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Mike Piazza
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Mike Piazza
Mike Piazza
Inducted into the New York Mets Hall of Fame, 2013
Ultimate Mets Database popularity ranking: 2 of 982 players
Piazza
Michael Joseph Piazza
Born: September 4, 1968 at Norristown, Pa.
Throws: Right Bats: Right
Height: 6.03 Weight: 197

Mike Piazza has been the most popular Ultimate Mets Database daily lookup 214 times, most recently on June 7, 2014.

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First Mets game: May 23, 1998
Last Mets game: October 2, 2005

Brother of Thomas Piazza





Winner of National League Rookie of the Year award, 1993. (Los Angeles Dodgers)
Named Catcher on the National League Silver Slugger team, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002. (New York Mets)
Winner of National League Player of the Week award, July 11, 1999, April 16, 2000, September 15, 2002. (New York Mets)

Share your memories of Mike Piazza

HERE IS WHAT OTHER METS FANS HAVE TO SAY:

JOEY BUB
Early in the 1999 season, I went to Shea to see my team play the reconstructed National League Champion Padres. It was a weeknight so the fan turnout was very low. MP was coming off his sprained knee injury from three weeks earlier. Before then, Mike was on a tear - hitting well over .300 and eating pitchers up on the road. Needless to say, MP was still trying to get his timing back and it was pretty slow going.

Mike Piazza 1971 baseball card
I watched MP face Trevor Hoffman in the bottom of the 9th with Olerud on 1st, down by one run. Mike hammered the first pitch over the RF fence to win the game. It was a classic win and Mike only proved to be one of the best players in baseball by stepping up in games when the Mets needed him - against the Yankees in July, the Braves in September and in Game Six of the NLCS.

I was moved time and time again by his competitiveness and power at and behind the plate. I only wish and hope that if one day, MP is elected to the Hall of Fame, he chooses to enter as a Metropolitan with a few World Series rings he won while wearing that uniform to boot.

Darrin Gitlitz
One weekend in 1998 by chance I had tickets to both Saturday and Sunday games one weekend (to take my son). Surprise, it was Piazza's first days as a Met. The crowd was big and crazy and my 7-year old went nuts. He is now the biggest freak Mets fan. Thank you Mike.

Felia
To me Mike is a born baseball player. He has so much going; when Mike played for the Dodgers or when he started I knew the first time I saw him he was going to be the best one and he sure was. I moved to San Diego and that didn't stop me from going to see him and I was always there when LA came to town. And I was all ready for them to come again and I had got my new top to wear with his name on it. I wanted him so bad to sign it for me, but then he was off to the Mets. Lucky Mets got him. God, that is way to far for me to go see him. I wish so bad that he could send me a top with his name on it, number 31, and put in big words "to Feila with love.: I have my coat put away with his name on it. But even if he is gone with the Mets he is still my best player of all. Keep up the good work, Mike.

Leah
What can I say? He's great. One of the best Mets players ever and he's only been here for 1 1/2 seasons. I love every time he comes to bat-he's so awesome. I plan to snag #31 for the different sports teams I play on. (I hope he doesnt mind.) I'm glad he's a NY Met now and hope he will keep up the good work for next year when they WILL win the World Series!

MARK M
One of the best aquisitions of the franchise. Hopefully in 2000, you're well rested and could be catcher for another few years. Don't listen to the negative Mike, you were still a big part of the year and playoffs. In hitting that home run in game 6, you tied the game and gave life to the team. I also admire that when Jordan purposely slid into you on the force at home, you held your composure, knowing that kicking this guys *** vs. getting thrown out and being useless at that point, was not worth it. Please, rest up for the new year and I believe you have much fan support. Good luck and God bless.

Mrs. Met
The most awesome Met in their history. He is truly Amazing! Will go down as the best catcher of all time. I've never seen anyone hit like Piazza. It's almost as though he is not real. His quiet demeanor makes him even more awesome. Thank God for Mike Piazza!

Anonymous
I was at the classic Mets Yanks game in July 1999 when they won 9-8 on Matt Franco's hit in the 9th. Piazza hit an absolute BOMB that game. I get goose bumps every time I see that highlight. I can't wait for him to do it again this year!

Alex
The best highlight of Piazza is when he hit the bomb against the Yankees last year. I mean, the ball went 10 miles and the way he flipped his bat in the air after he hit it makes it all more classic. Watching that clip in slow-mo is the best. Took the swing, watched it go, flipped the bat, then rounded the bases.

Ginny
I'm so glad Mike came to the Mets. I've been a Mets fan since I could remember, and this is the best it's ever been! Mike adds a new dimension to the team. I like that he is so cool even when things don't go his way. He is a real professional! I wear a Piazza shirt at work and get teased by the Yankee fans all the time. I'm proud of Mike and the Mets! (10-14-00)

Mary
Isn't he just a totally amazing ball player? I follow ALL the Mets, winning or losing, for the past 31 years! (I was just a baby in '69! That's my story!) Piazza is just an amazing catcher and amazing hitter for the AMAZING METS. Nothing will ever compare to Mike's calm handling of Clemens trying to hit him with the broken bat piece in game 2. Clemens made an ass of himself, and Mike, although walking over to him, kept his temper. I was so proud of him! I'm glad Piazza is my son's role model, and not Clemens!

Jon
I admit to being a huge skeptic when we acquired this guy, what with his star power and his pert plus and his contract demands and all. Even the stats didn't impress me until I saw him -- or actually heard him -- hit. Above the leftfield scoreboard one game in 98, where it's difficult to see the corner, and there were two sounds boom-boom. Ball hitting bat, ball hitting wall, just a nanosecond apart. Wow.

Won Doney
December 23, 2000
The Mets have been known to make some bad trades, but when they got Mike Piazza, that made up for most of them. Mike Piazza has been great in New York and doesn't have an attitude problem. It was good the way he handled the situation when Clemens threw the bat at him in the World Series.

FELIX R
February 7, 2001
I truely believe that bringing mike Piazza to the Mets has been the best trade ever. Just look at his number, and the way he plays the game.and Im so lucky living so close to Shea stadium and watching him play.he Can bring us the ring we've been waiting for so long. do Your thing mike! he Really is a franchise player.

NL
March 17, 2001
He's everything they said he is. Never seen a guy who hits the ball harder and for such a terrific average. A couple of 88 win seasons showed the Mets were on their way out of the wilderness of the early '90s, but Piazza gives them credibility.

EG
March 18, 2001
Went to his first game as a Met against Milwaukee, sitting under the net behind home plate. There was a buzz at Shea that was missing for about a decade.

His first hit was a seed over the second baseman that rolled all the way to the wall. The ball just made a different sound coming off his bat.

Strongest opposite field hitter in the game today, other than McGwire.

EG
March 18, 2001
Assuming Clemens has the stomach to pitch at Shea, wouldn't you like to be the home plate ump to listen in on that conversation.

If the pitcher doesn't come in high and tight at least once, it would be unforgivable. I'm still waiting for some form of retaliation. Obviously, you couldn't do it in the WS, but there ought to be an opportunity in the regular season. I hope Clemens is the recipient. It would stink if Jeter has to suffer for Clemens indiscretions.

Jim Alderson
April 9, 2001
It is often said that Mike is one of the worst defensive catchers. This is bull#@%*. The skill of a catcher should be based primarily on how he handles a pitching staff, not just throwing out baserunners. The pitchers Mike handled in LA had the best ERA in the league every year. The Mets have been near the top in ERA since he came here. He is the one calling the pitches folks, and you don't ever see a pitcher shake him off. How bout them apples?

Jim Alderson
April 9, 2001
My favorite Piazza memory: I'm watching a game in '98 on Mike's birthday. The Hundley loyalists had been booing him relentlessly since he came over. I think, in his mind, he was not coming back here the next year. So he's at the plate and all of a sudden, there's singing behind home plate. And its getting louder. Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday dear Mike! And Mike steps out of the box and looks up into the crowd. I swear everything changed right there. That was amazing.

