Billy Joel‘s “Piano Man” has become the unofficial anthem of New York Mets fans, as a tradition started this season where the crowd sings along with the track in the middle of the 8th inning at home games. Fans were jubilant enough Friday thanks to the Mets surging to a 9-3 lead over the Kansas City Royals in Game 3 of the World Series at Citi Field, but what made this “Piano Man” sing-along special was that Joel was in the stadium to witness it, and eventually join in.
Joel has a long history with the New York Mets: The Long Island-raised rocker delivered “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Game 2 of the 1986 World Series when the team faced the Boston Red Sox, and he was on hand to help close out Shea Stadium with a pair of gigs. Hoping to repeat that 1986 magic down two games in the World Series, Joel was recruited to sing the National Anthem at the first World Series game in Citi Field history.
“Billy Joel’s music is part of the soundtrack of every New Yorker’s life. He’s an iconic New Yorker. We wanted him to be part of our playlist during the games.” the Mets’ senior vice president of marketing and communications David Newman told Newsday of the “Piano Man” tradition extending into the postseason. “The song has been part of what has been a magical season for us.”