Mike Piazza
American baseball player
Mike Piazza
Michael Joseph "Mike" Piazza; born September 4, 1968) is an American former Major League Baseball catcher. He played in his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Florida Marlins, New York Mets, San Diego Padres and the Oakland Athletics. A 12-time All-Star, Piazza is often regarded as one of the best-hitting catchers of all time and holds the record for home runs hit by a catcher with 396, with a career total of 427.
Biography
Mike Piazza's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Mike Piazza from around the web
Mike Piazza Learns How to Be an Owner. Of a Soccer Team. In Italy.
NYTimes - 3 days
The Hall of Famer has bought a small soccer club in Italy, where locals may not know his baseball career, but they “firmly believe in the Mike Piazza project.”
Article Link:
NYTimes article
Vin Scully's Retirement Leaves Gaping Hole For Dodgers In SoCal
Huffington Post - 5 months
By: Leigh Steinberg ORIGINAL POST on Forbes.com The most universally loved, trusted, and respected person in Southern California is not a political, religious, or entertainment figure. The most dominant, unifying individual in this vast geographical and population region is Broadcaster Vin Scully, who is retiring next weekend after 67 years with the Dodgers. He is by far the chief asset of the Dodgers organization. The most personal link that fans in greater Los Angeles have with the beloved Dodgers, is their esteemed broadcaster. To maintain market dominance, the Dodgers organization will have to work zealously. Vin Scully is irreplaceable--if his replacement is a typical play by play broadcaster, Dodgers popularity and revenue will suffer. When the Dodgers left Brooklyn to move to Los Angeles in 1958, it was Vin Scully's voice which introduced the new team to Southern California. As a boy, I listened to him day after day, often falling asleep with my transistor radio on the ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
The Mets Welcome Mike Piazza Home and Give His Jersey a Spot in History
NYTimes - 7 months
Before Saturday’s game against the Rockies, the Mets honored the former catcher Mike Piazza, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame last week, with a jersey retirement ceremony.
Article Link:
NYTimes article
Mets Messing With Left Field…at the Stadium
Wall Street Journal - 7 months
With the Mets set to retire Mike Piazza’s number next weekend, the team is moving its current display of retired numbers to the upper deck from behind the left-field fence to make it more visible to fans.
Article Link:
Wall Street Journal article
Roundup: Former Catcher Mike Piazza Admires the Mets’ Pitching
NYTimes - 12 months
Piazza, who is working with the Mets’ catchers, said the team would have to deal with the challenges of high expectations and would not surprise other teams anymore.
Article Link:
NYTimes article
Mets to Retire Mike Piazza's Number
Wall Street Journal - about 1 year
The Mets will retire Mike PIazza’s No. 31 on Saturday, July 30, one week after the legendary catcher’s enshrinement into baseball’s Hall of Fame.
Article Link:
Wall Street Journal article
The next four numbers Mets must retire after Piazza - New York Post
Google News - about 1 year
New York Post The next four numbers Mets must retire after Piazza New York Post Mike Piazza and Tom Seaver, together for the opening of Citi Field in 2009, will have their retired numbers together on the ballpark's wall. Photo: AP. MORE FROM: Mike Vaccaro. Mike Vaccaro. Panthers quietly are entering the best ever discussion ... Mets will retire Mike Piazza's No. 31 this seasonCBSSports.com Mets to retire Mike Piazza's No. 31 on July 30ESPN (blog) Mets to Retire Mike Piazza's No. 31 in JulyNew York Times NJ.com -FOXSports.com -USA TODAY all 82 news articles »
Article Link:
Google News article
Let's Preview The NFL Playoffs!
Huffington Post - about 1 year
Another NFL regular season has come to a close, which means it's time to talk playoffs. Playoffs? Yes, playoffs. On this week's episode of "The Second Half," Huffington Post sports reporter Travis Waldron and former NFL wide receiver Dontè Stallworth preview the weekend's Wild Card playoff matchups. The playoffs, however, aren't the only story affecting the NFL. As its postseason begins, the league is weighing proposals from three teams that want to relocate to Los Angeles, and Vice sports reporter Aaron Gordon joins the show to talk about the latest news in that ongoing saga (that starts at the 22:00 mark). Plus, Travis and Dontè discuss the election of Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza to the Baseball Hall of Fame, and the potential retirement of Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson. This podcast was produced, edited and engineered by Peter James Callahan and Adriana Usero, with assistance from Christine Conetta. Also on HuffPost: -- This feed and its co ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Piazza: Road to Cooperstown is American Dream
Yahoo News - about 1 year
Mike Piazza has paved a long road to baseball's ultimate stop in Cooperstown. From the 62nd round of the Major League Baseball draft all the way to the Hall of Fame's class of 2016, the star catcher is living the American Dream.
