On September 29, 2013, the Mets entered catcher Mike Piazza into the Mets Hall of Fame Museum. Piazza is currently a Cooperstown Hall of Fame candidate and will be trying to be a second ballot Hall of Fame inductee this upcoming vote. He is also regarded as the greatest hitting catcher of all time, and one of the greatest New York Mets of all time. But was the timing of putting Piazza in the Mets Hall of Fame a mistake?
Yes it was a Mistake. What Were They Thinking?!?
Sure, Mike Piazza is one of the all time greats at the catching position, but the Mets missed out on a major marketing opportunity by putting him in the Hall of Fame on the last day of the season. The Mets are struggling financially. This came into play in 2009 when the Bernie Madoff Ponzi Scheme was discovered. Since then, the Mets have been unable to land many big name free agents, and are losing many of their best players (i.e. Jose Reyes). By entering Piazza into the Mets Hall of Fame on the last day of the season, the Mets blew a huge opportunity to make money from huge t-shirt, hat, jersey, and other sales! In the Mets defense, they did draw a gigantic crowd on the last day of the season. But that was not the right day. The Mets were not in the playoffs, they were not playing spoiler, and they had nothing important to play for that day. The Mets should have waited until an early point in the 2014 to enter him into the Hall of Fame. This way the Mets will not only draw a crowd, but they would also make a profit on Piazza collectibles throughout the season. Of course, they can still sell stuff in 2014, but it will not be as special, as 182 days will have already passed since the day of his entry.
Of Course It was Not a Mistake. Are You Crazy?!?
As mentioned above, the Mets blew a great financial opportunity, but they can still make up for it. The Mets did not retire Piazza’s number, so if they do that in 2014, they will make a lot of money. Being in the Mets Hall of Fame is an honor, but fans tend to appreciate retired numbers more. Having one’s number retired means that they were truly great, and no one on the team will ever wear that number again. Piazza deserves this honor. Being inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame and retiring his number would once again draw a sellout crowd to Citi Field. Also, this could help Piazza’s case for getting into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and even more so, going in as a Met. Thanks to Reggie Jackson and the Yankees, Piazza, and every other Hall of Fame inductee, is not allowed to choose the cap on their plaque for the Hall of Fame. However, if the Mets enter him in their Hall of Fame, and the Dodgers do not, the Mets will give the voters in the BWAA (Baseball Writers Association of America) something to consider when figuring out which cap to place on Piazza’s head.
Whether or not it was the right choice to put Piazza in the Mets Hall of Fame when they did, the Mets honored one of the greatest players to wear their uniform. It was an emotional day at the stadium, and I was lucky enough to see it in person. The turnout was amazing, Piazza was speechless, and who could ever forget his father’s face? I think it was the wrong choice for them to do it. Sure, they ended up drawing a huge crowd, but it only lasted for the one game, and then it was over. If they waited until early in the 2014 season, they would have still had an amazing turn out, and fans would come for at least the entire home stand to buy memorabilia from the induction ceremony.