If you watched the 2000 World Series, also known as the Subway Series, between the New York Mets and the New York Yankees, you’re probably aware of the bizarre confrontation between Mike Piazza and Roger Clemens. During the first inning of Game 2, Piazza swung hard and fouled off a pitch as the bat shattered. The barrel of the bat wound up in the hands of Clemens. Clemens angrily threw it in the direction of Piazza, who was headed to first base. The incident caused both benches to clear. Nothing happened to Piazza. Nothing happened to Clemens. But whatever happened to that infamous bat?
The Mike Piazza vs. Roger Clemens feud began during the 2000 season
The pitch to the head resulted in a concussion for Piazza, who was forced to miss the 2000 MLB All-Star Game as a result. Clemens said the ball just got away from him, something Piazza vehemently disagreed with after the game.
“I have no respect or appreciation for his comments,” Piazza said back then. “Roger Clemens is a great pitcher, but I don’t have respect for him now at all.
“I could respect the fact of his throwing inside. Getting hit in the ribs and body are part of the game. But he has very good control; he only walked one guy (in 7 1-3 innings). If he knew he had to come up and hit the next inning, I think he would have been more careful. I think it was very much an intentional pitch.”
The Clemens vs. Piazza battle continued in the World Series
In the first inning, Piazza was facing the hard-throwing Clemens. Clemens fired a pitch to the plate and Piazza swing hard. Piazza’s bat shattered and the barrel of the bat wound up in the arms of Clemens. The ball went foul, but as Piazza began heading up the first-base line, Clemens threw the bat in the direction of Piazza. The incident caused a stoppage in play as the benches emptied.
“When he threw the bat, I walked out to the mound to see what his problem was,” Piazza said at the time. “He really had no response. It was bizarre.”
Clemens gave his own account of what happened. “I had no idea Mike was running on the foul ball. There was no intent there,” Clemens said to reporters.
No punches were thrown and the Yankees went on to win the game and eventually won the World Series in five games.
Whatever happened to the bat?
Former Yankees strength coach Jeff Mangold saw that the part of the bat Roger Clemens threw at Mike Piazza was headed for the garbage and believed it was too meaningful to throw away. Mangold made sure it didn’t get tossed and kept it displayed in his house for 13 years.
“I’ve had it for 13 years, mainly in the office here at the house,” said Mangold back in 2014. “It’s time for it to move on.”
Mangold put it up for bid with Heritage Auctions in 2014. A spokesperson for the company said it was estimated the bat would sell for $10,000. It wound up selling for $47,800 to a bidder who wished to remain anonymous.
Mangold said he decided to sell it now to help pay for his children’s college tuition. He also said he planned to make a contribution to the CJ Foundation for SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), saying that he lost a daughter at just 21/2 months old in 1991.