Article Link:
Yahoo News article
How Mike Piazza Helped Me Come To Terms With Being A Mets Fan
Huffington Post - about 1 year
It was June 30, 2000, a Friday, and the New York Mets were playing the Atlanta Braves on Channel 11, New York's WPIX. At the time, being able to watch any Mets game was a rarity. I was only 9 years old at the time, and my parents couldn't afford cable, so I was only able to watch Mets games on weekends, when they aired on channels that could be viewed with an antenna. But this one was special. In typical Mets fashion, the team was down 8-1 headed into the bottom of the eighth against their dreaded rivals. As usual, it appeared they were going to be bested by Atlanta.  Then, New York put together a string of hits and the Braves' pitchers started walking player after player. Before fans knew it, the Mets had tied the game 8-8. Finally, our catcher, Mike Piazza, walked to the plate. With runners on first and second, he belted a three-run home run that landed just inside the left field line, sealing the win. Shea Stadium went berserk that night, and I went berserk in my small ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
On Baseball: A Star Who Gave the Mets a Jolt, and Not Just at the Plate
New York Times - about 1 year
At times during his years in New York, Mike Piazza was perhaps baseball’s best player; at other times, he struggled to get the ball out of the infield. But in terms of pizazz, he never disappointed.
Article Link:
New York Times article
Mike Piazza has made it hard for Dodgers fans to share his happiness
LATimes - about 1 year
So Mike Piazza is officially a Hall of Famer. Certainly, there was never any doubt statistically he deserved the honor. He is generally recognized as the greatest hitting catcher of all-time, with a position-most 427 homers and a lifetime .308 batting average. Yet I find it difficult to be happy...
Article Link:
LATimes article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Mike Piazza
    FORTIES
  • 2016
    Age 47
    The New York Mets retired his uniform number, 31, in a ceremony on July 30, 2016 prior to the Mets' game against the Colorado Rockies at Citi Field.
    More Details Hide Details Piazza has appeared in the movie Two Weeks Notice and has acted in various TV shows and commercials.
    On January 6, 2016, Piazza was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, receiving 83% of the vote.
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    In 2016, Piazza was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame as a Met, receiving 83% of the vote.
    More Details Hide Details Mike Piazza is owner of the Italian soccer team A.C. Reggiana 1919. Piazza was born in Norristown, Pennsylvania, grew up in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, and attended Phoenixville High School. He is of Italian and Slovak ancestry, and is the second-oldest son of Vince and Veronica, with brothers Vince, Jr., Danny, Tony, and Tommy. Vince Piazza earned a fortune of more than $100 million in used cars and real estate, and attempted several times to purchase a MLB franchise. When the Dodgers—managed by Vince Piazza's childhood friend Tommy Lasorda, the godfather of Mike Piazza's youngest brother, Tommy—visited Philadelphia, Piazza visited the Dodger clubhouse and served as a bat boy in the dugout. Vince Piazza's own hopes of playing baseball had ended at the age of 16 when he left school to support his family. He saw that Mike Piazza had potential in the sport, and began encouraging his son to build his arm strength at the age of five. When he was 12, Piazza received personal instruction in his backyard batting cage from Ted Williams. The Hall of Famer praised his talent, advised him not to let anyone change his swing, and autographed Piazza's copy of Williams' The Science of Hitting. Vince Piazza threw hundreds of pitches nightly to his son, who shared his father's focus on baseball, clearing snow if necessary to practice his hitting and, after reaching the major leagues, practicing on Christmas Eve.
  • 2014
    Age 45
    Piazza's autobiography, entitled Long Shot, was released in February 2014.
