We’re all looking forward to the many great stories Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza will share during Sunday’s Hall of Fame ceremony in Cooperstown. Before we get there though, the two soon-to-be Hall of Famers addressed the media on Saturday during the annual press conference.
While they may not have revealed the talking points for their anticipated speeches, they did give us a taste of the emotion we should expect to see and feel once they hit the stage. That was especially true of Mike Piazza, who has already gone on record saying he expects to cry during his speech.
His emotions nearly started flowing one day early as he spent a moment reflecting on his memorable home run hit 10 days after terrorist attacks rocked New York, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania on Sept 11. 2001.
Mike Piazza talking about his 9/21/01 home run… pic.twitter.com/oXPwSuDOaQ
— Breanna N Morello (@BreannaMorello) July 23, 2016
Piazza also added:
Piazza on his 9/11 HR: "The fact that people remember that is very touching. I like hearing them paint the picture of what it meant."
— Baseball Hall ⚾ (@baseballhall) July 23, 2016
Not only was that a defining moment in Mike Piazza’s Hall of Fame career, it was a defining moment for a city and a country that was doing its best to collectively heal.
That night marked the first major sporting event held in New York after the Sept. 11 attacks took place. It was also among the first major gatherings in the entire country. Piazza’s home run that night may have delivered a Mets a 3-2 win, but more than it provided happiness and healing that was felt everywhere.
Understandably, that moment still weighs heavily on Piazza’s mind. The cool part though is the connection it has created between him and so many fans. We can only imagine the stories he’s heard and the emotions those stories have stirred up when he realized the impact the simple game of baseball can have on those who are struggling or grieving.
At that time, it was a moment we all needed to help us get back on our feet. And for that, it’s a moment we should always remember and celebrate.
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