On a day trip to the Hockey Hall of Fame, a nice guy was pushing his daughters baby carriage & yelled out "Piazza". I was wearing a #31 Piazza shirt so I thought he was ackowledeging me. He said no the real one is in the store.- No way. But Yes, there he was in a sharp grey suit, behind sun glasses, reading a magazine. I yelled over "Hey Mike" he ignored me at first but I didn't go away, "Hey Mike". He looked up & smiled it was him!
I was like a kid, he took pictures with me & my girlfriend who all of a sudden was a bigger fan than me. I asked how he was feeling, sincehe was just coming off the DL from the whole Clemens incident.
He was a gentleman when I asked him about it, saying it was part of the game. The New Yorker & fan in me said otherwise & he just laughed. We actually got to walked out the store with him & he chatted with us & was very polite. We told him we were up from NY & going to the game. I also told him he & Tom Seaver were the only two names I would wear on my back. He said "Thanks, I appreciate that"
What a day for a life long Mets fan, after dinner at the Restaurant overlooking centerfield at Skydome, watching batting practice, it was on to the game.
|New York Mets||Toronto Blue Jays|
|1||Lenny Harris||3B||1||Shannon Stewart||LF|
|2||Derek Bell||RF||2||Craig Grebeck||SS|
|3||Edgardo Alfonzo||DH||3||Raul Mondesi||RF|
|4||Mike Piazza||C||4||Carlos Delgado||1B|
|5||Todd Zeile||1B||5||Brad Fullmer||DH|
|6||Jay Payton||CF||6||Tony Batista||3B|
|7||Benny Agbayani||LF||7||Darrin Fletcher||C|
|8||Joe McEwing||2B||8||Jose Cruz||CF|
|9||David Lamb||SS||9||Homer Bush||2B|
|Bobby Jones P||Chris Carpenter P|
Carpenter gave up seven runs, on five hits, with the biggest blow being Mike Piazza's 5th inning grand slam. Sitting right off third base a few rows off the field I stood proudly as Piazza rounded the bases, wearing my Piazza shirt & knowing I just met the guy a couple of hours ago.
Wow, what a great baseball day for a life long Mets fan. It was Piazza's third grand slam of the season & his 28th HR of the season. At that point he was batting .348 with 81 RBIs.
The Mets went on to a 11-7 victory that night, Derek Bell hitting his 13th HR of the year & Lenny Harris his second HR. Edgardo Alfonzo also had two RBI's as did Bell & Harris. Joe McEwing also drove in a run. The Mets took two of three in the series & won three straight that week.
Grand Slam #1- On Sunday May 14th 2000: The Mets (20-19) hosted the Florida Marlins (21-18). Mike Hampton & Brad Penny were having a quality pitching duel going into a scoreless 6th inning. Hampton singled & was driven in by Joe McEwing to make it 1-0. Derek Bell walked & Edgardo Alfonzo was walked intentionally to load the bases. Mike Piazza stepped in & hit his first grand slam of the year, putting the Mets up 5-0. They went on to a 5-1 win, as Hampton pitched the complete game victory.
Grand Slam #2- Friday June 9th 2000: The Mets opened up the regular season subway series with a 12-2 romp in the Bronx against the A.L. New York team. Al Leiter rolled along to his 7th win of the year (7-1) as the Mets clobbered Roger Clemens for nine runs on ten hits, three walks & two HRs. The biggest blow was a 3rd inning grand slam off the bat of Mike Piazza who always had a field day hitting against Clemens.
Edgardo Alfonzo also homered, driving in two runs, Derek Bell drove in five runs & Todd Zeile an RBI as well.
The Sunday game was rained out & a make up game was scheduled on July 8th, as a cross town day night double header. The first game played in the Bronx with the nightcap played in Queens. Dwight Gooden beat the Mets in the first game & it was in the second game where all the drama occurred.
In the 2nd inning Mike Piazza came up against Roger Clemens & was hit in the head with a fastball. Piazza went down & was taken off the field, going on the disabled list.
Clemens didn't know how else to stop Piazza from hitting him & possibly was suffering from a steroid rage that day. The classless move was looked at negatively from most people around baseball.