Tony
April 11, 2001
I just got back from Opening Day at Shea April 9, 2001 will go down in my great memory book with the Mets & Mike. The place went nuts when Mike hit his first HR at Shea for the year 2001, when the second one came, I thought the place was going to explode. Hopefully he will be doing a lot of that in October, see ya then. Keep Believin'

kinerskorner
April 18, 2001
Piazza is a complete stud. this man hits the ball harder than anyone ive ever seen. he has immense power to all fields and can hit some absolute bombs. its unbelievable to think that a catcher makes hard contact as consistently as he does. I loved when he hit a 3 run homer against billy wagner in houston in the 9th inning, on a 2-2 count no less. one acquisition that can temper my hatred of Mets management (vince coleman? bobby bonilla?)

kinerskorner
April 22, 2001
i know that it probably would've been a stupid move at the time, but in retrospect I wish he would've beaten the hell out of clemens with his splintered bat handle. then maybe he'd think twice about throwing at people's heads. jerk.

Jay
May 16, 2001
i remember that first couple of Months with Piazza, I thought he was gonna leave so badly and I wanted Hundley to come back so bad, I would actually boo him!

Then I think it was a game late in the year if I am not mistaken where he hit a GW HR off of Bill Wagner and I felt like maybe he will stay.

THANK GOD, WE SIGNED HIM TO A 91 MIL CONTRACT. now he is worth like 150-180

Coach HoJo 20
June 14, 2001
It didn't take much, But now I officially hate Don Zimmer. Here is his latest jibber jabber about Mike Piazza concerning the Clemens incident

"Is Piazza the only (player) in America who ever got hit in the head with a ball? That's what burned my (expletive). There's only one man in the world that knows: the guy that threw it."

Zimmer needs to wake up, Not only did Clemens bean him with a fast ball, He also threw a bat at him in the World Series, Gee I wonder if that was an "accident" too.

Roger Clemens is a creep, He is the king of a breed of pitchers who use scare tactics and try to actually hurt people, if they get "ticked off"

I applaud Mike for not backing down and saying "I thought it was an accident" A lesser man would have backed down.

B u i c k
June 24, 2001
It was around the time the Mets first got Piazza from the Marlins. I went to a game at Shea and there was this little kid sitting in front of me who kept screaming at Mike everytime he came to the plate, "Go back to LA, Pizza-head." Man, Pizza-head! The kid was like 9 years old too. I remember thinking, geez-uz, this little kid is a nut bar!

Mike
July 29, 2001
I remember that when Mike came to the Mets, I had this idea of him as a blow-dried pretty boy. Well, he may still be, but I didn't expect him to be the gutsy, gamer, hustling player that he is. I remember that during the summer of 98 it seemed like there was absolutely no chance of him signing here. He seemed unhappy and noncommital, but obviously he was just using negotiating tactics. Then they signed him right after the season and he just matter-of-factly says, "oh yeah I always thought I would stay" Obviously he's the best non-pitcher in team history. It would be wonderful if he retired as a met and came to be identified more with Mets than dodgers.

PIAZZA IS COOL
August 10, 2001
My biggest Piazza memorywas in a braves game.we Were down 8-1 in the bottom of the eighth.ventura Grounde out to andres gallaragga with a runner on third and one out.the Run scored and ventura was retired.sonn bloop singles and walks came.we Loaded the bases.there was stil two outs.a Bunch of singles and bases loaded walks came and it eventually became an 8-8 tiev game.i was in shock.then Mike stepped up with runners on first and second.and Bam!down The left field line and gone!i Still remember him jumping to first base in joy as Shea stadium exploded with excitement.it Was a hell of a game to watch on t.v.

Andrew
August 10, 2001
What can I say? He is the greatest hitting catcher in history. 300 and counting career home runs. He is the greatest I've ever seen! I remember when "Mr. Guy Who doesn't think before he acts" Roger Clemens hit Mike Piazza in the head and ended the chance to shine in the 2000 All-Star Game. Also I remeber when he hit a GrandSlam against Roger. I don't really like Roger, but he is good.

---------Lets Go Mets NY

Nanette
September 3, 2001
Mike Piazza that says it all not only to me is he one of the greatest hitting catchers but not a bad looking one at that. Mike has been such an asset to the Mets and a role model for kids (clemens need I say more boo). Growing up in N.Y. the Mets were a way of life having older brothers the Mets were always on or we were at Shea. Now im married to a great guy named mike (aren't I lucky) with two great sons michael and timothy who are (with some resistance from dad he is a Yankee fan) and living near Philly! are growing up watching and going to games and i'm hoping they will be long time Piazza fans and the N.Y. Mets fans. I will be a faithful Mets fan in good or bad LET'S GO METS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JD
September 21, 2001
The biggest Piazza game I was in attendance for was Father's Day 2001, against the Yankees at Shea. The Mets were down 7-2, and he capped a 6 run 8th inning with a 2 run game winning homer. It was almost as great as his homer against the Braves in the famous 10 run inning. It seems that whenever I go to a game, Mike homers. I was very fortunate to witness at least 10 Piazza homers in person.

drewhall
October 5, 2001
Mike's home run against the Braves at the first game back at Shea after the Sept. 11th tragedy was awesome! After all of the craziness of the week before it was great to have something to cheer for.Mike is awesome!

Shannon
October 20, 2001
Use to hate Mike.But now I can see him as a nice guy.To make a long story short as possible.Use to live near Todd Zeile.Todd is my buddy.Whenever Todd is in St.Louis I usally wait around and talk to Todd before and after games.Todd and Mike I see a lot hanging out with each other.Mike has seen me in a crowd and has said hi and has asked me how i'm doing several times.Plus twice he let Todd know I was waiting for him by the dug out. I don't really talk to Mike much.Because he is usally being followed by a huge group of fans and autograph dealers.But I appreciate Mike saying hi to me when he does.The longest I have talked to Mike was in 98 after the trade and that was for about 5 minutes.Then people noticed him talking to me ran over to where I was at and then Mike left.

KEVIN BRAMLEY
November 1, 2001
Mike Piazza is the type of player I would take on my team any day. The thing I like the most about mike is this.he Makes a lot of money and could easily just take that money and run. But he dont.he Hussles on every play,runs out every ground ball hard.how Many times you see him limp after hitting the bag on a ground ball?because He is busting it down the line.how many times does he fall into the stands or dugout going after a foul pop?(many)i Think he is a team leader and an all around goos person.more Players should follow his lead and baseball would be a better game than it already is.

Kerby Valladares
November 6, 2001
What can you say about a guy like Mike. He is a great guy and one of the most sincere baseball players out there today. Yes he could have beat the snot out of Roger Clemens, but he chose not to. The man is smart and knows alot about the game. Unfortunately his defense stands out alot but you know what, we still love Mike. I really thought he was going to leave after the 98' season but when he decided to stay, it was the greatest things the Mets did in along time. I was so happy. Thanks alot Mike. I will always remember the first game after the September 11 tragedy. He cried during the pre-game ceremonies and hit the game winning home run. A true class act.

dankind
January 4, 2002
Sparkle, the reason the team is considering moving the poor guy to first is to give his 30-odd-year-old knees a break. The guy has taken a pounding for years behind the plate. I dunno if he's the best catcher in Mets history... he's damn good, and a gentleman player... but the best? Nah, gotta give credit to Carter. All things considered, though, I gotta say he's one of the only reasons the Mets had a fighting chance this past season.

Mr. Sparkle
January 4, 2002
Come on, he's the best hitting catcher of all time. I'm not the first person to say that. I've heard that on TV, the radio and read it in the paper. Mike's THE best. I love Gary Carter but would take Piazza in a heatbeat over the kid. No contest.

EG
January 5, 2002
I hate ballplayers who are too lazy to run out ground balls. If Piazza's case though, I wish he would take it a little bit easier. I'm amazed that as hard as he runs, he hasn't gotten seriously injured when he hits the first base bag.

Interestingly enough, very early in his Mets career, I remember his lack of hustle cost the Mets a chance to tie a game when he was on second with 2 outs in the B9. A ground ball was hit to the 2B and he loafed to third assuming that the game was over. There was an error on the play but he didn't score because he dogged it to third and realized his mistake too late.

This was the only(!) time I ever saw him give less than 100%.

If every superstar played like he does, people might be less resentful of the money.

a mets fan
January 21, 2002
I love Mike!!! I think he is the most wonderful player the Mets or baseball has ever had. He is such a gentleman.For example in game 1 of the World Series when Roger Clemens threw that bat at him Mike just went about his business and it made Clemens look like a complete jackass. Piazza is also a player that plays hard and has a great attitude. Players like Frank Thomas, Barry Bonds, Ken Griffey Jr. and Albert Belle have arrogant attitudes and sometimes don't try hard enough. I love Mike!!!

