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The Rocket loses his cool in Subway Series showdown2000 Mike Piazza Bat Shard Thrown by Roger Clemens in Famous World Series Incident. It might be the most famous throw of Roger Clemens' career, twenty-four seasons of excellence punctuated by 354 victories, 4,672 strikeouts and a staggering seven Cy Young Awards. Just three months earlier, another rocket from his right arm had sent the New York sports pages into hysterics and brought back memories of the tragic Ray Chapman incident a few miles and eight decades away. Clemens' famous fastball found Piazza's batting helmet during a Mets' interleague visit to the Stadium, and the superstar catcher lay on the dirt for several scary minutes before an ambulance ride to the hospital. While Clemens assured reporters that the pitch had simply gotten away from him, most Mets faithful were convinced the ugly incident was intentional, payback for a grand slam Piazza had hit off the Yankees ace a month earlier. The Mets catcher was out for four games to recover from a concussion, missing the All-Star Game as a result.
So the entire city of New York was on the edge of its seat when the pair met again in Game Two of the World Series, anxious to see what the next chapter of this boiling rivalry between the greatest pitcher and catcher in the game might reveal. But not a man alive could have predicted what would come next. After striking out the first two batters of the contest, buzzing with adrenaline and awash in the sounds of 56,000 screaming fans, Clemens released his patented fastball tight on the hands of number three batter Mike Piazza. The bat exploded, the jagged barrel cartwheeling back toward the mound.
We all know what happened next. As Piazza slowed to a jog up the first base line with the snapped handle of his bat in his left hand, Clemens fielded the shard of the barrel and fired it back into the path of the stunned Mets slugger. The dugouts emptied as a packed Stadium strained to see if the Clemens/Piazza feud might finally come to blows.
After the bat shard's cartwheeling journey into World Series ignominy, it came to rest near the Yankees' first base dugout, where a bat boy retrieved it and dropped it into a corner near the clubhouse steps, ultimately to be discarded. The Mets would make a valiant five-run surge to pull within a single run of tying the game in the bottom of the ninth inning, but Mariano Rivera would strike out pinch hitter Kurt Abbott to preserve the Yankee victory and take a two games to none Series lead before the move to Shea.
As the team exited the field, our consignor, Yankees head strength and conditioning coach Jeff Mangold, retrieved the bat shard as a souvenir of one of the oddest scenes ever witnessed in a Major League game. Measuring eighteen inches from the number "31" markered on the barrel end to the sharp point at the other, the Mike Piazza Mizuno Pro Limited bat shard is a perfect match to photos of the bizarre incident. Letter of provenance from Jeff Mangold. LOA from PSA/DNA, Authentic.
The consignor will be donating a portion of the proceeds from the sale of this lot to the CJ Foundation which is a research and counciling organization for parents and siblings that have had to experience the loss of a child due to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
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2017 June 29 Premium Sportscard Catalog Auction - Dallas