WFAN Best Sports Figures: #8 — Mike Piazza – CBS New York

Editor’s Note: As part of WFAN’s 30th anniversary celebration, from May 1-12, we asked you to vote on the best local sports figures over the past 30 years. Over the course of two weeks, we are revealing the top-10 vote getters.

NEW YORK (WFAN) — “The monster is out of the cage!”

Then-Mets bench coach John Stearns issued that famous line during Game 1 of the 2000 NLCS after Mike Piazza hit a run-scoring double in the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals that set the tone for New York’s five-game victory and first trip to the World Series since 1986, their last championship season.

Make no mistake, Piazza was a monster throughout his eight-year run in New York, batting .296 with 220 home runs and 655 RBIs. One of the greatest hitting catchers to ever play, Piazza’s 16-year major league career was honored with his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2016.

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Piazza produced an iconic moment in New York sports history on Sept. 21, 2001, when, in the Mets’ first home game after 9/11, he hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning to seal a 3-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves. That play has been widely credited for lifting the spirits of many New Yorkers following the attacks on the World Trade Center.

The 12-time All-Star and 10-time Silver Slugger Award winner finished his exceptional career with 427 homers, including a record 396 as a catcher, along with a .308 batting average and 1,335 RBIs.

Piazza was inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame in 2013 and will forever remain one of the most beloved players in franchise history.