Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Missing Piazza Trade

Back in May of 1998, I spent a week in the Caribbean with no access to baseball news. I flew through West Palm Beach (very close to Miami) and my return flight into Florida required an overnight stay. Obviously, I scheduled a Marlins game for that night. The Dodgers had just traded Mike Piazza to the Marlins before my trip. I was looking forward to seeing him play for his new team against the Mets.

I arrived back in Florida and was the only passenger on the shuttle from the airport to the car rental agency. The driver asked about my trip and I said I was going to the Marlins game. He said, "Oh, you'll get to see Piazza on his first trip back into town" after the trade. I replied that I knew about the trade, but what did he mean by "back" into town. I agreed that I knew that Piazza was traded, but what I didn't figure out for a few minutes - and what I had missed while in the Caribbean - was that Piazza had been traded a second time, to the New York Mets. The wild scenario in this case was that the Mets' first series after getting Piazza was a road series - back into Florida! He basically remained there, just changing uni's. I was shocked to discover this trade from the shuttle driver.

I made it to then Pro-Player Stadium. The Marlins had that infamous fire sale after winning the Series in '97, so the fans re-named the stadium "Semi-Pro Player Stadium" after the talentless team. This was hilarious. There were only 14,000 fans there that night, 10,000 of them Mets fans. They were rude and, well, New Yorkers. They owned the call-in show that night and spoke of the game as if it were a home game for the Mets. After a week in poverty stricken Haiti, I never felt so good to drink a Bud and have a sausage.

No comments:

Post a Comment