gary Carter could pave the way.

Piazza was a lot more than 427 home runs, he was a hero in the eyes of Mets’ fans everywhere.

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