When you hear of things like this with the Mets, what immediately comes to mind is: How the hell could happen in the first place?
The jersey Mike Piazza wore during the first game back after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks is up for auction, and not by the team. Ten days later, Piazza authored one of the most dramatic events in franchise history that night with game-winning home run that beat the Atlanta Braves.
That jersey, which should have immediately been offered to the Baseball Hall of Fame, or at least placed in the Mets’ trophy case, somehow found its way to a memorabilia collector.
The jersey is now available – for a hefty price, of course – as it will be put up for auction, April 30, by Goldin Auctions.
We all know the Mets have been under financial duress in recent years, but I refuse to believe Chief Operating Officer Jeff Wilpon sold it on his own, but the confirmed the jersey being sold.
“We made a mistake in selling the jersey, and Jeff called Mike to express our regret in so doing,” reported The New York Post.
However, that admission doesn’t get the jersey back and Piazza isn’t pleased.
“I’m very disappointed with the situation regarding my game jersey from Sept. 21, 2001,” Piazza told The Post. “I’ve expressed my feelings to [chief operating officer] Jeff [Wilpon] and the Mets. And while it never should have left Citi Field, they have assured me that contact with the seller has been made and they are making a concerted effort to get the jersey back.
“I’m hopeful that an agreement can be reached and we can give back to the fans and all New Yorkers a piece of that evening that was more than just a game.”
If nothing else, Piazza should buy it back himself and donate the jersey to the Hall of Fame and write it off his taxes.
The Mets have long been accused of not honoring their history and this is another example. Citi Field should have been designed with a team museum in its confines, but that only happened after the first year when there was an outcry from Mets’ fans about the franchise forgetting its history.
It should be noted Mets owner Fred Wilpon grew up a Brooklyn Dodgers’ fan and the front of Citi Field resembles Ebbets Field and the Jackie Robinson Rotunda was part of the original design while a Mets museum wasn’t.
The Mets have to make this right by buying back the jersey. It will cost them a lot of money, but it is the right thing to do. When they get it back, it must go to either, Piazza, the Hall of Fame, or the Mets Museum.
That’s the only way to make it right.
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