The Healing Power of Sports – Mike Piazza’s Home Run

With baseball on the shelf indefinitely, networks have been airing classic games from the past. Last night, ESPN aired the game from September 21, 2001 between the Mets and Braves. Just 10 days before were the terrorist attacks on New York at the World Trade Center. The whole country was at a stand still, including sports. The Mets and Braves played the first professional sporting event in New York after the attacks. It was highly controversial with the decision to play. Players, coaches, and fans were not in a place to play a game, but the game went on anyway.

You all know by now that I am from the New York area. I was only 5 years old when this all unfolded, but I felt the tragedy just the same – as much as a 5 year old can. I have watched highlights from this game countless times, and it never fails to make me cry.

The Healing Power of Sports – Mike Piazza

Mike Piazza was and still is bigger than life for Mets fans. The Hall-of-Fame catcher hit the most home runs as a catcher in MLB history. In a time when New York needed him most, Piazza came up to the plate in the bottom of the 8th with one man on. The Mets were down 2-1 when Piazza launched perhaps the most important home run of his career. If you have never seen the footage, I HIGHLY recommend that you watch it. It will give you goosebumps, make you cry, and make you appreciate baseball for what it is.

When there was no reason to smile, Mike Piazza made Shea Stadium shake to its core. This moment is more than just a home run. It provided a sense of normalcy when no one knew what normal was. This was the moment that started the healing process for a broken city and a broken nation.

In Conclusion

Sports provide us with an escape. They invoke emotion and passion in us that few things do. We experience heartbreak and overwhelming joy in a manner of seconds. Today, when no one seems to know what normal is or when normal will return, sports still provide an escape. We have video games, re-runs, and books to distract us from the outside world today. We watch highlights of championships, classic games, and historic moments to give us that feeling of joy that we so dearly miss right now.

Sports have a tremendous healing power; giving us a reason to smile, even when there seems to be no other reason.

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-Pete Chatterton (@Pchat12)

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