Mike Piazza elected to Hall of Fame along with Ken Griffey Jr.
New York Post
6th January 2016
Mike Piazza is one Hall of a catcher. It took until a fourth try on the ballot, but the former Mets slugger came crashing through the doors of Cooperstown on Wednesday, when he was elected to the Hall of Fame, Class of 2016. Piazza received 83 percent of the vote by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, eclipsing the 75 percent threshold needed for induction.
Last year, Piazza received 69. 9 percent of the vote. The Piazza, who also played for the Dodgers, Marlins, Padres and Athletics, will become the second player enshrined in Cooperstown representing the Mets.
The official announcement on the cap logo for his Hall of Fame plaque will come Thursday during a press conference in Manhattan. “Obviously I have a special place in New York City with these fans and they have done nothing but embrace me and honor me,” Piazza said. “We’ll make it official [Thursday].
” Tom Seaver is the only Hall of Famer wearing a Mets cap on his plaque. The inclusion of Piazza on the list likely will spur the Mets to retire his No. 31.
“Without a doubt Mike Piazza was one of the top hitting catchers in the history of the game,” Seaver said in a statement released by the Mets. “For Mike to compile the stats he did while catching is amazing. His election to Cooperstown is most deserving.
” Piazza’s Hall of Fame chances his first three years on the ballot may have been dampened by rumors he used drugs. But Piazza has denied such usage, and the electorate in recent years seems to have softened its stance somewhat on players linked to PEDs. “There is no question [steroids] has been kind of a dark cloud over the game,” Piazza said.
“But at the end of the day people know how special it is and we have to learn from that and the fans understand there is no flawless institution. It’s a human condition that we all make mistakes. We all need to know the game is healed and we’re moving on.
” Piazza was asked if the whispers he used PEDs bothered him. “So may of those things are just out of my control,” he said. “It’s just something I can’t worry about.
” Piazza established a record with 396 home runs hit as a catcher. Over his major league career, Piazza hit 427 homers with 1, 335 RBIs and a . 308 batting average.
His arrival to the Mets helped transform the franchise into a contender: The Mets reached the NLCS in 1999 and advanced to the World Series the following year. “We are really thrilled that Mike Piazza has taken his rightful place among the other greats in Cooperstown,” Mets COO Jeff Wilpon said. “Mike’s offensive prowess, ability to deliver in the clutch, and tireless work ethic helped him become one of the great catchers of .
” The Norristown, Pa. native was a draft pick by the Dodgers in 1988 who embraced his underdog status. He made his major league debut in 1992 and made his first of 12 teams the next season, when he was named National League Rookie of the Year.
With former Mets Nelson Doubleday’s urging, the Mets acquired Piazza in a trade with the Marlins in 1998 and then signed him to a contract worth $91 million after the season. But his biggest hit with the Mets might have come in a game that carried little weight in the standings. On Sept.
21, 2001, in the first game in New York following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Piazza hit a monstrous homer in the eighth inning against the Braves, bringing a burst of emotion to Shea Stadium. “That was a moment that just transcends the game,” Piazza said.
“As I think back, I get extremely emotional about it. ” And it’s clear he considers himself a New York Met all the way. “The Mets have a unique fan base,” Piazza said.
“It’s a mixture of love and frustration and ups and downs and the emotions are very strong. I was very blessed the fans took me into their family and really embraced me. ” Ken Griffey Jr.
437 (99. 3%) Mike Piazza 365 (83. 0%) Jeff Bagwell 315 (71.
6%) Tim Raines 307 (69. 8%) Trevor Hoffman 296 (67. 3%) Curt Schilling 230 (52.
3%) Roger Clemens 199 (45. 2%) Barry Bonds 195 (44. 3%) Edgar Martinez 191 (43.
4%) Mike Mussina 189 (43. 0%) Alan Trammell 180 (40. 9%) Lee Smith 150 (34.
1%) Fred McGriff 92 (20. 9%) Jeff Kent 73 (16. 6%) Larry Walker 68 (15.
5%) McGwire 54 (12. 3%) Gary Sheffield 51 (11. 6%) Billy Wagner 46 (10.
5%) Sammy Sosa 31 (7. 0%) By receiving less than 5 percent of the vote (fewer than 22) the following players are no longer eligible for election by the BBWAA: Jim Edmonds 11 (2. 5%) Nomar Garciaparra 8 (1.
8%) Mike Sweeney 3 (0. 7%) David Eckstein 2 (0. 5%) Jason Kendall 2 (0.
5%) Garret Anderson 1 (0. 2%) and Brad Ausmus, Luis Castillo, Troy Glaus, Mark Grudzielanek, Mike Hampton, Mike Lowell, Randy Winn 0. year on BBWAA ballot.
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