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    Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza were elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday, Jan. 6, becoming members 311 and 312 of the Cooperstown shrine. Griffey and Piazza will be inducted on July 24 in Cooperstown as the Class of 2016 as part of the July 22-25 Hall of Fame Weekend. Piazza, in his fourth year on the BBWAA ballot, was named on 365 ballots – or 83.0 percent of all ballots cast.

    Full Name:

    Michael Joseph Piazza

    Born: 09/04/1968

    Hometown: Norristown, PA


    Miami-Dade North CC, FL

    Height: 6’ 3”

    Bats: Right

    Throws: Right

    MLB Debut: 09/01/1992

    Mike is married to his wife, Alicia. The two of them currently reside in Miami Beach, Florida, with their two daughters, Nicoletta and Paulina, and their son, Marco.


    Michael Joseph Piazza is known as the greatest offensive catcher of all-time. His 396 career home runs as a catcher (427 HR overall) place him comfortably atop the career list for home runs by a catcher.

    Although Piazza is most notable for his performance as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets, Mike Piazza’s 16-year career included tours with the Florida Marlins (1998), San Diego Padres (2006), and Oakland Athletics (2007). While hitting over 400 career home runs with a .300-plus lifetime batting average and never striking out more than 100 times in a season, Piazza belongs to a select group of nine other current and future Hall of Famers to ever achieve this feat. That group includes family friend Ted Williams, Stan Musial, Lou Gehrig, Mel Ott, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Vladimir Guerrero, Albert Pujols and Chipper Jones.

    The 12-time All Star and 10-time Silver Slugger Award winner was named Rookie of the Year in 1993 and All-Star Game MVP in 1996. Always a fan favorite, Mike Piazza’s rise from 62nd round pick (1,390th overall) in 1988, to National League Rookie of the Year in 1993 – combined with a dozen All-Star Game appearances and most recently 2016 National Baseball Hall of Fame Inductee – is truly inspiring.



    Who were some of your favorite players growing up?

    Well, I grew up in Philadelphia, and they had the great Philadelphia teams of the ‘70s. Mike Schmidt was my favorite player; I idolized him. Larry Bowa, Dave Cash, Bob Boone, Steve Carlton, Garry Maddox — the Phillies had a really good ballclub. I think they won the division in ‘76, ‘77 and ‘78, and eventually won the World Series in ‘80, beating the Royals.

    Who was the most influential person in your young baseball career?

    My father

    Did any players inspire your position?

    As a catcher? That was not by choice, more by necessity. I needed to find a position when I signed with the Dodgers. I was always a pretty good hitter. When the Dodgers drafted me, they had just signed Eric Karros, Henry Rodriguez and another first base prospect, and they said I wasn’t going to get much playing time over there. I had a pretty good arm, so they tried me out with it behind the plate. It was more or less I needed to find a position or I wouldn’t have had a future. It worked out really well for me.

    Your home run with the Mets post-9/11 — describe that moment and what it meant to New Yorkers?

    It’s tough for me to talk about, obviously, as a player, because it’s tough to put your own accomplishment in a perspective with other people. But I can just go by the way people have always come up to me and talked about that home run and the significance of being in New York in that time. We were just trying to figure out personally where baseball fit in and the bigger significance, just knowing people looked at baseball as a little bit of a healing process and helping them sort of get back to their regular way of life. I think, because of the week and the whole tragedy of the event, people needed something to at least help them try to heal a little bit. The fact that people related it in that way makes it that much more of an honor.

    Talk about your infamous scuffle with former Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens.

    There was a lot of tension at the time because it went back into the season were I thought he threw at me on purpose at my head. It was during the World Series and I actually hit a home run off Jeff Nelson, who was one of the toughest pitchers at the time. All said and done you have to have to mellow out and just laugh it off.

    What kind of things are you doing now?

    A whole lot of nothing, really. No, I like to play golf. I enjoy spending time with my family. My wife and I love to travel. I still coach and consult with the Italian national team. Alex Liddi, a player with the Mariners, is a kid I worked with during the last World Baseball Classic. I do some charity events and play in some charity golf tournaments. I usually play in Michael Jordan’s golf tournament.

    At what point did you decide that you wanted to wear the New York Mets hat into the Hall of Fame?

    I enjoyed coming up with the Dodgers and had an amazing career there as far as getting to know Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale and the Hall of Famers. But, fortunately for me, I eventually ended [up] in New York. Some way, shape or form, I became a New York Met, and truly have a special relationship here with the fans of the Mets. … It’s tough. For me, as much as I enjoyed my time there [in Los Angeles], I ended

    up in New York. And I feel like the fans here truly brought me into

    their family. Every time I’ve come back, I’ve been so incredibly honored from the response. Unfortunately, we do have to choose one.

    And, for me, I always sort of enjoyed reconnecting here in New York.

    How does it feel to be called “Hall of Famer” Mike Piazza?

    Incredibly special. What an amazing life that I’ve had in baseball.

    The memories, to me, I almost can’t capture. It’s truly a blessing and I’m very, very grateful.

    2016 Baseball Hall of Fame Inductee

    427 Career Home Runs

    All-time record for HR by a catcher.

    .308 Career Batting Average

    12 All Star Appearances

    Was the leading vote getter in 1996, 1997, and 2000. (1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005)

    10 Silver Slugger Awards

    Given to the best offensive player at each position in the league annually.

    Piazza won all 10 consecutively. (1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002)

    30+ Home Runs In 8 Consecutive Seasons

    Piazza hit more than 30 home runs in 8 consecutive seasons(1995-2002).

    He has 9 career 30-homer seasons.

    .300 in 9 Consecutive Seasons

    Piazza hit .300 in 9 consecutive seasons, dating from 1993 to 2001.

    1993 NL Rookie of the Year

    1996 All Star Game MVP

    35 Home Runs in 1993

    In 1993, Piazza hit 35 home runs, setting the record for most home runs by a rookie catcher.

    .362 Average in 1997

    His .362 average in 1997 was the highest ever by a catcher in the National League, tying the Major League record set by Bill Dickey, who also batted .362 for the New York Yankees in 1936.

    Ted Williams Award in 1997

    He won the Ted Williams Award, presented by CNN/SI and Total Baseball in 1997.