One of Miami Beach’s favorite power couples, Mike and Alicia Piazza, are planning a long awaited visit to Cooperstown, New York next summer. On July 24th, Mike Piazza will be inducted as the 312th member of baseball’s Hall of Fame. In Piazza’s fourth year on the ballot, the game’s most prolific home run hitting catcher piled up 83 % (needing 75%) of the votes cast by the Baseball Writers of America. “It’s an honor to be included among such talent and history,” said Mike to Haute Living on his way to a press conference in New York. “I feel proud, humble and grateful.”
Initially chosen as an afterthought by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 62nd round of the 1988 draft, Piazza rapidly ascended into the ranks of baseball’s elite. After smashing 35 home runs in his first full season with the Dodgers, Mike was unanimously selected as the National League’s Rookie of the Year in 1993. Piazza was runner-up in MVP voting in 1997 after a sensational campaign in which he batted .362, hit 40 home runs, and drove in 124 runs. His 1997 batting average is the highest ever recorded for a National League catcher.
Traded to the New York Mets in 1998, he continued his torrid power hitting for that club and led the Mets to the 2000 World Series. He was selected to the All Star game for 10 consecutive years from 1993 to 2002. He left the Mets after the 2005 season and had brief stints with the San Diego Padres and Oakland A’s before retiring at the close of the 2007 season. Piazza totaled 427 homers with 396 of them hit while he was serving behind the plate- a major league record. He compiled a remarkable .308 lifetime average in his 16 year career- 4th best all-time for catchers!
Upon his election, Piazza was confronted with the difficult choice of whether to have his Dodgers or Mets cap depicted on his Hall of Fame plaque. He chose the Mets. “I feel like the fans here [New York] truly brought me into their family,” he said. No Mets fan will ever forget Mike’s game-winning home run in the first sporting event in New York held after 9/11. It provided a catharsis for the entire city. “It changed all of our lives, not on a baseball level, but on a personal level. My life perspective and focus were different. To be at the right place and the right time and come through, I can only think it comes from above.”
Mike will be sharing the stage at the induction ceremony with fellow inductee Ken Griffey, Jr.. Mike is a frequent and valued guest at Haute Living events. Wife Alicia serves as Haute Living’s travel ambassador.