May 20, 2008

Mikey P Retires!

It became official today- Mike Piazza, 39, former Mets all-star catcher and 12-time all-star has hung up his spikes for good! Piazza, whom no team signed this season after finishing up his 16 year career with the Oakland A's last season, will certainly be a first ballot hall-of-famer. Piazza holds the career record for homers by a catcher, finishing up with 427 dingers, 396 of which came as a catcher. Piazza also hit a lifetime .308 with 1,335 RBIs for the Dodgers (6.5 yrs), Marlins (1 week), Mets (7.5 years), Padres (1 year) and A's (1 year). Hopefully, when he enters the hall, it will be in the orange and blue of the Mets, as he did spend more years in NY then he did with the Bums; he won rookie of the year in L.A., but he had his best seasons with the Mets, including the 2000 World Series wherein he strapped the team on his back and carried them to the fall classic.

On XM Radio's Dibble and Kennedy show earlier today, they interviewed former Met and current Brave, Tom Glavine, himself a future hall-of-famer, and Glavine said that not only was Piazza arguably the best-hitting catcher of all-time, but he was also much better defensively then he gets credit for, and was an excellent game-caller! He minimized Piazza's throwing issues, saying that when someone can hit like Mike, and call a game as well as him, those throwing issues were quite minimal. Nice comments from Glavine who, I guess, could afford to be extra generous on the heals of beating us earlier today, 6-1. Talk about sweet and sour...
Piazza, on his time with the Mets, from the Mets website:

"Within the eight years I spent in New York, I was able to take a different look at the game of baseball," he said. "I wasn't just a young kid that was wet behind the ears anymore -- I was learning from other veteran guys like Johnny Franco, who taught me how to deal with the pressures of playing in New York, and Al Leiter, who knew what it took to win a world championship."

Mike, on his Shea Stadium fans:

"I have to say that my time with the Mets wouldn't have been the same without the greatest fans in the world. One of the hardest moments of my career was walking off the field at Shea Stadium and saying goodbye. My relationship with you made my time in New York the happiest of my career and for that, I will always be grateful."

Mikey, you were one of the very best Mets of all-time, it was a real treat to have you on our team, and I had the pleasure of meeting you back in 1995 when you were still with the Dodgers, and you offered some hitting advice to my daughter, which she's never let me forget (like I COULD!) when she attended Reggie Smith's baseball camp. We wish you all the best in everything that you do, and hope that will be a position with the Mets in whatever position you choose to take!!! Not bad for a former first baseman, drafted number 1,390th...not bad at all!!!

See you in 5 in Cooperstown!!!!

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