After Eight Great Years, Mike Piazza Moves on

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Once upon a time the Monster got out of the cage. Then he rode off into the sunset.

It's been seven years since Shea Stadium hosted a Piazza Party, the last of which came on this date in 2005. Playing his 972nd and final game as a New York Met, Mike Piazza received warm ovations prior to each of his three at-bats. Those were nothing but golf claps, however, when compared to the standing O that the 47,718 faithful assembled gave the greatest Met of his generation upon his exit from the game in the top of the eighth. Play ground to a halt as fans clapped and chanted Piazza's name for eight minutes. Perhaps they were subconsciously granting one minute of applause to each of the catcher's eight seasons in Flushing. Or maybe they just didn't want to see him go. In a previous This Date in Mets History post about Mike, here's what piazza62 said:

I’ve been looking forward to Piazza’s Hall of Fame induction since he announced his retirement. I plan to go up to Cooperstown and enjoy the whole event, and then return to Queens for his rightful number retirement ceremony. If the steroid-moralizing acne-loving Chass BBWAA writers fuck this up for us, Mike, the Mets and all that is good in baseball, the HoF should be locked off.

Pretty sure that speaks for all of us.

Birthdays
A pair of Met lefties share October 2 as birthday. Kevin Kobel turns 59, while Scott Schoeneweis is 20 years his junior. Despite underwhelming peripherals, the elder southpaw put up a perfectly average ERA+ in 39 starts from 1978 to 1980. The younger one served as Pedro Feliciano's understudy in 2007-08 and was also just about average as far as ERA+ goes, posting an 102 mark.

Game of Notes
It's been historically hard for the Mets to score runs on this date. Given that meaningless October games usually contain a fair number of September call ups, perhaps that's not too surprising. Still, one would think even a lineup stocked with the bitterest cup of coffee players would be able to plate a run in 27 innings of ball. Not the 1965 Mets, though. Hosting the Phillies at Shea for a twinbill, the team was blanked 6-0 by nemesis Jim Bunning in the first game. Whatever malaise plagued the Mets offense spread to their guests for the night cap. The two clubs traded zeros for 18 frames before deciding to call it a draw. Final score: Mets nil, Phillies nil.

Amazin'-ly Tenuous Connection
Good grief! It's been 62 years since Charles Shulz's seminal strip Peanuts debuted in newspapers nationwide. In the half century or so that the Mets have been around, they've never employed a hitter as hopeless as Charlie Brown or his idol, Joe Shlatbotnik, who once hit .004 over the course of a full season. That said, Dave Kingman came the closest, batting .204 in 607 plate appearances during the 1982 season.

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