Joe Bocchino
January 23, 2002
The 2 biggest memories of Mike is when home run #300 and the spectacular home run to beat the Braves 3 to 2.

Jim From Floral Park
February 15, 2002
Don't get me wrong, I loved Gary Carter. He - along with Keith Hernandez - were the final pieces of the puzzle for that '86 team.

But to those who think Carter is the best all-time Mets catcher - think again. Gary had a stronger and deeper group of players around him on that '86 team - the lineup was stacked. Insert Carter in last year's Mets lineup, and he'd be lucky to hit .250.

So what if Mike is not as accomplished as Carter at throwing out runners. If that's your only criteria, then neither one of them could carry Jerry Grote's jock (he was by far, the best defensive catcher the Mets ever had).

But Mike calls a great game, and handles that pitching staff very effectively. It's an often overlooked part of the game - and he gets little or no credit for his work with the staff.

To anyone who thinks Piazza hasn't been the Mets MVP since the day he arrived - try envisioning where they would have finished in 2000, or if they could have managed even the .506 percentage last year - without him. Worse still, try envisioning all of these accomplishments, and all the moves the team would have been forced to make with Hundley and Pratt as your primary backstops.

Carter is also having a hard time getting into the Hall of Fame right now - he's considered a 'borderline' candidate by some voters (I feel he definitely belongs in the Hall, and he'll probably get in next year).

However, do you REALLY think Piazza won't get in on his FIRST ballot? If ANYONE is a LOCK for a landslide, it's Mike. It boggles the mind how there are some fans out there who don't see that the Mets got themselves one of the All-Time Greats while he was just entering his prime. He HAS TO rank as one of the top three acquisitions in Mets history. Wake up, and appreciate all that his game ADDS to this team - it far outweighs the one or two negatives.

DB
February 24, 2002
Mike is defianately the best hitting catchers that there ever was. I hope that the old geezer guys will finally come to realize that Mike is better than Carlton Fisk or Johnny Bench, and that he is headed to the hall of fame as the best catcher that ever lived.

Jon
February 27, 2002
Heroes do not come often. But for us Met fans we are extremely fortunate to see one for one hundred and sixty two games a year. His name is Mike Piazza. He was traded to the Mets not enamored with New York, four years later he is already a New York Sports Legend. Toughness, intelligence, talent, and especially heart define Mike Piazza. He is someone who has left an indelible mark on the New York Mets and in New York in general. Thank you Mike for all the memories you have given Met fans so far and will continue to give us in the years to come. It is an honor to watch him play.

Trevor B
March 1, 2002
Simply, Piazza is the greatest hitter of all time for the Mets. This guy pretty much singlehandely took the Mets from a solid team with the likes of Hundley, B.Jones, Gilkey, Johnson, etc. to a contender. Getting him was truly a turning point for the organization. Thank you Phillips and Wilpon for bringing us and resigning Piazza.

The best part about it is that we still have him through 2005 so I expect many more fantastic memories.

How many clutch home runs does he have? It seems like he is always succeeding in the big spot.

Shorty
April 15, 2002
Mike is the man. The best player to ever wear a Mets uniform. Period. Great heart and tougher than leather. But... What is up with all the stupid TV commercials?!?! Mike with Alf? Please stop the madness NOW! I pray that the money he makes making a fool of himself goes to a good cause. I am the world's biggest Mets fan, but even I have a hard time defending this junk to Yank-me fans. In this instance, he is making my job harder.

Oh well....a .300 BA, 35 HR & 140 RBI as well as another trip to the Series should more than make up for it. Lets hope it's Mikey P for MVP in 2002!

DB
April 16, 2002
In his first game back at Dodger Stadium since being traded from the Dodgers in May, Piazza homered and scored the game-winning run 8-28-98 as the Mets beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-4 in 10 innings. Tom Robson, the Mets' hitting coach in 2000, says he never timed a player with more bat speed than Mike - and only Paul Molitor matched him. It is 0.14 seconds from Piazza's ignition to contact.

ETCH 35
May 20, 2002
What's with the rumors about Mike being gay? He's shacked up with a weatherman? C'mon....tell me another. Who started this rumor? George Steinbrenner? Sounds like junk to me. Didn't he date the "Penthouse Pet of the Millineum"? Not many straight guys can boast that. I'm sure it's not true, but even if it is, he's the best player we ever had. It wouldn't matter to me, no matter how much hell I'd catch for saying it.

CM
May 22, 2002
Not having ever meet Mr. Piazza in person, I cannot attest to his sexuality, nor do I care. He is the greatest offensive force to ever play catcher. I wouldn't care if he slept with farm animals. His private life is his business. Be that as it may, from everything I have ever read or heard about the man, it seems as if he is just an intensely private man, who wishes to keep his private life out of the public eye. I remember the time the press jumped on the fact he was dating the Playboy Playmate of the Millennium. It seemed like Mr. Piazza was absoulutely mortified that the facts about that relationship had become public. Rumors about sexual preference will always haunt a young, extremely wealthy, single man. I remember the same rumors circulated about George Brett and Johnny Bench.

STEVE B.
May 22, 2002
I was at Shea the day the Mets picked up "Mighty Mike". I turned to my friend and said "He's the best hitter in Mets history". My friend said, "He hasn't played a game yet." I said, "There you go!" Mike has done nothing but produce since he got here. He hustles every play every day. I wish we had a lot more players just like Mike!

Shari
May 23, 2002
I love the guy, who cares whether or not he's gay? Not that I think he is anyway but the only thing that would have an effect on is a lot of unhappy female Mets fans. He's still the best hitting catcher I've ever seen.

Waylon Smithers
June 10, 2002
Mike is the greatest catcher of all time. He is a lock on the HOF. He did the impossible and slid Gary Carter to the second greatest catcher in Mets history. As far as the rumors, who cares? Are we that hung up on the private lives of an athlete? We all need to relax and enjoy what might be a once in a generation talent. I think it is all a reaction to his talent, the fact that he is very attractive and the fact that he is single. I do not care either way, Mike You are the best---keep it up!

Kenn Koncicki
July 23, 2002
Mike is the franchise. Seaver, as great as he was, could only do it every 5th day, but Mike is out there just about everyday. Class all the way, carrying this team like Atlas and never a whimper or a complaint. Just ta true athlete and class act. He plays to win and always gives 110%. Mike, glad you are on our team. best catcher ever!!!

Biggest Mets Fan
July 23, 2002
I am 13 years old and a big Mike Piazza fan. I also catch for my little league team. Nothing is more exciting than being a catcher. I watch Mike and learn how he hits and this year I had 8 home runs. My team didn't make the playoffs, but I enjoy the game and enjoy being a Mets fan. Most of my friends are Yankee fans and tease me a lot, but I don't care. I enjoy being a Mets fan and enjoy listening to my mom and dad talk about the Mets from long ago. Mike Piazza is a really good ballplayer and everyone knows that he will be voted into the Hall of Fame. I'm also glad to know that he doesn't take steroids or any other kind of enhance drugs to make him bigger just that it's hard work for to be as strong as he is. Mike gives a good message to kids. You don't have to take drugs to be a strong baseball player!

Kevin
September 1, 2002
As much as we hate to admit it, our franchise player is on the decline.

robert
September 22, 2002
I think that Mike Piazza is the best player that the Mets ever had. He is my favorite player. Everyone should play as hard as he does every day. I like when he hits home runs off Roger Clemens, or any Yankee pitcher.

Mr. Sparkle
September 30, 2002
Considering the year the Mets have had, I think Mike still had a pretty damn good year with 33 homers and 98 ribbies. He only hit .280 which is a big drop off for him but he's still a force and although his numbers may be sliding from being a catcher, he'll probably end his career with 500 dingers. I don't care what you can get for him, do not trade the new "franchise." I want a Met hat on him when he goes to Cooperstown.

EDITH
December 21, 2002
I am delighted to watch Mike Piazza play ball for the Mets. I think he is the greatest of all. He takes a lot of punishment behind the plate and runs hard to first base every at bat. He is a delight to have on the team and can park his shoes under my bed anytime.

Shari
April 24, 2003
I love Mike and I was absolutely ecstatic when the Mets got him. However his career had already peaked at the point and I knew he was going to be heading or the the downside of his career. He's hitting now, but I think he's doing a very selfish thing by catching. He wants that catcher/homer record very badly. Otherwise he should suck it up and move to first base. It will prolong his knees and his hitting career. We should dump Moo Vaughn, let Vance Wilson catch and have Mike move to 1st base. I mean, really, those throws down to second are just pitiful. I'm almost embarrassed for him. He'll soon end up like Mackey Sasser if he keeps throwing down to 2nd like that.

