Ten days after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the New York Mets had returned dwelling in what could be the primary skilled sporting occasion to happen within the metropolis since that tragic day. Practically 20 years later, the occasions of that night time are nonetheless remembered for being a pivotal second within the nation’s therapeutic.
Major League Baseball had canceled all its video games for per week after 9/11. Play would resume however the Mets wouldn’t return to Shea Stadium till Sept. 21.
There was hesitancy up till proper earlier than the primary pitch. Was it too quickly? Had been New Yorkers able to pack a stadium and have fun? Was it even protected?
The unknown consumed the minds of each participant, together with the visiting Atlanta Braves.
“Ought to we be right here? Is it too quickly? We had plenty of trepidation, we had plenty of nervousness,” Mets’ catcher Mike Piazza informed WCBS this week. “Terrorism was nonetheless prevalent in our minds, was nonetheless on our ideas. Quite a lot of the concern of the unknown. We did not know what was gonna occur, we did not know what the sensation could be.”
The Mets had been shedding when Piazza stepped as much as the plate on the backside of the eighth. There was a runner on base and the traditional pressures of baseball appeared insignificant to the stress of giving New Yorkers one thing to distract themselves with.
“I had the reward of focus and I felt very calm and I used to be capable of sluggish the second down,” Piazza mentioned.
He would hit the game-winning dwelling run, arguably his most important dwelling run.
As a somber Piazza rounded the bases as the group of over 40,000 buzzed.
“It was a launch of emotion and other people simply needed to be collectively,” he continued. “Individuals needed to cheer about one thing and to be in the proper place on the proper time is an honor.”
Piazza was a hero in New York lengthy earlier than that second however his time with the Mets will all the time be highlighted by the legacy of that dwelling run.