Mere weeks after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Phoenixville High School grad Mike Piazza took the field with his New York Mets teammates under a shroud of caution and grief.
By the eighth inning, he brought the crowd at Shea Stadium in New York City to a fever pitch with an emotional two-run homer.
Ken Rosenthal, for Sporting News, recalls the blast and the lift it gave the hometown fans.
In September 2011, Piazza was living in Manhattan. After the attacks, he visited hospitals and witnessed many candlelight vigils.
Emotions were still running high when the first post-9/11 Mets game against the Braves was ready to begin. Not only was the Big Apple still reeling from its losses, but there were also significant safety concerns about playing the game at home.
When a color guard processed through the center-field gate, many eyes filled with tears, including Piazza’s.
He knew that the stakes were high for him and his team, all playing for the wounded city.
When he hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning, the crowd of 41,235 erupted. It spontaneously burst into chants of “USA! USA!”
And while Mike Piazza does not believe the home run was the biggest of his career, it was certainly the most meaningful.
Read more about Mike Piazza in Sporting News.
The MLB shares this video of the amazing home run hit.