    More Details Hide Details Piazza is known as among the best-hitting catchers of all time, hitting 427 career home runs and having an OPS of .922. Only nine other players have ever had over 400 home runs with over a .300 lifetime average while never striking out more than 100 times in a season (Ted Williams, Stan Musial, Lou Gehrig, Mel Ott, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Vladimir Guerrero, Albert Pujols, and Chipper Jones). In addition to his hitting, Piazza's defense has undergone a more positive reassessment in light of new defensive metrics. His pitch framing, in particular, ranks seventh-best among all catchers going back to the first data in 1988. Another report published in 2008 put him third among all catchers since 1948 in improving the performances of his pitchers.
  • 2013
    Age 44
    Piazza was inducted into the New York Mets Hall of Fame on September 29, 2013.
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    On May 3, 2013, Piazza debuted with the Miami City Ballet, saying a few lines in the role of a hit man in the troupe's production of Slaughter on Tenth Avenue.
    More Details Hide Details Piazza wants to increase the reputation of ballet among sports fans as a result of his daughters' attendance at a ballet school.
    On January 9, 2013, Piazza failed to be elected to Baseball Hall of Fame, receiving only 57.8% of the votes and falling short of the 75% qualifying votes.
    More Details Hide Details He stated that he would address the performance-enhancing drugs and steroid rumors in his book Long Shot. In his second appearance on the ballot, Piazza's percentage numbers did rise (62.2%), but not to the 75% needed to be inducted. Piazza again failed to make the Hall of Fame in 2015, receiving 69.9% of the votes needed (28 votes shy of the mark).
  • 2011
    Age 42
    Piazza managed the USA team in the 2011 futures game wearing a Mets cap to the event.
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  • 2010
    Age 41
    Mets teammate Tom Glavine called Piazza a "first-ballot Hall of Famer, certainly the best hitting catcher of our era and arguably the best hitting catcher of all time". On May 8, 2010, while receiving an award, Piazza said to reporters that if he got into the Hall of Fame, he would like to be inducted as a Met, for whom he played seven-plus seasons.
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  • 2009
    Age 40
    On April 13, 2009, Piazza received the first pitch in Citi Field history from Seaver before the Mets opening game against the Padres.
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  • THIRTIES
  • 2008
    Age 39
    Piazza made a return to Shea Stadium during the "Shea Goodbye" closing ceremony on September 28, 2008, where he received the final pitch in the history of the stadium from Hall of Famer Tom Seaver.
    More Details Hide Details Piazza and Seaver were also afforded the immense honor of officially "closing" Shea when they walked off together into the center field exit and closed the door on the park after waving goodbye to the capacity crowd.
    After not being signed to any MLB team for the 2008 season, Piazza announced his retirement on May 20, 2008, saying, "After discussing my options with my wife, family and agent, I felt it is time to start a new chapter in my life.
    More Details Hide Details It has been an amazing journey."
  • 2007
    Age 38
    On February 3, 2007, Piazza's wife gave birth to the couple's first child.
    More Details Hide Details He is known to be a fan of heavy metal music, and is featured on the CD Stronger Than Death by Black Label Society. He is also godfather to Zakk Wylde's son, Hendrix. He often cohosts Eddie Trunk's Friday Night Rocks show on WAXQ ("Q-104.3 FM") in New York City and was featured as the primary guest on an episode of That Metal Show. Despite his mother being brought up in the Jewish faith, Piazza is a devout Roman Catholic, and was featured in Champions of Faith, a DVD documentary exploring the intersection of Catholic religious faith and sports. He also appeared in the follow-up video Champions of Faith: Bases of Life. Piazza is also avidly involved in the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in Chicago. While playing with the Mets, Piazza was a resident of Cresskill, New Jersey.
  • 2006
    Age 37
    Piazza signed as a free agent with the Oakland Athletics on December 8, 2006.
    More Details Hide Details On July 25, 2007, in the top of the ninth inning in a game between the Angels and Athletics at Angel Stadium, a fan threw a water bottle that hit Piazza, who had homered earlier in the game. Piazza then pointed his bat in the stands at the fan he believed threw the water bottle to get the attention of security. The fan, who was identified as Roland Flores from La Puente, California, was arrested by the ballpark security. Piazza pressed charges against Flores. Flores was sentenced to 30 days in jail and three years of probation on March 27, 2008.
