COOPERSTOWN — Every year at the Baseball Hall of Fame, new inductees are honored with displays just outside the main room that houses all of the honorees’ permanent plaques. The inductee supplies memorabilia that tells the story of his life and career.
Last year was notable because Craig Biggio chose to include his Newsday Hansen Award as the top high school football player in Suffolk for 1983.
Mike Piazza has an eclectic mix, much of it not affiliated with the Mets. To be sure, there is a huge picture of him playing for the Mets, juxtaposed with a lively crowd scene at Shea Stadium. But in the glass case next to those photos are his No. 31 jersey from the Dodgers and the No. 33 Padres top he wore when he hit his 400th home run.
His Mets batting helmet — black with a blue brim — from the 2000 World Series is there, as is the Mizuno bat with which he set the record for home runs by a catcher, done as a Met in 2004.
Also included is the bat he used during his “homecoming” All-Star Game appearance in Philadelphia in 1999, the catcher’s glove he used during his National League Rookie of the Year season (1993) and a ball from each of the two no-hitters he caught (by the Dodgers’ Ramon Martinez and Hideo Nomo).
A ticket stub from his major-league debut, at Wrigley Field on Sept. 1, 1992, is there. So is a cap with the letter “I” he wore as coach for Italy in the World Baseball Classic.
His official Hall of Fame plaque, which will depict him in a Mets cap, has not been unveiled. A place for it has been reserved alongside that of 2015 inductee John Smoltz.