JOEY KRACK
May 6, 2003
Dude what can I say about Mike Piazza? He is what everyone wants a pro baseball player to be on and off the field. I just don't get why he has critics at all. He has put up good numbers since his rookie season and the first time he doesn't hit .300 everyone starts criticizing. He has been a sportsman and a really nice guy since his arrival, and just because he didnt retaliate on Roger Clemens, and has a great amount of class, now he's gay? Dude, let me tell every critic on this board something. Instead of whining and crying about how Mike's been declining and how he's gay, just crouch down on your knees every day for nine innings, 6 months a year for 15 years and never once complain about it, ooh! and take pitches in the dirt, chase pop ups over fences and basically sacrifice youre body to make people happy. Oh! And manage to have a career batting average over .300 and never have a season in which you had fewer than 25 hr's and 95 rbi's. An last but not least play in New York. Then and only then should you have the right to criticize this man.

PG
May 6, 2003
Why can't Mike Piazza move to first base and enable the Mets to be a better team? Chipper Jones did it. He may take pride in being a catcher but he shouldn't do it because he wants to solidify his stats so he can get into the Hall of Fame as a catcher. Heck, maybe the Mets should trade him. The only reason why the Mets are probably retaining him is because he has great merchandising and marketing value. It's time to promote the likes of Vance Wilson and Jason Phillips. The Mets just have a lot of quality catchers. Build the team on defense for once.

Shari
May 6, 2003
The more I think about it I'm not sure moving him to 1st base is the answer. I don't know why everyone thinks it's such an easy position to play when a player gets older or injury ridden. As Olerud and Mex proved in the past a Gold Glove at first makes a difference. I think his troubles behind the plate increase when he's frustrated with the way the team is playing. As for criticizing his play the past few years, it's not criticism we are stating the facts, as he gets older his knees are going to be the first to go and it's affecting his offense. He has a steady decline in his batting average, homers and RBI's. The right thing for him as much as I hate to admit it is to go to the American League and become a DH.

Alan
May 8, 2003
Oh come on everyone! One of the main reasons we have Mo Vaughn today is because Mikey doesn't want to change positions till he breaks Fisk's home run record for catchers. I bet that when he breaks the record of Fisk's he'll have no problems going to first base. His throws to second have become a terrible joke around the league. It shows it when Richie Sexton steals a base on you. Piazza is not a team player or he would have allowed the team to put him at first base 1-2 years ago.

Etch 35
May 16, 2003
You should put a player in the position he plays best. And believe it or not, the position Mike plays best is indeed Catcher. He dosen't throw people out, but he does well behind the plate otherwise. Besides there are only a few teams in the major leagues that feature a potent running attack any more, notably the Florida Marlins.

That being said, Mike should be prepped for playing some games at first base. It won't hurt to start training him for it now, but don't start putting him out at first base until he's had a full spring training there under his belt. He dosen't want to be embarassed. New York fans are tough...and it would be tragic if we ruined the legacy of the best position player we ever had, by throwing him to the wolves.

What I mean is...if we put him at first base, we better not boo the guy when he makes 30 errors a season there. I really respect Mike for all he has done for our team. One day they will retire his #31 next to Seaver, Gil and Casey. So let's ease into this.

Perhaps next season they should let him catch four days out of the week and play first base for the rest of it.

Anthony R.
May 27, 2003
We all love Mike. He brought respectability back to the orange and blue, as well as his monster offensive skills. But this freakish injury will most likely take 2003 away from him, and hopefully show him the way 90ft up the right field line to play 1b for us.

Cold Truth
June 8, 2003
As great a hitter as he is, Mike Piazza, in my opinion is a selfish player who is more interested in his own interests than "helping" the team. He should volunteer to move to first base, or at least try to. How many times can this guy throw balls into the outfield or bounce them off the mound and not feel selfish or understand he's hurting the team? Singles turn into doubles and he thinks because he runs hard out of the box and slides for balls against the backstop, no one will notice. I guess he thinks effort compensates for his lack of defensive skills. It doesn't.

He is not only hurting the team defensively but his preferential treatment by management also affects the chemistry of the team. He wants the record for most home runs as a catcher and he can't even perform an essential part of the job. He should be a DH if he doesn't want to play first base. Is he too cool or afraid he's going to look stupid at first? I guess he hasn't been watching any of those comercials of his.

Since he's been on the disabled list the team is actually playing inspired baseball. They have young unselfish players who want to win together and will play anywhere and do anything to help the team. It has been a pleasure to watch. I hope Piazza has been watching too but he's probably too busy looking in the mirror. he could certainly learn a thing or two from these young guys.

The Mets should trade him while they can still get something for him, but of course they won't because too many people can't get past the pearly whites and smile.

Unfortunately management doesn't care about quality or what's fair, only the quantity of exposure, increased ticket sales and memorabilia.

Jon
June 11, 2003
I'm kind of sickened at the way fans/media have leapt onto one of Piazza's "flaws" -- his pride -- and subsequently duped themselves into thinking he's a kind of primadonna whose injury opened a magical gate into a bizzarro world where Vance Wilson -- Vance Wilson?!? -- is the better player. Hard to believe I'm writing this but Mike Piazza if anything has been underappreciated.

When it's all said and done, I hope it does not reflect poorly on Mike Piazza that attendance climbed by a million fans a year when he arrived, or that of the 10 most electricfying hits in team history, about half belong to him, or that he gave it his all despite tabloids throwing innuendo at him, and Roger Clemens trying not just to hurt him but perhaps to kill him. I hope they remember that the pitching staffs he caught were consistently among the best in the league. I hope they remember that the decisions to acquire teammates during his era weren't his; and that whatever records he sets or fails to set, at whatever position or team he winds up with, this was a great, great player.

Bob P
June 12, 2003
Jon, Amen. Well said! Piazza does have a lot of pride and I personally feel he--and the team--would be better off if he played first base. But I'll take 25 Mike Piazzas anytime.

Oops, I forgot...this is the franchise that had no use for A-Rod or Gary Sheffield. Might as well get rid of Piazza too.

Etch 35
June 12, 2003
Mike has flaws like most of our players do. The most glaring being his inability to throw out base runners. But take this into account:

Mike Lieberthal of the Phillies can not throw anyone out! When the Mets played the Phils earlier this season they showed Liebethal's throwing stats. At the time, he had only nailed upwards of 3 base runners out of about 30 tries. And that guy can't hit half as good as Piazza either.

Everything in NY sports gets blown out of proportion in general, and even more so when it relates to Mike Piazza specifically!

Karl de Vries
June 25, 2003
Far be it from me to critize the great Mike Piazza, but I have to wonder whether or not he figures into the New York Mets teams of the next couple of years-- that is, a rebuilding franchise committed to youth and up-and-comers. Piazza, despite the myriad of great moments and heroics, has always been on the downbound train ever since he came to the Mets, and lets face it, he is much closer to the end than the beginning, and probably closer to retirement than his prime.

Mr. Sparkle
July 1, 2003
I look at Mike Piazza as a Met similar to Tom Seaver. He is the Franchise. He may not have come up a Met but he is a true blue Met through and through. He is the biggest player they've had since Seaver. The Mets should have never traded Seaver and they should never trade Piazza. I don't care if he hits .200 with 10 homers and 50 ribbies Mike can play for me until he's 50. Player's don't necessairly share the same loyalty that fans do but I think we should never trade this guy despite what we may be able to get for him. He's a Met. I want his plaque in Cooperstown to have a Met hat on it.

Do we really need Vance Wilson catching every day? I'm sure Mike will move to 1st next year and that will help his offense but I've never been one to complain about his defense. First his throwing is his only flaw and second, that's terribly over rated. Of the guys that steal on him, not that many actually score, at least not those that wouldn't have scored anyway after multiple hits, homers whatever. A lot of times those guys gets stranded. So, I never worried about that considering the entire package you get with Piazza. But, that said moving to first will get him in more games, keep him healthier and probably increase his offense for a few years.

