Just in time for the holiday season, Mets 101's Seven in Seven series returns as our gift to you. Each week, the Mets 101 staff will begin a countdown of something related to the New York Mets ( i.e. best third baseman, worst defeat, etc.). We will begin our countdown on Sundays with number seven and work all the way to number one. This week's Seven in Seven list is a dandy, as we will break down the greatest Mets players of all time. We will continue our countdown with the sixth greatest Met of all time, Mike Piazza.
6. Mike Piazza
All Time Mets Stats: 972 Games, .296 Batting Average, 532 Runs, 1,028 Hits, 193 Doubles, 2 Triples, 220 Home Runs, 655 RBI, 424 Walks, 546 Strikeouts, .373 OBP, .542 Slugging, .915 OPS
Analysis: The Acquisition that single-handedly changed a franchise. When Steve Phillips dished off a trio of prospects (Preston Wilson, Geoff Goetz and Ed Yarnall) to Florida for Piazza, it was a gutsy move for a franchise that already had a slugging catcher in Todd Hundley. The move would transform the Mets into a contender over the next four seasons, giving the ballclub their first true slugger in the middle of the order since Darryl Strawberry left town. He would anchor the team during their playoff runs in 1999 and 2000 and hit over .300 his first four seasons as a Met.
Piazza was the face of the franchise for most of his Met tenure and may have hit the most memorable homer in club history, on September 21, 2001. In the eighth inning of the first sporting event held in New York City post- 9/11, Piazza hit a go-ahead homer to deep left center, putting the Mets ahead 3-2 en route to the victory that night. The homer instantly stands out in the minds of all Met fans who watched that night as one of, if not the most memorable long ball that Piazza, or any Met, has hit considering the circumstances surrounding that night.
As all catchers do, Piazza began to show his age over the last three seasons of his Met contract and eventually would leave for San Diego, then Oakland as a free agent, but remains very much a Met to this day. With a potential Hall-of-Fame induction on the horizon, only time will tell if Piazza becomes just the second player to enter the Hall as a Met (Tom Seaver being the only one in the team's 50 year history). That consideration alone puts Piazza amongst the best to wear orange and blue, while calling Flushing Meadows, NY home for parts of eight "Amazin" seasons.
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