Thursday, January 7, 2016

One of 427

Mike Piazza, a New York Met from May 1998 through the 2005 season, was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame yesterday. Piazza played behind the plate in 96 percent of his 1,700 major league games (85 percent as a starter) and was elected to the Hall as the finest offensive catcher of all time. (In contrast, he led the league 10 times for stolen bases allowed.)

The Mets sent a congratulatory email to fans. Piazza would like to be
inducted into the Hall of Fame as a Met but the choice is not the player's.

Piazza finished his career with a .308 batting average, .545 slugging percentage, 427 home runs and 1,335 RBIs. Piazza's 369 home runs and as a catcher is the record. He averaged a home run every 16.2 at bats, placing him 34th for all time, regardless of position. I saw many Piazza home runs at Shea Stadium but one is particularly memorable.