Metsmind
July 2, 2003
Sorry, but his throwing is NOT his only defensive deficiency. He CANNOT handle a throw from the outfield and no longer stays in to make tag plays at the plate. Everytime that happens, that instantly costs runs, not just stolen bases. Anyone who has watched the last 2 seasons can't deny they never saw so many throws get to the screen. Mike was an unreal player in his prime. Simply put, at this point in time he is a lousy catcher.

Keith Niles
July 10, 2003
I am sick of all these idiotic Mets fans who keep knocking Mike Piazza for his failures and weaknesses. Let's remember, it was he {not Vance Wilson and Jason Phillips} who put Flushing back on the baseball map. When the Mets stunk in 2002, he was the only player to put up good numbers {.280 33HR 98RBI}. Since 2000, this franchise has done an atrocious job putting the right pieces around Mike; aka Robbie Alomar, Mo Vaughn, Roger Cedeno, Jeromy Burnitz. No matter what the young players are doing right now, Mike Piazza is still the franchise; and now that Jim Duquette is running the team, he can hopefully put the right pieces around Piazza, along with the young players, that way they can get Mike and the Mets a World Series ring.

Mike Piazza's number one fan
September 16, 2003
Mike Piazza really is a nice guy and an awesome player. I went to a game a few years ago and he started walking up the aisle. He was already 5 steps ahead of me and I shouted "Mike!" and he turned around and signed the piece of paper with the tiny little Met pencil. I was and still am the happiest fan in the world. And I'll also never forget the Met vs Brave game when it was I believe 8-2 in the eighth inning with 2 outs and there was no hope. And all of a sudden everything started to seem possible. 2 men on base it was 9-8 Mets and then.. Mike came up to bat and boom hit a bomber and did that little woosh thing with his arm and it was 12-8 and that was the final score. I love this guy and if the Mets ever get rid of him I don't think I'd be a Mets fan much longer.

Michelle
September 16, 2003
The first time I ever met Mikey was in Houston during the 2001 season. I had driven down with friends for a great week of baseball and we happened to be staying in the same hotel as the Mets. As we entered the lobby to check in, we noticed that Mike and Al Leiter were hanging around. I approached Mikey for an autograph, and we struck up a conversation. I think we must have stood talking for about half an hour. He is really a very cool person. He really seemed interested in what I had to say about the team (for the record, I am neither little nor beautiful, so I know he enjoyed talking to me for ME). Since that day, when ever we happen to run into each other, Mike always gives me a smile and a wave, and often stops for lengthy conversation. He is a wonderful guy and I am proud to call him my friend. He has often said that his goal is to remain a Met until he retires and I truly hope that is the case. Mikey is really high up on my list of baseball's truly nice guys.

flushing flash
September 30, 2003
Well the other night at Shea Stadium those in attendance saw history in the making. Not only was it the final game broadcast by Bob Murphy, but it was the first major league appearance at first base for Mike Piazza.

The very first batter hit a wicked line drive to first that Mike snagged for the out. The next batter hit a ground ball off Pedro Feliciano's leg, who recovered in time to throw to Mike for the out. The third batter grounded sharply to Ty Wigginton, who made a nice stop and threw to Mike to end the inning.

I don't know if the Elias Sports Bureau keeps records on this, but I'm willing to bet that no other player ever made all three putouts in his first inning at a new position.

Shari
October 11, 2003
I used to really love Mike, but then I heard that one of the police officers that was stationed in the Mets dug-out had asked him for an autograph after the game for his little son who was a big fan. Mike said "sure, no problem" and signed it, and then made an effort to find the officer's Captain and reported the guy for asking him for an autograph. What a jack-ass. Being the wife of a Sergeant I was not happy to hear this. Hey Mike these cops are in the dug-out to make sure your 91-million dollar ass is safe-How dare you do something that petty.

Kalyan
November 11, 2003
I was at a game this season at PNC Park (I go to school in Pittsburgh) and I was in line waiting for an autograph from Mike. He went down the line, looked at me (I'm 20, but very young looking) and skipped me. I was shocked, but happy after the game because we won. I was upset at Mike, because he got everyone in the line but me.

Shari
November 15, 2003
I went from being one of his biggest fans to wishing he would be traded, and now it sounds like he will be. All of a sudden the big baby won't play 1st base. Look at the facts Mike-You throw like a girl behind the plate-Mo Vaughn can steal 2nd off of you. The other thing is that it's not a punishment you arrogant ass-it's to save the part of your career that you are one of the all time greats at-HITTING. If you aren't crouched behind the plate for 150+ games you will hit like crazy-look at Jason Phillips and the games he caught as opposed to playing first base, he didn't hit half as well, not to mention do you think you are any better than any of the other all-time great catchers in baseball toward the end of their careers? They all moved to another position at least part time.

murphy
November 15, 2003
Just have to correct flushing flash above. Piazza did not make his major league debut at first base this season. In 1993, Piazza played one game at first base for the Dodgers, recording two putouts.

Barney Beaugareaux
January 5, 2004
Mike is a great player who has had so many big at bats over the past 5 1/2 years for the Mets. His trade was voted as one of the top 20 moments in Mets history. He still has gas in the tank and if all he wants to do is catch the Mets should let him. Don't trade the guy. He is an all time Met and should remain a Met. The homers against Clemmens, Trevor Hoffman, Mullholland, after 9/11, in game 6 against the Braves, plus so many others. He has been huge. Let's smooth over whatever issues there are an let him be a Met. Other players can be disposed of as they get old but not Piazza. He is Mr. Met. Let's hold onto this one can we?

George from Manhattan
January 6, 2004
A few interesting points about Piazza's prospects for the 2004 season.

Gary Carter was a .255-24-105 in '86 (his 13th season) when he caught 132 games and was backed up by Ed Hearn and Barry Lyons. Those numbers - even by today's standards - would rank him as a top 5 catcher in the NL.

Now by contrast, Piazza is only in his 11th season (fully-rested after playing 68 games last year), is the most prolific offensive catcher in history, and is backed up by Vance Wilson and Jason Phillips (who should provide infinitely better options than Hearn and Lyons).

I therefore believe that Piazza has plenty left in the tank to have a terrific 2004 campaign, even catching the majority of the time.

More importantly for any doubters, please note Carter would never ever have knocked in 105 rbi in '86 had he not had Dykstra/Mookie/Backman setting the tables. If Matsui / Reyes are half as good as advertised, I think there should be ample opportunity for Mike to knock in 100+ rbi.

So, when all is said and done, I think one can reasonably assume that Piazza can produce near-'86 Carter numbers (very average compared to his career) which will continue to rank him among the top catchers in the NL.

A few more benchmarks for Carter's numbers are as follows: in 2003, Pudge was a .297-16-85, charles johnson was a .230-20-61 (AT COORS), jason kendall was a .325-6-58, Lo Duca was a .273-7-52. Only Javy Lopez had better numbers and he's now in the AL.

Hoose
February 27, 2004
Since Piazza came to the Mets in 1998, he was inexplicably booed early on, followed by seasons of having both his manhood and his sexual orientation questioned. Yet he handled all of this with class and dignity. He has been compensated handsomely, financially, but compared to some athletes in other cities; he was treated like garbage when one considers the fact that he single handedly returned credibility to a franchise.

JPS
March 7, 2004
I believe it was May 22nd of '98 when the Mets completed the trade for Mike Piazza. I was 11 years old at the time, and my dad and I had tickets to Saturday's game against the Brewers, without knowing Piazza would be on the Mets by then. I had always loved the Mets, but from that point on Mike Piazza became, and remains, my favorite player to ever wear a uniform. I don't really care how the rest of his career goes; no insults can change my opinion of my childhood hero. On that note, I was looking at some old pictures from the 99 and 2000 seasons, and there is such a difference in his demeanor from then to now. It really is unbelievable how different he seems.

1: What happened to the guy with the long hair, sideburns, etc. who couldn't get enough of NY?
2: What happened to the guy who pumped his fist and yelled after hitting that home run against the Braves, capping a 10 run inning?
3: What happened to the guy Robin Ventura made fun of during a Yankee Stadium rain delay?
4: What happened to the guy who lifted the spirits of NY after 9-11 with that home run?
5: What happened to the guy who cried at Shea Stadium following 9-11?
6: What happened to the guy that reporters wrote glowingly about, calling him the most approachable star in the game?
7: What happened to the guy who jumped around the field like a kid after the Mets won the NLCS?

I don't think I've seen Mike Piazza look happy since the 2002 season. What changed? He seems like a different person and player. I hope that he comes back, and we see some of the old Mike Piazza this year. We need him.

