Jun 17, 2016

Remembering Mets History: (2004) Mike Piazza Night & Mike Cameron's Walk Offs

Friday June 18th 2004: Mike Piazza Night- It was on this night the New York Mets paid tribute to future Hall of Famer; Mike Piazza. Piazza had just become the MLB All Time HR leader among catchers.

On hand were some of the greatest living catchers in the history of the game; the 1986 World Champion Mets backstop Gary Carter, former Red Sox / White Sox All Star Carlton Fisk, The Big Red Machine's Johnny Bench, former Mets player/ coach & 1973 NL Champion Mets manager Yogi Berra.

Also on hand were former Detroit Tiger catcher & current coach Lance Parrish & one of the best catchers of his era; Ivan Rodriguez. Also on hand for this special night was Mike Piazza's long time family friend & former Dodgers Manager; Tommy Lasorda.

 A commemorative poster featuring Piazza was given out to the fans, in which centerfieldmaz was in attendance. Then a ceremony where speeches were made in Piazza's honor. His feat was celebrated by the Mets organization, his team mates & the 36,000 fans at Shea Stadium, as well as the visiting Detroit Tigers.

After the pregame ceremony  Art Howe's third place Mets (32-34) hosted an inter league game with Alan Trammel's fourth place Detroit Tigers (31-35) in front of 36,141 paid at Shea..

The pitchers were Tom Glavine for the Mets up against Alan the Tigers' Nate Robinson.

Starting Lineups

The Tigers scored in the 1st inning, as both Brad Inge & Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez singled. Then Delvin Young reached on a fielder’s choice but Pudge was thrown out. Rondell White then doubled scoring Inge.

As Delvin Young also tried to score, Mike Cameron threw a bullet to Kazo Matsui who then threw a perfect throw to Piazza behind the plate, nailing Young at the plate. The crowd erupted in excitement as Piazza the man of night, made a fine defensive play. Young struck again later with a solo HR in the 4th inning.

In the Mets 5th, Ty Wigginton & Mike Cameron both singled, then Jason Phillips moved the runners over. Tom Glavine singled tying up the game 2-2. Relievers Ricky Bottalico & Braden Looper held down the Tigers to the 9th inning, pitching an inning each.

In the 9th Tiger pitcher; Danny Paterson retired Richard Hidalgo & Ty Wigginton. Mike Cameron stepped in & saved Piazza’s Night, as he became the games hero with an exciting walk off HR to left center field. It was the first of two exciting nights for Cameron.


Saturday June 19th 2004: The next day, the Mets sent Al Leiter to the mound against Detroit's Jason Johnson. The Tigers took a 2-0 lead by the 2nd inning.. The Mets got a run back on Eric Valents fielders choice with the bases loaded in the 2nd. In the 8th the Tigers got a run off John Franco making it a 3-1 game.

In the 8th Karim Garcia doubled & reached third on a wild pitch. Jose Reyes reached second on an error & Garcia scored. Reyes got to third tagging on a Ty Wigginton fly out, he then was brought in by Cliff Floyd tying the game.

The game stayed that way until the 10th inning, Reyes tripled off Craig Dingman with one out. Wigginton & Floyd were both walked intentionally, loading them up for last nights hero; Mike Cameron. Cameron came through again, driving a walk off game winning single to left center field scoring Ty Wigginton.

In Cameron’s first year with the Mets he led the team with 30 HRs with 30 doubles 22 steals & 76 RBIs. He batted .231 & struck out 143 times (10th in the NL).

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