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Mike Piazza

Category: All Stars & MVPs, MLB
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Biography:

Sports Speaker Mike Piazza was a talented catcher in the MLB who played for 5 teams during his career most notably the New York Mets. Mike was an impressive hitter who has often been touted as the best offensive catcher in MLB history. His 427 career home runs and lifetime average above .300 earned him 12 All-Star appearances a trip to the New York Mets Hall of Fame in 2013. In 2014, Mike released his autobiography called Long Shot. The book details his hard-fought journey to the major leagues and his will to succeed despite naysayers that believed he would never be major league material.

Sports Speaker Mike Piazza wasn’t a heralded draft pick coming out of college in 1988. In fact, the Los Angeles Dodgers took him in the 62nd round as a courtesy pick because he was family friends with then manager Tommy Lasorda. But he was determined to prove he belonged on baseball’s biggest stage. He moved from first base to catcher and worked his way onto the Dodgers major league roster at the end of the 1992 season. Mike won the MLB Rookie of the Year Award in 1993 proving that he was more than just a coach’s favor. He was invited to the All-Star Game that year, the first of 10 straight appearances in the midsummer classic.

Mike played 7 seasons with the Dodgers. In 1998, the Dodgers traded Mike to the Florida Marlins. Weeks later, the Marlins traded Mike to the Mets for several no-name players. Mike helped propel the Mets to the playoffs in 1999 and 2000. The Mets played the Yankees in the 2000 World Series nicknamed The Subway Series. He enjoyed a fruitful career with the Mets until he signed with the San Diego Padres in 2005 out of free agency. The next year he played his final season in the big leagues with the Oakland Athletics.

In 2008, Mike was welcomed back to the Met’s beloved Shea Stadium to catch the final ceremonial first pitch from Hall of Famer Tom Seaver before the team moved to their new home at Citi Field.

Sports Speaker Mike Piazza didn’t have an easy ride to the MLB, but his hard work and dedication allowed him to flourish as one of the sport’s greatest heroes.