On This Date: Roger Clemens' infamous bat throw at Mike Piazza during 2000 World Series

Scott Thompson
·2 min read
Roger Clemens pitches to Mike Piazza
Roger Clemens pitches to Mike Piazza

Exactly 20 years ago, the Mets and Yankees were playing in Game 2 of the notorious "Subway Series," better known as the 2000 World Series. 

The Yankees took Game 1 on a walk-off by Jose Vizcaino and were looking to make it 2-0. The Mets were hoping to tie things up before bringing it to Shea Stadium in Game 3 just across town. 

But the result of this game wasn't as newsworthy as a particular reaction to a Mike Piazza broken bat by the Yankees' starter that night: Roger Clemens

Clemens threw a high and inside fastball that shattered Piazza's bat in the second inning, and the ball trickled foul. But when a shard of the bat went flying at Clemens, his natural reaction was to pick it up and launch it right back at Piazza. The incident caused both benches to flood out onto the field and fans were screaming in pure astonishment. Piazza had every right to go at Clemens, who claimed he was just throwing it to the dugout to be thrown away. 

But there's a backstory to the whole thing. During that season, Clemens had hit Piazza in the head during a July game that forced the All-Star catcher out. Piazza had also hit a long ball off Clemens in each of the three matchups between the two before this World Series bout.

Whether it was the heat of the moment or pent up anger from previous games, Clemens let it loose. SNY's Gary Cohen, who was calling the game for WFAN at the time, spoke to The New York Post to describe what it was like to watch that moment live.

"The lack of understanding and the bizarre behavior inherent in his actions, what a singular moment that was. You can’t possibly think of another," Cohen said.

The craziest part about it all? Clemens was never ejected. No one left that game and the Yankees would win 6-5 to take a 2-0 series lead.