"Some on the Mets’ Hall of Fame committee felt that it would be a strong show of support to elect Piazza before he landed in Cooperstown. The team wanted to make clear to Piazza that it considered him a Hall of Famer, regardless of how members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America voted," Martino explains.
Piazza received 57.8% of the vote last winter - 75% is required to gain election into the Hall of Fame.
Still, while the Hall of Fame committee - comprised of Howie Rose, Gary Cohen, Al Jackson, Marty Noble and Jay Horwitz - are sensitive to the fact Piazza wasn't elected, they felt it was appropriate to elect them to their Hall of Fame this year.
“The Hall of Fame committee recommended it,” Principal Owner Fred Wilpon told Martino. “I agreed with it. Some of our fans asked for it and wanted it. It seemed like the right time for Mike and for us.”
As for Piazza's distance from the franchise Martino says Mets people attribute that simply to Piazza wanting a private life after retiring from baseball, and not any kind of rift.
“Ron and Keith were out of baseball for a while after retiring, too. A lot of guys just need that time," A friend of Piazza told Martino.
Read more: Daily News