David
April 30, 2004
I believe Piazza is a problem. He ties up a lot of $$$ with his contract, he is a liability on the bases and in the field, he has put himself ahead of his team with this absurb pursuit of some arcane 'record', he fails in the clutch more often than people want to believe, and on and on. He operates under another set of rules, it appears, and he is so coddled by the media it is ridiculous. (He might as well be Mark Messier!) To listen to Fran Healy and Ted Robinson coo over him is nauseating. Yeah, no doubt, he is awesome to watch when he is in a 'zone' but he is definately on a down. And maybe it's just me, but whenever there is a 'moment' where something is needed he seems to fail.

I have said this for three years now. This team would be best served if they dealt him to a Baltimore or a Boston. This way he can simply DH. He would probably revitalize and extend his career by doing this and the Mets could finally move on and bring in some youth. But since it's MIKE PIAZZA, oh lord!

Mike
May 28, 2004
Six years after Piazza comes to the Mets, I think we as Mets fans take him for granted sometimes. We have the greatest offensive catcher of all time, and a future hall of famer who could possibly go in as a Met. He is clutch in every sense of the word. Last week in Houston, with the Mets down to their final strike he homers to send the game into extras. Every time he comes up to the plate, there is a chance that something special will happen. He got us a pennant in 2000, and plays 110% every day, and put up awesome numbers the last 7 years. I'm happy now that he's primarily a first basemen, cause he will be in the lineup a lot more. I hope the Mets don't trade him before his contract runs out, and that he gets re-signed and finishes his career and has his 500th home run as a Met.

Joe Figliola
June 7, 2004
A quick thought about the error Mike committed late in the 26 May game against the Phillies: For those of you who are unaware, the Mets were up 3-1 or 3-2 with runners on first and second with one out. Chase Utley of the Phillies SCALDS a HARD ground ball to Mike, who attempts to make the 3-6-3 or 3-6-1 double play to get the Mets out of trouble. Unfortunately, Mike HEAVES the ball into left field for an error that leads to the Amazin's losing the game.

Being a first baseman, I think that Mike's best move would have been to get the sure out at first base. Utley's ball was WHACKED, and a novice first baseman would have been better off taking the easy play. Mike was closer to first base than what he thought. But Mike is a SUPERSTAR and wanted to show he could make the big play at his new position. Turning a 3-6-3 double play is not easy, especially if you are a right-handed throwing first baseman (again, I speak from experience).

It is important for Mike to learn how to CRAWL before he WALKS. His intentions were noble; unfortunately, it cost the Mets a game. Give him a little time and he'll be making 3-6-3 double plays with (hopefully) little problem.

Kiwiwriter
July 29, 2004
The numbers are not all in on Piazza, so it's difficult to figure out where he'll stand on the all- time polls, but he certainly will go down as one of the greatest-hitting catchers of all time.

He should go into Cooperstown as a Met and have his No. 31 retired.

My favorite take on him is how he reacted to the 1999 NLCS disaster. He left the stadium in Atlanta, hopped into his van, and just went for a drive. And the drive lasted several weeks. He just drove around Florida, then back into Georgia, and through Alabama and Mississippi, watching sunrises, eating at truck stops, until he had overcome the emotional ordeal of losing to the Atlanta Braves. Just like that. I guess he had a fistful of credit cards in his wallet to pay for it.

Then he talked about the trip and the emotional ordeal to the New York Times. That showed me that it's not just about money to players -- it really is about winning and losing and competing.

He must be very frustrated these days, with the way the team has gone. And his injuries.

Stonewall Jackson
October 11, 2004
I have to say that Kiki is right on. Mike is not about the money. He is all about winning and we are lucky to have him. Sure, he is not the player he once was. All of those years of catching have worn on him. Did you boo Tom Seaver when he was 9-14 with the Mets in 1983 or did you love him? Players decline. We need to remember what he has meant to the Mets and stop all of the bashing!

Jonathan Stern
January 19, 2005
Today is a sad day for many girls... and boys... from the Western World: Mike Piazza has announced that he is getting married. The bride: stunning brunette, Alicia Rikter, former Baywatch babe and Playboy Centerfold. Between Mrs. Benson and the new Mrs. Piazza, well, is it any wonder why major players want to sign with the Mets?

Piazza, matinee idol, greatest-hitting catcher ever, brought style, sparkle, star quality, and even a couple postseasons to Metsville. For a time, he, perhaps more than anyone else, made rooting for the Mets respectable. And given that the Yankees were winning pennant after pennant at the time, we really needed him.

But he is not called The Poser for nothing. Just think of how many more runs and RBIs he would have had had he simply ran it out down the first-base line. And how successful the Mets would have been had his teammates not followed his lead. In fact, we would have beaten the Yanks in the 2000 Subway Series had they not styled so much on the base-paths. I honestly believe that.

And he has no position. He's a catcher by default, although I've heard that he calls a good game. Yeah, it was tough to swallow him making the failed move to 1B the adventure that it was. But, all told, he just couldn't field that position. Or any other. In 1999 and 2000, his deficiencies behind the plate were camoflagued by an awesome infield. Since then, they have been revealed for all the world to see.

Was he really worth $90 million? Well, no ballplayer is. But, when all is said and done, the positives do outweigh the negatives by a considerable margin. I just wish the Mets had not been so damn painful to watch from the Subway Series on. But since Piazza sparked the team like no one else beforehand, and since he seems to have NOT a part of the Leiter/Franco fraternity, I cannot hold him too responsible. At times, I admired him so much that I changed my facial hair whenever he changed his. And his behavior after 9/11 was admirable, as are many of his statements re American society. A flawed superstar, perhaps, but a superstar all the same. One of the select handful of truly likable Mets of all time. I hope he goes into Cooperstown as a Met.

My favorite Piazza memory? At the plate, with Mora on third, final regular game of the 1999 season. Clontz throws a wild pitch. MORA SCORES! Pandemonium on the field and in the stands. And Piazza was so locked in, so deeply focused on his at-bat... that he didn't realize the game was over! It was such a beautiful moment. And I was there! Cheering like a madman and hugging strangers. That's why they play and we watch.

Jonathan Stern
January 20, 2005
Now here's an awful, Piazza-related memory.

I was in Philly the day after Mike's infamous press conference in which he confirmed that, no, he is not gay. The Mets were in the City of Brotherly Love to play the Phils. Leave it to the Philly phans to serenade Piazza with typical, (un)Brotherly Love. And why not? It's a Philly tradition. Like cheesesteaks and water ice. It's something to be admired on some level.

Every time Piazza came to the plate, wolf whistles, taunts, crude and hideous verbal abuse the likes of which no one should ever have to hear anyplace. I'm sorry, but the old "we're just trying to distract him" excuse didn't fly here. This was unacceptable, period. I thought we were more a enlightened society at that point in time.

And then those gross fans in left-field, the ones who are always shown on ESPN wearing masks and dancing around like idiots. Cute, aren't they? They do it because they're passionate fans, not because they want to appear on ESPN. Yeah, right. On this day, they showed their true colors, chanting, "HOMO! HOMO! HOMO! HOMO!" Wow. How utterly creative of them. Bunch of jerks.

Shari
January 22, 2005
Jonathan- There are a limited amount of things when it comes to baseball that we can criticize Piazza for and baserunning in my opinion is certainly not one of them, in fact one thing I always admired about the guy was how he ran out EVERY ground ball he hit even if he was sure it was an out. I never saw him not bust it down the line unless he was nursing an injury which the past two seasons he has been doing a lot of I fully admit. Aside from that I had never seen him not give 100 percent running out a ball.

Jonathan Stern
January 24, 2005
Respectfully, Shari, watch the replays of the Subway Series for all the times that Piazza stands at the plate admiring his home runs... or near home runs. Note also the low number of triples in his career. He's no Rickey Henderson, but he could have had many more than he has. Note the decline in triples in general around MLB, brought about by the likes of Piazza, Sosa, and Bonds. I saw the 1999 video the other day and it was the same thing there.

Don't think that I don't like Piazza. I said that the positives far outweigh the neagtives and that I changed my facial hair whenever he changed his. I feel so incredibly fortunate that he is a Met even if I have one or two reservations. Don't beat me up, Shari. Pweeze!

