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Mike Piazza

baseball catcher

Mike Piazza is an All-Star catcher and power hitter. He was drafted in the 62nd round of the 1988 amateur draft (the 1390th player overall); he beat the odds and made it to the major leagues, becoming the National League rookie of the year for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1993. In 1999 he signed a groundbreaking 7-year, $91 million contract with the New York Mets; the next year he helped the Mets into the World Series.

Background

Piazza was born in Norristown, Pennsylvania, grew up in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, and attended Phoenixville High School. He is of Italian and Slovakian ancestry, he is the second-oldest son of Vince and Veronica, with brothers Vince, Jr., Danny, Tony, and Tommy.

Career

After not being signed to any MLB team for the 2008 season, Piazza announced his retirement on May 20, 2008, saying, "After discussing my options with my wife, family and agent, I felt it is time to start a new chapter in my life. It has been an amazing journey."

Achievements

  • He won the 1994 ESPY Award for Breakthrough Athlete.

Religion

Piazza is a devout Roman Catholic and was featured in Champions of Faith, a DVD documentary exploring the intersection of Catholic religious faith and sports. He also appeared in the follow-up video Champions of Faith: Bases of Life.

Politics

Unfortunately for Piazza, he will have to wait another year. Piazza fell 28 votes shy when the Baseball Writers’ Association of America made their Cooperstown inductees known Tuesday. He appeared on 69.9 percent of the ballots, but a player needs 75 percent of the vote to be elected to the Hall.

Views

Quotations: "Yes, hard is good. When I was in high school, I spent a lot of time on my knees playing with balls. I guess it was only natural that I became a catcher."

"You can't get real happy or real depressed when you play baseball. Baseball is a great sport in that it offers a player a lot of opportunities for atonement."

"I have gone from a player who thought he would spend his whole career with one organization to a player who's been with three organizations in a week. It's like rotisserie baseball."

"Never let your dreams go away."

Connections

He is married and has two daughters/ He is also godfather to Zakk Wylde's son, Hendrix.

Wife:
Alicia Rickter - model

On January 29, 2005, Piazza married Playboy Playmate Alicia Rickter at St. Jude's Catholic Church in Miami, Florida

Daughter:
Nicoletta Veronica Piazza

Nicoletta Veronica Piazza was born at 4:07 a.m. in New York City

Daughter:
Paulina Sophia Piazza

Paulina Sophia Piazza was born August 3, 2009 at Mount Sinai Hospital in Miami Beach, Florida.