After the 9/11 terrorist attacks occurred in New York City, The Pentagon in Washington D.C., and Somerset County, PA, Americans sought refuge via The National Pastime mentally repress the horrors they witnessed on live TV. On September 21, 2001, in the first Mets game played after the attacks, catcher Mike Piazza hit the a home run that uplifting the mourning spirits of baseball fans within Shea Stadium. The game's attendees collectively felt the patriotism in the iconic moment, and rejoiced with an emotional chant of "U-S-A" shortly after he went yard on the play.
Piazza's No. 31 jersey was a symbol of hope for many New Yorkers and other across the country following the attacks. But to the Mets, who owned the jersey, it was a mere symbol for profiteering 15 years later. And the former All-Star catcher isn't happy one bit about it.
On Tuesday, Piazza told New York Post writer Kevin Kernan his bitter feelings about the news he got that his 9/11 jersey was sold and is set for auction on April 30th:
"I'm very disappointed with the situation regarding my game jersey from September 21st, 2001. I've expressed my feelings to 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."
Now the Mets have to bid for the jersey back, and they released a statement to save face for the auctioning of the jersey that are claiming they screwed up and have to get back:
"We made a mistake in selling the jersey and Jeff called Mike to express our regret in so doing. We have dedicated a section in the Mets Hall of Fame and Museum to celebrate Mike's achievements and his induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and are exploring memorabilia to display in that area. We can't verify the item being auctioned, but can confirm that our memorabilia group sold a jersey that meets this description, which was not authenticated with respect to game use."
According to Kernan, Piazza wants the jersey on display in Cooperstown, NY at the Baseball Hall of Fame. The jersey has an embroidered logo that reads "9-11-01" and American flags. Bidding on the jersey began online on Monday, with the current amount, per Kernan, set at $42,000 by Goldin Auctions.
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[via Bleacher Report]