Here's another favorite Piazza-related memory (I can come up with many): The fans singing him "Happy Birthday" on his birthday in 1998. Was that New York at its best, or what? At the time, Piazza was still figuring out whether he wanted to sign with the Mets. The fans had mercilessly booed him earlier in the season when he was in a slump, but then his bat came around in awesome fashion, and the fans were making amends. Piazza said that the birthday greeting was a large part of his deciding to stay. It also proved to the fans that Piazza is a New York player after all.

Mr. Topps
February 21, 2005
The 2005 season could be Mike's last with the Mets. However, Here are some things to look for from him this year:

1) 22 home runs for 400.

2) 171 hits for 2000.

3) 72 Hits for 1000 as a NY Met.

4) 36 RBI's for second place all time as a NY Met.

If Mike has a good year like a lot of people assume, I don't see why the Mets won't sign him for 2006.

DB
July 11, 2005
I'll admit, Mike Piazza has had his share of big hits with the Mets in his career. Still, the only time I can ever remember him really coming through in the clutch was in that game against Atlanta where he hit a three-run homer to cap a 10-run inning.

Biggest Met Fan in Missouri
September 23, 2005
My feelings about Mike Piazza: I've always liked him, even when he was with the Dodgers. When he was in his prime (could still be, who knows) one of the best opposite field hitters in the game. And anyone can say anything they want about the man, but he has always been given my utmost respect. Accomplished at the plate, though sometimes mediocre on defense, he still in my book is the second greatest catcher of all time (number one being Johnny Bench). I can still see in my mind's eye the way he would watch his homers leave the yard, such a cool thing to see. The acquisition of him back in 98 is one of my most favorite Met memories. I would love to see him in a Met uniform next year, it would only be fitting for Mike and the organization.

Brian Johnson
September 23, 2005
I remeber in his first game as a Met when he was trying to leg out a single he was blowing bubbles as he ran. This was the new saving grace for the Mets and he was blowing bubbles. I was a little worried but he has been one heck of a Met!

jeff d
September 23, 2005
Sometimes we Mets fans can be kind of silly: chanting MVP for Ventura in 99 as his average plummeted and chanting Yankees suck whenever possible. Still, I must give credit to the way we have given Mr. Piazza a curtain call whenever he homers this year. We all know it is his last year and we are just showing our appreciation for all he's done for our team. Great job Met fans.

Mike
September 23, 2005
Greatest moment for me was Mike's three run homer in the ten run inning in 2000 against the braves. I was at that game, and made the mistake of leaving when they were behind eight runs, but I remember going nuts in my car when he hit it out.

Piazza should be the Mets catcher next year. He's proven that although he may not be "the old Mike", he is still a productive hitter. Who's with me? Get the word out on the FAN and elsewhere. Build momentum for the idea and keep this Met icon to be the leader of the 2006 championship team!

5280MetsFan
October 4, 2005
Saw him hit the longest home run ever at Coors Field. 496 ft dead centerfield that almost hit the Rockpile bleachers. Too bad it happened when he played for the Dodgers.

Anthony R
October 4, 2005
What can you say...he was the best NYM hitter on, and off the field. The 2001 homer against the Braves after baseball came back was the most important, and memorable HR in NYC history. (Sorry Bobby and Ralph.) Thank you for all the great memories. There will never be another like him.

Karim
November 6, 2005
In 1998, Mike Piazza came to the Mets, and revitalized a moribund offense, leading the Mets to the World Series in 2000. And in the process, he built a career that I am sure even exceeded his wildest dreams, one worthy of a first-ballot Hall-of- Fame candidacy. My one regret is that I never got a chance to see him play in Shea Stadium. Thanks, Mike, for the memories.

Nick Pauly
November 6, 2005
On October 1st I promised I wouldn't cry. I didn't live up to that promise. It was one of the most emotional times I had ever witnessed to see the video tribute and watch him bow in front of all of the fans. I only wish Willie Randolph had given him that one last at bat instead of taking him out on the field.

Yorkwriter
December 1, 2005
Greatest everyday player the Mets ever had, period. A class act off the field as well. Let's hope they retire number 31 the minute Piazza hangs them up for good. The organization should also do everything they can to offer him a position with the club (perhaps on the new Mets network) after his playing days are over.

Any chance they'll offer him a platoon with Castro for '06?

Mark S. Corrao
December 23, 2005
On father's Day 1999 at Shea, the Mets were playing the Yankees, and were off to a bad start, I think we were down 5-0 after 4 innings, I had my 8 year old daughter at the game with me. Mike hit an absolute bomb, a 3 run homer in the 8th inning to tie the game. The Mets won the game in the bottom of the 9th. I remember all those Yankee fans taunting us after the early Yankee lead, they all went home with egg on their faces. My daughter was so excited when Mike hit that homer, it was probably my finest Mets moment.

Joe From Jersey
December 23, 2005
This is a message to Mr. Piazza: Thank you for the 8 years of baseball with the New York Mets. You had to put up with a lot of crap: Rotten Roger Clemens, questions about your defense, your lifestyle, the painful injuries (That groin tear vs the Giants was a tough one), Bobby V., then Art and Willie. I know that you want to play in 2006: I suggest that you play for the Baltimore Orioles. It's in the American League (i.e. the DH), it's a hitter's park, they need good press after the disaster's of Sosa & Palmeiro and the Orioles visit Shea on Father's Day Weekend 2006. If you do sign with the Orioles; I'll make sure come hell or highwater to get seats to one of those 3 games when they go on sale.

LenDog
December 29, 2005
Mike Piazza was one of the four or five Mets my Dad really loved during the 40+ years he followed the team. He was one of my favorites too.

How can you pick one favorite Piazza moment? I love the 3-run HR in the big comeback (regular season) vs. the Braves. First pitch, line drive, out of the park in 2.5 seconds. What a thrill!

However, my vote goes to his 3-run bomb against the Braves in game 6 of 1999 playoffs. I was in a hotel bar in Foster City, CA. Was supposed to be talking to my boss about a promotion but had my eyes on the TV screen. When Piazza hit the bomb, I went crazy, jumping and shouting...heard my boss (a stiff English guy) tell a waitress that I was "embarrassing him." TOUGH!

Also love Piazza for the class he showed in the clemens incidents. (Lower case on purpose.) That yankee thug...ugghhh....

Thanks, Mike...best of luck to you and thanks for being a GREAT NEW YORK MET!

Barb
February 22, 2006
First of all, I join all Met fans in wishing Mike the best of luck in San Diego!! I hate to see him go. I have many memories of Mike, but I will absolutely never forget his final game at Shea on Oct 2. We live up in the Adirondack area and made the 4 hour trip down. It was amazing!! The fans turned it into so much more of a tribute than I think either the Met organization or Mike himself expected. You could see how much Mike appreciated it and was touched by the outpouring of love. There were not too many dry eyes in the house!! And the Rockies are to be commended too for their patience and respect to Mike while waiting for the game to continue.

Chris
March 10, 2006
I may not be the oldest person around but I do remember Mike Piazza very well. I loved when he hit that homer against the Braves in first game after 9/11. I also liked how he kept his cool when Roger Clemens threw that bat at him. I would have busted a cap in that guy, but hey, that's me. Anyway. my memories were great with Piazza. I am sad to see him go but I know it was for the better. He was getting old and the Mets are a rebuilding team. They need younger players so they had to get rid of him. I just hope Lo Duca could be a leader like Piazza was.

Mets2Moon
May 14, 2006
It happened with little fanfare, but on April 26th, Mike Piazza blasted a pitch from Jose Valverde of Arizona deep into the 2nd deck in left field at Petco Park. This was Mike Piazza's 400th career Home Run. As if his Hall of Fame ticket wasn't stamped already.

And yet, all I can think about is John Stearns screaming during the 1st inning of Game 1 of the 2000 NLCS, "HE'S OUT OF THE CAGE! THE MONSTER IS OUT OF THE CAGE! THE MONSTER IS OUT OF THE CAGE! LET'S GO! THE MONSTER IS OUT OF THE CAGE!"

What can you say. Mike was the man. He's still the man. He'll always be the man.

Louie Maz
October 6, 2006
My girlfriend and I went up to Toronto for Mets vs. Blue Jays game at Skydome. Before the game we went into an office building which houses the Hockey Hall of Fame. I was wearing a Piazza Mets shirt and a guy says to me the "real" Piazza is in the magazine/news stand store behind us. I thought he was putting me on but I look in and there is a guy who looks like Mike in there. He's a big guy wearing a fancy suit and sunglasses. We go in I say "Hey Mike." No reply. But I didn't go away. Another "Hey Mike." He looks up and its actually him!

