Of Mike Piazza’s 427 homers, there is The Home Run — the straightaway blast that soared into the darkness at Shea Stadium and lifted the downtrodden spirits of more than 41,000 fans looking for a reason to celebrate.
Known as the 9/11 home run, it actually was hit on Sept. 21, 2001, and helped the Mets to a 3-2 comeback victory over the Braves while simultaneously etching itself into New York baseball lore.
Now a big piece of that moment — Piazza’s game-worn jersey — is coming home. And it’s here to stay.
Rather than having the jersey go to a foreign buyer and leave the country, as some had feared, three people have stepped forward to buy it, confirmed Tony Lauto, one of the men involved in the private sale. Lauto, along with Anthony Scaramucci and an anonymous third buyer, will shell out $365,000 for the memorabilia. It is the most expensive modern-day jersey ever sold.
“Huge thanks to Anthony & Tony for coming through!” Piazza tweeted. “My family & I couldn’t be more pleased knowing the jersey will be where it belongs. Thank u!”
The jersey will rotate between Citi Field, the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown and the National September 11 Memorial, according to Ken Goldin, whose New Jersey-based Goldin Auctions facilitated the agreement. “It’ll be a long-term display in the most appropriate place” of the three, he said. “Very long term . . . We’re not talking five or 10 years.’’
Lauto and Scaramucci own a small piece of the Mets. The Mets sold the jersey three years ago. An owner co-signed it to the auction house.
The Mets could not confirm that the jersey is coming back. “We have dedicated a section of the Mets Hall of Fame and Museum to celebrate Mike’s achievements and his induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame,” the team said in a statement. “[We] are exploring memorabilia for a display in that area.”
The search may have just gotten a little easier.