Just in time for the New Year, Mets 101's Seven in Seven series returns as our gift to you. Each week, the Mets 101 staff will begin a countdown of topics related to the New York Mets (i.e. best third baseman, worst defeat, etc.). We will begin our countdowns with the number seven and work all the way to number one. This week's Seven in Seven list takes a look at the timeline of all time Mets great Mike Piazza. Today's moment is number two on the list: Piazza passes Fisk for most home runs as a catcher.
2. Piazza Passes Fisk
The middle portion of the 2000s were a dark time for the New York Mets. In 2003, they finished dead last in the NL East, 34.5 games back and with a 66-95 record. 2004 did not look any more promising as the Mets were waiting for their young stars Jose Reyes and David Wright to develop into the superstars they projected to become. While Met fans did not have much to look forward to in terms of wins in the 2004 season, there was a personal accolade within Mike Piazza’s grasp.
Piazza finished the 2003 regular season with 347 career home runs. Carlton Fisk held the record for homers by a catcher with 351. Entering the 2004 season, it was only a matter of time before Piazza would surpass Fisk and claim his spot in the record books. May 5, 2004 was the day.
Piazza came to the plate with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. Giants pitcher Jerome Williams pitched cautiously to the Met catcher, almost as if he wanted to avoid ending up in the record books as the pitcher who gave up the record breaking home run. The count ran to 3-1.
Williams hung a 3-1 breaking ball right down Broadway and Piazza did not miss. Piazza crushed the pitch to the tune of a towering 405-foot home run to right center field, off the big scoreboard in Shea Stadium. As Piazza touched home plate, he became the sole record holder for home runs as a catcher.
Piazza finished his career with 396 home runs as a catcher and a career total of 427. He got snubbed from the Hall of Fame this year in his first year of eligibility but it is all but certain that Piazza will have a bust in Cooperstown once day.
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