    On August 8, 2006, Piazza played his first game at Shea Stadium since leaving the Mets.
    More Details Hide Details During the three-game series, Piazza drew frequent, repeated standing ovations which were indicative of the high level of regard held by New York's fans. It was on par with that of Tom Seaver on his return to pitch at Shea Stadium in 1977 and 1978. Even more telling was during that series, on August 9, he drew a rare curtain call in the opposing park following a home run off Mets pitcher (and former Dodgers teammate) Pedro Martínez in the 4th inning. Not done for the day, Piazza went deep off Martinez again in the 6th. And with the Mets ahead 4-2 in the 8th, and two runners aboard, Piazza hit one to the wall in center, nearly bashing his third homer of the day and putting the Padres ahead.
    On July 21, 2006, Mike Piazza collected his 2,000th career hit in the major leagues.
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    Serving as the Padres' starting catcher and clean-up hitter, Piazza experienced somewhat of a rejuvenation in 2006, batting .283 with 22 homers and helping the Padres to a division title.
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    Prior to the start of the 2006 season, Piazza represented Italy in the 2006 World Baseball Classic.
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  • 2005
    Age 36
    On October 2, 2005, Piazza played his final game in a Mets uniform, as it was well-reported that the All-Star catcher and the team would part ways following the season, as Piazza's seven-year Mets contract expired.
    More Details Hide Details During the game against the Colorado Rockies, Mets manager Willie Randolph replaced Piazza after the eighth inning, when the Shea Stadium crowd of 47,718 serenaded him with a standing ovation, and Piazza humbly bowed to the stands and blew kisses to the adoring fans. The game was delayed for eight minutes while fans shouted and clapped rhythmically, with the ballpark's video screen displaying memories of Piazza's 972-game Mets career over nearly eight years in New York, as players from both the Mets and Rockies stood at the steps of their dugouts and clapped in appreciation of Piazza's legendary Mets tenure.
    On January 29, 2005, Piazza married Playboy Playmate Alicia Rickter at St. Jude's Catholic Church in Miami, Florida, before 120 guests, including Brande Roderick, Lisa Dergan, Anjelica Bridges, Al Leiter, John Franco, Iván Rodríguez, Eddie Trunk, and his best friend Eric Karros.
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    Following the 2005 season, Piazza filed for free agency and he signed a one-year contract with the San Diego Padres on January 29, 2006.
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  • 2004
    Age 35
    On May 5, 2004, Piazza surpassed Carlton Fisk for most home runs by a catcher with his 352nd.
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    To ease the stress on his deteriorating knees, Piazza began to split his time between catching and playing first base during the 2004 season, an experiment which was abandoned before the end of the season because of Piazza's defensive deficiencies.
    More Details Hide Details Although recognized as a great hitter, Piazza has had some notable defensive accomplishments. Among them, Piazza caught two no-hitters thrown by Ramón Martínez and Hideo Nomo while playing with the Dodgers. Nomo's was particularly impressive because it happened at Coors Field, notorious at the time for being a hitter-friendly ballpark. Additionally, Piazza's .997 fielding percentage was tops among NL catchers in 2000.
    Piazza later caught for Clemens when both were on the NL team in the 2004 All-Star Game.
    More Details Hide Details Clemens gave up six runs in the first inning.
  • 2000
    Age 31
    Piazza suffered a concussion and was forced to miss the 2000 MLB All-Star Game.
    More Details Hide Details Clemens was widely criticized by Mets fans for the incident, but Clemens maintained that the play was not intentional. Clemens and Piazza faced each other again in the first inning of World Series Game 2. During the at-bat, Clemens threw a pitch that broke Piazza's bat as he fouled it off, sending the barrel and a sharp edge of the broken bat directly at Clemens on the mound just as he finished his pitch. Clemens caught the barrel, and then almost immediately threw it with apparent frustration across the first base line towards the Yankees' dugout and just past Piazza who was running down to first. Piazza gave a long stare at Clemens and slowly started walking towards Clemens to confront him, and Clemens asked the umpire for a new ball as if nothing had happened. During replays, Clemens can be seen shouting "I thought it was the ball!" and asking the umpire for a new ball multiple times as the two benches cleared and met at the mound. Words were exchanged between the two players, but no punches were thrown from either team and nobody was ejected.
