Tag Archives: Mike Piazza

Mets Piazza misses Hall of Fame vote again


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy The New York Mets

Mets legendary catcher Mike Piazza was snubbed from entering the MLB Hall of Fame for the second year in a row.

Candidates for the Hall need at least 75 percent of votes to make it to Cooperstown, and Piazza only garnered 62.2 percent from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America on Wednesday.

It’s a bump up for Piazza, who received just 57.8 percent of the vote on his first ballot appearance last year.

“On behalf of the organization and our fans, Mike is a true Hall of Famer,” Mets COO Jeff Wilpon said. “We proudly display his plaque in the Mets Hall of Fame, and we’re hopeful that he’ll soon have one hanging in Cooperstown.”

Although Piazza’s presence will not be felt in the hall just yet, this year three players received enough votes to enter the Hall, an improvement from last year in which no player received enough votes. Atlanta Braves ace pitchers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, and slugger Frank Thomas are all heading to Cooperstown.

The last time three players were voted in to the Hall was in 1999 with George Brett, Nolan Ryan and Bobby Yount.

Some players accused of using Performance Enhancing Drugs were also denied entry into the Hall again, including Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGuire and Roger Clemens. Yankees favorites Mike Mussina and Don Mattingly also didn’t receive enough votes to enter Cooperstown.

Piazza fans shouldn’t give up hope just yet. The Mets slugger still has 13 more chances to be on the ballot.

Also, at the last Mets game of the 2013 season on September 29, the team inducted Piazza as the 27th member in the Mets Hall of Fame.

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.

 

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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.

 

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Mike Piazza to be inducted into Mets Hall of Fame


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

File photo

Mike Piazza may have been snubbed by the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame committee this year, but he’ll always be special to the Mets.

In fact the team announced that it will induct Piazza into the Mets Hall of Fame on Fan Appreciation Day on September 29 at Citi Field.

“Mike Piazza reinvigorated our franchise when we acquired him in May, 1998,” said Jeff Wilpon, Mets COO . “Mike is one of the greatest players in our history and we are thrilled to induct him into the Mets Hall of Fame.”

The announcement came hours before Piazza helped his team win the Celebrity and Legends All-Star Softball Game at Citi Field on Sunday.

Piazza will become the 27th member of the Mets Hall of Fame during the induction ceremony prior to the afternoon game against the Milwaukee Brewers on that date.

Piazza played 972 games for the Mets, for eight of his 16-year career in MLB. He had a .308 batting average with 2,127 hits and is the MLB home run leader as a catcher with 427. 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 RBI (655). Piazza was a seven-time All-Star with the Mets.

Piazza set a team-record with 124 RBI and hit 40 home runs in 1999 and then finished with 38 home runs and drove in 113 runs in 2000 to win the National League Division Championship and reached the World Series.

 

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Ex-Met Mike Piazza addresses steroid use, gay rumors, Clemens brawl in new book


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Simon & Schuster

Former Met Mike Piazza took karate lessons in anticipation of a fiery showdown with crosstown rival Roger Clemens, he writes in his new book.

The storied Mets catcher, recently snubbed along with every other candidate for the Baseball Hall of Fame, addresses his long standing feud with the former Yankee in “Long Shot,” along with rumors that he was gay, his romances and allegations that he took performance enhancing drugs.

Piazza recalls the July 8, 2000 inter-league game between the Mets and the Yankees, when Clemens launched a two-seam fastball near the Mets catcher’s head. After that, Piazza writes that he started taking karate lessons in order to fend off against Clemens. The two later sparred off during the 2000 World Series, during which Clemens threw a fragment of broken bat at Piazza as he headed for first base.

After appearing on a ballot with several admitted steroid users, Piazza flat out denies using any performance enhancing drugs. He did, however, say he and other baseball players used now-banned stimulants that were legal and common at the time.

 

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Fan, former player reaction to Piazza and Baseball Hall of Fame vote


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

File photo

Ten days after the world stopped and cried for New York, Mike Piazza made history with a swing of the bat that gave the city hope once again.

The September 21, 2001 homerun Piazza hit was late in the first professional sports game since the September 11 attacks, and gave the Mets the lead in front of thousands of fans, many of whom were first responders.

A power hitter who revived the fan base in the late 1990s and 2000s, Piazza was etched into the baseball history books because of this moment.

But will he have to wait before his plaque makes it into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Piazza did not receive enough votes to make it in to Cooperstown, nor did any other candidate — the first time since 1996 that writers failed to vote someone in.

The 12-time All Star catcher played in the Steroid Era of baseball and was on the same ballot as alleged steroid users Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa. Piazza was never directly linked to using steroids, but many baseball critics were concerned his just playing during the tainted era would hurt his chances.

Piazza batted .296 and hit 220 homeruns in orange and blue between May 1998 to September 2005. He hit his 352nd career dinger in 2004 to surpass Carlton Fisk as the alltime homerun hitter for catchers. If he does make it to the Hall of Fame, Piazza has said he wants to be remembered as a Met and not a Los Angeles Dodger, where he started his career.

Paul LoDuca, who took over as catcher after Piazza left Flushing at the end of 2005, tweeted disappointment that baseball writers hadn’t voted in his colleague.

“Once again: Tell the Voters to strap on the gear for 9 innings and put the numbers up Mike Piazza did,” LoDuca tweeted. “I don’t care if he used rocket fuel.”

LoDuca, who admitted to taking Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) during his career, followed up later by saying an entire generation of baseball should not be scolded for the mistakes of some.

“I took PEDs and I’m not proud of it,” he wrote. “But people that think you can take a shot or a pill and play like the legends on that ballot need help.”

David Adler of Bay Terrace, a 50-year Met fan, was disappointed Piazza did not get enough votes this year, and credited it to accused steriod users taking away votes.

“He [Piazza] should have gotten in,” he said. “A lot of votes went to players using performance enhancing drugs and that, I feel, took votes away for him.”

Adelr and other fans are sure Piazza will one day make it into Cooperstown with an interlocking “NY” on his cap.

“He went to the World Series with the Mets, not as a Dodger,” Adelr said. “You would think that that would count for something.”

— With additional reporting by Anthony O’Reilly

 

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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.