The Dream of the '90s
Nine years later, Piazza’s fu manchu and flowing locks were transformed to the color pages of Meet the Mets, in which the catcher joins up with teammates Kevin Appier, John Franco and Jay Payton to form the “Amazin’ Mets.” Together, the superheroes defend kids with asthma from school bully Buddy Thuggs and his “Field of Nightmares” machine. Appier overcame his asthma to win 169 big league games on the mound.
Meet the Mets came out on Aug. 27, 2001 – less than a month before a Piazza home run helped New Yorkers heal after the tragedy of Sept. 11. Ten days after the terrorist attacks in Washington D.C., Pennsylvania and Manhattan, the Mets’ leader sent a pitch from Braves pitcher Steve Karsay deep over the center field wall to give his team a 3-2 lead.
Consider this: It took seven years for the Baby Ruth bar to come out after the Great Bambino’s debut (though the Curtiss Candy Co. always maintained the candy was named for President Grover Cleveland’s daughter). Reggie Jackson had to wait 11 years for the Reggie! bar, also displayed in Whole New Ballgame, to be passed out at Yankee Stadium.
But the best way to actually see the two electees in person will be to take a trip on July 22-25 to Cooperstown, when one last ’90s dream will come true during Hall of Fame Weekend.
Matt Kelly is the communications specialist at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum