The Mike Piazza story may just be too Hollywood for Hollywood. While true, it doesn’t sound true, but cliched.
Drafted in the 62nd round as a favor to Los Angeles Dodgers Tom Lasorda (1988), the wide-eyed teenager is projected to be a below-average hitter with plus power and lacks contact (1986). Wait, let me guess: He makes it to the majors, achieves his dream and everyone goes home happy. Well, kinda. Try: Piazza collects three hits in his Major League Baseball debut (1992), wins the Rookie of the Year (1993), appears in 12 All Star Games, wins 10 Silver Slugger Awards and hits 427 career home runs (396 as a catcher/most by any catcher in history), including one of the most memorable home runs in regular season history. He marries a Playboy Playmate (2005). He retires (2008). Writes his memoir, Longshot (2014). He is inducted into the Hall of Fame (2016).
What do you think?
That’s absurd. No one would believe it.
This spring, Greg Prince will release his latest book, Piazza: Catcher, Icon, Slugger, Star. In the book’s introduction he writes:
Mike Piazza may have been the most Amazin’ Met of his time, but his time was shared with others. His story, particularly at its New York peak, was their story, too. To tell of Mike is also to tell of those who preceded him, joined him, complemented him, left him and outlasted him … Ultimately, this book traces the journey Mike Piazza took toward going into the Hall of Fame as a New York Met, and why it meant so much to Mets fans that he’d go in that way.
Mike Piazza is our subject on the latest edition of Voices: The Podcast to discuss Piazza’s life, career and legacy.
Prince is also the co-author of one of the longest-running Mets blogs, FaithandFearinFlushing.com.
Prince is also author of:
- Faith and Fear in Flushing: An Intense Personal History of the New York Mets
- The Happiest Recap: 50 Years of the New York Mets As Told in 500 Amazin’ Wins (Volume 1/ First Base (1962-1973)
- Amazin’ Again: How the 2015 New York Mets Brought the Magic Back to Queens