Stop It! Mike Piazza Is a Met
You know how I know this? He wrote it in his book “Long Shot” at page 343:
The whole affair [of the closing ceremony at Shea Stadium] felt good, and it spoke to why, if I do make it to the Hall of Fame . . . I hope to go in as a Met. Technically, it’s not a player’s call; the Hall of Fame itself makes that decision. But players can let their preferences be known, and mine is pretty strong.
If there’s a single person in my career with whom I feel most closely associated, yes, it’s definitely Tommy [Lasorda]. If there’s a team, however, it’s the Mets.
That’s straight from his mouth. So why the guessing game? Making arguments either way is just picking nits.
He was a better hitter with the Dodgers hitting .331/.394/.572 with 177 homers as opposed to hitting .296/.373/.542 with 220 homers for the Mets. He was the Rookie of the Year with the Dodgers, but he played in the World Series with the Mets. His story started with being a 62nd round pick of the Dodgers, a team he would play seven years and 726 games. He would play eight years and 972 games for the Mets, a team for which he did this:
Point is it’s close enough to go either way. Sure, the Hall of Fame retains the right to make the selection, but it will honor a player’s reasonable request. Piazza going in as a Met is not only reasonable, but it’s also his stated intention. Even if you didn’t have his words, look at his actions.
He always comes back for the big Mets events. He caught the last pitch at Shea and the first one at Citi Field. He threw out the first pitch at the first home World Series game at Citi Field. If he’s at an MLB sponsored event, he’s always there as a Mets delegate. In each and every All Star Legends and Celebrity Softball Game, he’s worn a Mets hat, and yes, that was for the ones preceding the 2013 All Star Game as well.
Overall, there is no reason to suggest Piazza will go into the Hall of Fame as anything other than a Met. To do so would be to ignore his statements and his actions.
Mike Piazza is and forever will be a Met.