Tag Archives: Edgardo Alfonzo

Mike Piazza inducted into Mets Hall of Fame


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of The New York Mets

It was a Piazza palooza at Citi Field.

The New York Mets inducted legendary catcher Mike Piazza as the 27th member in the Mets Hall of Fame on Sunday before the team played its final game of the year.

Piazza received a proclamation from Mayor Michael Bloomberg, which declared September 29 as Mike Piazza Day.

“I’m very, very proud to be a New York Met,” Piazza said. “I’m glad they took recognition and gave me this honor.”

Citi Field was packed for Piazza’s induction as many cheered for one of the franchise’s most prominent figures.

Piazza threw out the first pitch of the game to Mets captain David Wright and Piazza’s former teammates Edgardo Alfonzo and John Franco presented him with a plaque and shared some kind words.

“You were a tremendous teammate,” Franco said. “You played hurt, you played hard and you are a great guy to be around. So I just want to say congratulations from one Italian brother to another.”

Piazza is known as one of the greatest hitting catchers of all time. He has the most home runs for a catcher ever with 427, a career .308 batting average and 2,127 hits.

Piazza played 972 games for the Mets, eight of his 16-year career in MLB. He hit 220 home runs with the Mets, ranking second in franchise history, behind Darryl Strawberry (252). He ranks first in team history with a .542 slugging percentage and is third in RBIs (655). Piazza was a seven-time All-Star when he played with the Mets and set a team-record with 124 RBIs and hit 40 home runs in 1999.

Then in 2000 he finished with 38 home runs and drove in 113 runs to lead the team to win the National League Division Championship.

Fortunately the Mets won the final game of the year 3-2 against the Brewers to top off the Hall of Fame celebration, despite another year with a losing record, 74-88.

Piazza is looking forward to a time when the Mets are once again on top of the league standings. He also joked that the organization will have first crack at his son, but he won’t be cheap.

“I’ll teach him how to hit and the rest is up to him,” Piazza said.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Baseball meets art at All-Star FanFest


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Terence Cullen

It was a bright day at Citi Field, Mr. Met on the JumboTron and traffic on all surrounding parkways was bumper-to-bumper.

Then the sky fell dark as artist Charles Fazzone took a paintbrush to the heavens and made it a midnight blue. A group of people gathered around his work station and marveled as Fazzone painted the 3-D portrait of the ballpark.

His goal was to have the portrait, intended to portray a night game, finished in time for the Major League Baseball All-Star Game on Tuesday, July 16.

“They’d like me to finish it by Tuesday so I’m kind of rushing and so forth,” he said on Saturday, July 13. “I started at the studio—the drawing part of it—the painting part of it I’ve been working for quite a few days.”

Fazzone and his art were one of many attractions at the T-Mobile FanFest last weekend as the baseball world gathered in New York for the Mid-Summer Classic. He has done the cover art for every All-Star Game program since 2003, with the exception of the 2006 match-up in Pittsburgh.

Along with Fazzone’s exhibit, FanFest included pieces of history, games and some of baseball’s legends. Mets alumni John Franco, Edgardo Alfonzo and Mookie Wilson served as ambassadors, with team captain and third baseman David Wright as its spokesperson.

Fazzone said his paintings for the game are auctioned off by MLB, will all proceeds going to Stand Up 2 Cancer, which helps fund cancer research. Fazzone said the painting he worked on at Fan Fest could go for anywhere between $18,000 to $35,000.

The New Rochelle-based artist, who considers himself a “New York fan” when it comes to baseball, said he was glad this year’s game was in the city, where he has a large group of collectors.

“It’s very special to me because this is my largest collector base of fans,” he said. “It’s really nice to be to be here in New York because all the FanFests have been in different cities for so long. And I know the city so well and people familiarize my artwork with being New York artwork.”

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Like father, like son: Son of Mets star Edgardo Alfonzo is a Little League phenom


| brennison@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Sana Karim

Apparently, the “Alfonzo” doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Daniel Alfonzo, son of former Mets star Edgardo Alfonzo, is making waves in the Bayside Little League, leading all players in home runs and playing in the All-Star game last week.