    Piazza was involved in a bizarre incident during the 2000 World Series.
    More Details Hide Details Earlier in the season during interleague play, Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens hit Piazza in the head with a fastball.
    He became known as the Monster after coach John Stearns was caught on tape during the 2000 National League Championship Series after a Piazza hit saying "The Monster is out of the Cage".
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  • 1999
    Age 30
    Piazza helped the Mets to two consecutive playoff appearances in 1999 and 2000.
    More Details Hide Details The latter of the two resulted in a NL pennant and a World Series appearance in the 2000 Subway Series. Of note, all five games were decided by two runs or fewer, something that had not occurred in a World Series in almost 70 years.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1998
    Age 29
    Despite stellar numbers from Piazza, the Mets missed the 1998 postseason by one game.
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    He played seven seasons for the Dodgers until he was traded to the Florida Marlins on May 15, 1998.
    More Details Hide Details Piazza and Todd Zeile went to the Marlins in return for Gary Sheffield, Charles Johnson, Bobby Bonilla, Manuel Barrios, and Jim Eisenreich. He only appeared in five games with the Marlins, where he hit .278. One week later, on May 22, Piazza was traded from the Marlins to the New York Mets for Preston Wilson, Ed Yarnall, and Geoff Goetz.
  • 1997
    Age 28
    Piazza's best season with the Dodgers was 1997, when he hit .362, with 40 home runs, 124 RBIs, an on-base percentage of .431, and a slugging percentage of .638.
    More Details Hide Details He finished second in voting MVP for the second consecutive season, behind Larry Walker.
  • 1996
    Age 27
    In 1996, Piazza hit .336 with 36 home runs and 105 RBIs, finishing second in MVP voting, behind Ken Caminiti.
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  • 1993
    Age 24
    He was also selected to the 1993 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, his first of 10 consecutive (and 12 total) All-Star appearances.
    More Details Hide Details Until Joc Pederson passed him in 2015, Piazza's 18 home runs before the All Star break was a Dodgers' rookie record.
    He won the NL MLB Rookie of the Year Award in 1993 after appearing in 149 games, hitting .318, slugging 35 home runs, and driving in 112 RBIs.
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  • 1992
    Age 23
    He hit his first home run on September 12, 1992, against Steve Reed of the San Francisco Giants.
    More Details Hide Details He only appeared in 21 games that season, hitting .232.
    His MLB debut came with the Dodgers on September 1, 1992, against the Chicago Cubs.
    More Details Hide Details He drew a walk in his first plate appearance and then doubled to deep center field in his first official at-bat, against Mike Harkey of the Cubs.
    He made his major league debut in 1992 and the following year was named the National League (NL) Rookie of the Year and was an All-Star for the first of 10 consecutive seasons.
    More Details Hide Details Piazza immediately impressed with his ability to hit for power and average. His best year as a Dodger came in 1997 when he batted .362, hit 40 home runs, and had 124 RBIs, leading to a runner-up finish in voting for the NL Most Valuable Player Award. In 1998, he was traded to the Marlins and then a week later to the Mets, with whom he spent most of the remainder of his career. He helped the Mets reach the 2000 World Series, the only World Series appearance of his career. After the 2005 season, Piazza left the Mets to play one season each for the Padres and Athletics before retiring after the 2007 season. Piazza is regarded as one of the best offensive catchers in baseball history. He had at least one RBI in 15 consecutive games for the Mets in 2000, the second-longest RBI streak ever. In 2013, the Mets inducted Piazza into the New York Mets Hall of Fame.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1988
    Age 19
    After his father asked Lasorda to select Piazza as a favor, the Miami-Dade Community College student was drafted by the Dodgers in the 62nd round of the 1988 MLB amateur draft as the 1,390th player picked overall.
    More Details Hide Details Lasorda asked Piazza to give up his first base position and learn how to catch to improve his chances of reaching the major leagues, and helped him attend a special training camp for catchers in the Dominican Republic. Although critics saw him as unfairly privileged due to his relationship with Lasorda, Piazza became an excellent hitter, especially for a catcher.
  • 1986
    Age 17
    He attended Phoenixville Area High School and graduated in 1986.
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  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1968
    Born
    Born on September 4, 1968.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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