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Piazza to join Mets Hall of Fame in September

Sunday - 7/14/2013, 6:43pm  ET

Former New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza makes a play during the All Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game on Sunday, July 14, 2013 in New York. Former softball player Jennie Finch is at right. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

RONALD BLUM
AP Sports Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- Mike Piazza understands what it's like to be a New York Mets fan. That's why his selection for the team's Hall of Fame means so much to him

"Sometimes the tough times really define you when you're going through the good times," he said Sunday. "When you have that sort of roller-coaster history and some adversity -- well, a little bit more than some."

Almost always competing with the Yankees for attention, the Mets entered their 52nd season with just two World Series titles, in 1969 and 1986. The high-spending Bronx Bombers have 27 in a century-plus of play.

The Yankees represent tradition. The Mets, a National League replacement after the Dodgers and Giants left for California, will always be the upstarts. With fewer seats, lower revenue and a less-glamorous roster than their Bronx rival, the Mets usually feel like underdogs.

That's why Piazza appreciates the fervor of the fans who cheered him at Shea Stadium and now hope for a revival after 4
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