The Mets officially announced today that Mike Piazza will be honored by the team over a weekend series in July at Citi Field. The center piece of the 3 day celebrations will include the Mets retiring Piazza’s number 31 out on the Party City Deck in left field. The retirement ceremony will take place Saturday July 30th at 6:30pm. The bookends to the number retirement are a Piazza replica jersey giveaway to all fans in attendance on Friday July 29th and a Piazza bobble head to the first 15,000 fans on Sunday July 31st.
It is well known how stringent the Mets have been when it comes to retiring numbers, as Piazza will become the second player to have his number retired by the team, not including the league wide retirement of Jackie Robinson’s 42. Piazza will join Tom Seaver (No. 41), Gil Hodges (No. 14) and Casey Stengel (No. 37) as the only retired numbers. While fans have been clamoring for ownership to make this happen since he retired from the game, no time is better than now after his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame this summer.
For any fan of the late 90s and early 2000 Mets, this will be quite the extravaganza. Piazza brought life to a franchise that struggled to find its identity after the ’86 champion bad asses. Piazza is arguably the greatest hitting catcher to ever play the game and is the definition of the underdog. After being acquired from the Marlins, he spent eight years with the Mets and led them to the 2000 World Series. He hit 427 home runs in his career that began in LA as a favor when they picked him in the 62nd round of the 1988 draft.
My wife and I can not wait to grab tickets for the retirement ceremony as it is truly a rare event when it comes to our beloved Mets. Hopefully we won’t have to wait another 28 years to see another Mets player have heir number hanging on the wall.
Keith Hernandez anyone?!