“It’s good, because I see many kids in the league that have really good talent,” Edgardo said about his son, who is standing out as one of the league’s top batters.

Edgardo has noticed his son’s enthusiasm for the game and believes he may have a bright future playing the sport.

“He’s passionate for the game, that’s a good sign,” said Edgardo. “You know that kids are going to be good when they have that passion for the game.”

Every time he has a free moment the former Met goes to watch his son play and support him. There’s no doubt in his mind that the reason Daniel is fond of baseball is because he played professionally.

“Since he was born he has been surrounded by bats, balls and gloves,” Edgardo said, adding “Every time we go out to eat, people recognize me so I think he likes that.”

Despite the talent and passion his son already has for the sport, Edgardo noted that he still has to teach Daniel situational baseball, before he will be able to advance to higher levels of the game.

This means how to play the game in every facet, avoid errors to play smarter baseball and make crucial plays in game situations.

“He teaches me a lot of stuff, like how to play baseball with the pros,” Daniel said of learning the game from his dad, whom he considers his role model.

“Everything he learned is from watching the game,” Edgardo said. “I want to teach him how to play the game. Every time I can support him and correct him playing the game, I try to do it.”

Because he is still young, Daniel also hasn’t settled with a specific position yet.

For the span of his 12-year career, Edgardo played at third and second base, and batted .284 overall with 146 home runs. He was an All-Star with the Mets in 2000 and won the Silver Slugger award in 1999.

His son has played at various positions including catcher, pitcher and some spots in the infield. And although Daniel likes to pitch, Edgardo just wants him to do what comes naturally.

“Right now at this age I told him to play where he is comfortable,” Edgardo said, adding that his son has time to figure out where he will play on the diamond.

Edgardo said it’s too early to say if his son will make it to the big leagues, but he just appreciates that his son is following his path.

“It’s fun watch your own son trying to follow your footsteps,” he said.

However, Daniel may play for the Yankees instead of his dad’s Mets.

“I would like to play for the Mets and the Yankees. Either or,” said Daniel.

— Additional reporting by Sana Karim

Mets tickets go on sale Monday at 10 a.m.


| brennison@queenscourier.com

photo - rotundaw

Spring training is in full swing, Opening Day is a month away: time to get your Mets tickets.

New York Mets tickets go on sale to the general public on Monday, March 5 at 10 a.m.

The Mets open their season on against their rival the Atlanta Braves on Thursday, April 5 at 1:10 p.m.

Throughout the year, the Mets 50th anniversary, the team will celebrate their history. During their golden anniversary, the Mets will honor a star player from each decade with a bobblehead day. Tom Seaver, Rusty Staub, Keith Hernandez, Edgardo Alfonso and Mike Piazza will be honored.

For fans who miss Jose Reyes (or want to boo him), he returns to Citi Field on Tuesday, April 24 with the Miami Marlins.

This season the Mets have revived Banner Day, a tradition started when they still played in the Polo Grounds and continued to 1996. Fans make homemade banners, then parade around the field with them. Banner Day takes place on Sunday, May 27 against the Padres.

The World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals visit the Mets on Friday, June 1 and the team will induct former closer John Franco into their Hall of Fame on Sunday, June 3.

The Mets take on the Yankees in the annual Subway Series beginning on Friday, June 22. During the series you can bring your old Mets cap to trade in for a new one.

The team has also announced over the weekend a Friday night concert series.  On three Fridays throughout the season the Mets will host a postgame concert.  The concerts will feature REO Speedwagon on June 15, Cheap Trick on July 20 and MercyMe on August 10.

Some other notable promotions and giveaways the Mets will have during the season are:

- Tom Seaver bobblehead on Sunday, April 22

- Rusty Staub bobblehead on Saturday, May 26

- Fireworks Night on Tuesday, July 3

- Mini bat on Saturday, July 7

- Edgardo Alfonzo bobblehead on Saturday, July 21

- Mike Piazza bobblehead on Saturday, August 25

To purchase tickets visit Mets.com or call 718-507-TIXX.