Mike Piazza, the pride of Norristown Pennsylvania, was drafted in the 62nd round of the 1988 draft as a favor from Tommy Lasorda to Piazza’s father Vince. Piazza is the lowest drafted player ever to gain entrance to the Hall of Fame. Lasorda convinced Piazza to convert to catcher, insisting that would be his best chance to make the big leagues. He made it to the majors in 1992 and a year later Piazza was the NL Rookie of the Year, batting .318 with 35 homers and 112 RBI that season. PIazza’s power is legendary. He hit 427 home runs, 396 of them as a catcher, presently the all time record for that position. He also drove in 1335 RBI in his career and finished with a lifetime batting average of .308. Piazza had a season best batting average of .362 in 1997, also hitting 40 home runs and driving in 124 baserunners, which placed him 2nd in the running for the MVP that year. Piazza earned his way onto 12 All Star teams but his greatest moment quite possibly occurred in 2001 after the 9/11 terror attacks when he hit a dramatic home run (now known as the “Healing Home Run”) in the first game back in New York City after that horrible day. Piazza gained entrance to the Hall in his 4th year of eligibility.
May 17, 2016
Garden City, NY