(Photo via nycbslocal.com)
After the 9/11 attacks, a pile of ash, rubble, and steel laid where the World Trade Center once stood. The WTC was a staple of the New York City skyline and a symbol of American success, but it very quickly became Ground Zero. Everyone was effected. People lost fathers, husbands, brothers, mothers, wives, sisters, children, grandparents, and the list goes on. New York was broken. America was broken.
The first sporting event in New York after 9/11 took place on September 21, 2001. Piazza may have just hit another dinger, but it was more than that. Everyone who was alive can remember exactly where they were when Piazza hit the historic blast. That go ahead homer rocked the Big Apple harder than any terrorist attack could hope to. It did more than win a ball game. It brought all Americans together and helped heal a city that was so deeply scarred.
Piazza commented on the sale of this piece of NY history.
“I’m very disappointed with the situation regarding my game jersey from Sept. 21, 2001,” Piazza told the New York Post. “I’ve expressed my feelings to [chief operating officer] 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.”
-Adam Ruben, ESPN
The Mets issued satement after Piazza spoke out.
“We made a mistake in selling the jersey, and Jeff called Mike to express our regret in so doing,” a Mets spokesperson said in a statement to the Post. “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. We can’t verify the item being auctioned, but can confirm that our memorabilia group sold a jersey that meets this description, which was not authenticated with respect to game use.”
-Adam Ruben, ESPN
9/11, although it was a dark day in American history, brought out the best in New York. Everyday people became heroes. Individuals showed that below the tough NY exterior is a bond that runs deep. It didn’t matter if you were a man or woman, black or white, or anything else for that matter. We came together to lend a hand and do what we could. Piazza’s jersey symbolizes all that. When he hit that shot against the rival Braves, it did not matter if you were a Mets or Yankees fan. The crowd wasn’t chanting “Let’s go Mets!” as Piazza rounded the bases, they were chanting “U.S.A.” as flags waved and tears of joy streamed down many faces. It was bigger than baseball.
I, for one, like that the Mets are trying to purchase the jersey back. I wish they had never made the sale to begin with, but that’s in the past. I respect the organization for admitting their mistake and trying to make it right with the fans and the people of New York.
– R. Ilardi