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Mike Watches Mike


One of those with whom I shared Mike Piazza’s return to Shea [1] was my friend the “Other” Jason. Photography runs in his family — his father, we’ve deduced, almost certainly printed the original shot of New York centerfield royalty convening in Queens on Old Timers Day 1977, the meeting that inspired Terry Cashman [2] to compose “Willie, Mickey & The Duke” — so it’s not surprising he brought his camera with him for the big occasion. One of the images he caught was Mike watching the pregame tribute to himself on DiamondVision from the left field line. The video lasted several minutes, but Jason came in at just the right moment.

That is, the right moment for posterity on August 8, 2006…but the wrong moment for Terry Mulholland on June 30, 2000 [3].

Jason describes the thrill of capturing Piazza to the second power:

The shot on the DiamondVision is one of the most instantly recognizable Mets moments ever. I purposely snapped when I saw it come on the screen, but it was only upon reflection that I realized that just about any other frame of a Mike Moment needs to be scrutinized for the name on the back of the pitcher’s uniform, or the stadium, or the helmet, before you know exactly which one it is. But this one is ingrained in us Mets fans, almost like the shot of Mookie standing at the plate in Game Six. You know what it is by rote. No questions asked. A classic Mets shot…and I’ve got Mike standing there watching it with us. I’m totally blown away by the whole thing.

Another thing I like about it is that Piazza is standing down the left field line, in the general space where that ball flew. In fact, the home run in question actually traveled straight across the plane of the photograph, which to me, is just additional coolness. If you were to plot the path of the home run in little dots, it would likely bisect the top and bottom of the pic.

I’m blown away by the whole scene, too. So, apparently, were Mike Piazza and Dave Roberts from their vantage point. Hope you all like it as well.

Thanks to Jason for letting us show it off.