I started rambling on that I didn't want to bother him, but I was a huge fan from NY here to see the game. Would he mind taking a picture with me? He says sure and was so kool about it. Then my girlfriend all of a sudden becomes a big baseball fan and jumps in for a picture too. He laughs and takes another picture.

No one else in the store approached him; they just looked at us. I think they thought we were long lost Italian cousins or something. We exit with him and walk a little.

Now this is a week after the whole Clemmens beaning, before it became the big controversy it did. I asked how he was feeling and if he'd be playing tonight. I told him it was a shame about the whole incident and too bad he couldn't just beat the hell out of him. He laughed and said it's all part of the game. Then I told him how I'd only wear his or Seaver's name on my back and he said he really appreciated that. We said goodbye and that night he hit a grand slam home run at Skydome. I stood up and cheered with my Piazza shirt on and felt like my new friend hit one for me! Thanks for the memories Mike.

Celia
October 12, 2006
There are so many Mike Piazza memories. My favorite and saddest memory was Oct 1, 2005. His last game as a Met at Shea. Even though Mike didnt get a hit that day, I dont think I have ever clapped and rooted so hard at a game. The tribute was wonderful! A few years back my brother had the chance to meet Mike Piazza before a game. About a month later was my birthday. I opened the card my brother gave me and lo and behold Mike signed my birthday card. That is my greatest treasure. How many people can say they got a birthday card from Mike Piazza?

Dalkowski110
October 12, 2006
Mike Piazza will probably go down as the best catcher in Mets history, even better than Gary Carter, IMO. Mike left a lasting impression on the game, and is easily the best National League catcher in fifty years (better than Johnny Bench, as I'd have say Mike is a far more intelligent ballplayer). He was also a class act, and from what I've seen, we haven't forgotten. Even the real loudmouths in the stands screaming insults at every opposing player to come along with San Diego either remained quiet or cheered when Mike came to the plate. 2006 or maybe 2007 will be his last year in baseball, almost certainly. Despite a rag arm and knees that will almost certainly have to be replaced in less than five years, I can name about four or five catchers immediately off my head that I think were poorer to work with. Piazza stayed away from trying to run the ballclub (the whole John Franco thing) and realized his place on the club. Mike may be gone, but whenever the Braves played the Padres (I get TBS), I just turn the channel to see Mike hit against 'em. He hit his homers without steroids, too. Class act and certainly a future Hall of Famer. Just choose a Mets cap on your plaque, Mike!

Andrew Lavan
June 1, 2007
I'm only 17 so I don't know much about the earlier Mets teams but I would have to say that Piazza is the greatest Met of MY generation. Wright and Reyes are up there but 100% that title goes to "The Monster". I think that as soon as Piazza retires the Mets should retire his number. I was there when he broke Carlton Fisk's all time home run mark by catcher. I remember this vividly but to me the greatest Piazza moment came in the 8th inning of the first game back from 9/11. A bomb to dead center to give the Mets the lead and eventually the victory. That was EXACTLY what New York needed. NOT a Yankee World Series victory. (Thank God they lost.)

JerseeJerry
March 27, 2008
Without a doubt single handedly the greatest offensive player in the history of the Mets. The numbers he put up as a Met definitely bear out my point. He did everything asked of him, and even more. The man adapted to New York, and embraced the city like no other. Lustily booed countless times his first season in 1998, he certainly turned around those who said he was part of a bad trade.

Obviously not a natural athlete, Mike showed everyone the guts and drive more talented Mets before him like Strawberry and Gooden refused to. Mike to me was our version of Reggie Jackson. He was going to make the at bat count, each and every time he strode to the plate. He was the catalyst in playoff appearances in both 1999 and 2000, especially after he played target practice for the Yankees "Mr. HGH" during 2000.

Plus who could forget his post 9/11 home run vs. Atlanta?

Mike to me could do no wrong, because he was a genuine person. I always felt that he was like one of the many thousands who flocked to see him play, game in and game out. I will never forget the classy individual he was, nor will I forget the classlessness not only the fans showed his 1st year, but also the classlessness the organization showed when they sent him packing.

Mike, to me you were every bit of not only the NY Mets, but the NY Mets fan as well.

KATIE LOVES MIKE <33
April 15, 2008
My favorite Mike Piazza game of all time is the game right after 9/11. I was only 8 years old but I still remember watching that game on tv to this day. I also love the game on August 8, 2006 when he came back to Shea for the first time. I remember screaming and cheering every time I saw him; it was the greatest game ever! And the next game was awesome too when he hit two homers off of Pedro and he got a curtain call!! It was great. Mike is my favorite player to this day and I just hope he comes back to the Mets for one final season!

Joey Krack
May 20, 2008
Mike just retired today. Awesome player and most importantly an awesome role model. He's one of the last.

Hunter
May 20, 2008
Mike Piazza announced his retirement today. After speaking about the other teams he played for, he had this to say about the Mets:

"But 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."

Mike, you always were and always be a class act. You were a player who pulled up the team and its fans when they were down, both in your athletic abilities and with your personal strengths. I will always remember you as someone who put their all into the Mets, and into New York. Hopefully Cooperstown has enough sense to instate you as a Met in the Hall of Fame, as it seems you and the fans would like.

JetseeJerry
June 5, 2008
Now that Mike has retired let's look at this retrospectively. There will never be another catcher like him ever. EVER!!! The closest player on this current Mets team to Mike would be either David Wright, or Ryan Church. Mike is the ultimate champion, and the ultimate good guy. He never shied away from the interview, win or lose. Never gave an excuse. Never gave less than 100%. Never not wanted the pressure situation. I will always say that he was the greatest Mets player I ever saw play. Including Seaver, Hernandez, Carter, Gooden. He had the greatest line I ever heard: "I call him Larry every time he steps to the plate. Why would I call a grown man 'Chipper'?". I will miss watching him play, and I will be in Cooperstown when he is inducted into the HOF. Ultimately one of the classiest players of all time.

Mark
September 1, 2008
People always talk about how Piazza was not a great defensive catcher. Now he didn't have a great arm, but it seemed as though he worked well with pitchers - calling pitches, etc. And, that is an important part of playing the position. Best wishes Mike!

John, True Blue since '62
September 18, 2008
Here's what has to happen:

Mets: Get on the program and retire #31 once and for all.

Cooperstown: Please put a Mets cap on Mike. He played more games for the Mets and got to his only WS as a Met.

That's all. Do it. Now.

Shickhaus Franks
December 26, 2008
Recently Metal Mike appeared on VH1 Classic's "That Metal Show" that is hosted by his good friend Q- 104.3 "Friday Night Rocks" DJ Eddie Trunk; I always find it interesting when a Mets or ex-Mets player appear on something other than a sports show i.e. when the late 70's-early 80's Mets appeared on "Eight Is Enough". Also, I agree with a lot of fans, #31 needs to be the 1st number retired at the new Citi Field. I still get a lump in my throat when I watch the Shea Goodbye ceremony (I was there) and the grand finale when Piazza and Tom Seaver closed the centerfield fence to the strains of the Beatles "In My Life".

Tony the electrical contractor
June 1, 2009
He used to go to Carmine's Pizza on Graham Avenue in Brooklyn with Ventura. He always signed people's napkins, but only after he finished his pizza...a couple of veggie slices. I eat at Carmine's alot and never see him there anymore.

Steve B.
August 11, 2009
I just wish that Mets management had put a few STAR players around Mike. You can say they had Ventura and Alfonzo, but as usual, they came up short. Just look at their starting outfield in the 2000 Subway Series... Nuff said!

Carmine
May 12, 2010
Hey Mike stop in. I haven't seen you in ages. I named a slice after you. Piazza Slice has artichokes, sun dried tomatoes, black olives on top. Hope to see you soon.

Sha-Le
February 28, 2011
Mike Piazza was my sports idol ever since I started loving baseball and the Mets in 1998 when I was in 2nd grade. I apparently missed the boat on Hundley's two great seasons but with Piazza in NY, it became something else. I knew the team was gonna do big things and they gave up so little!

I was at the Subway Series game in 1999 when Piazza homered off Clemens. It was a fun night. He was adored by the team, the fans, and the city, for he deserved all the credit he got. I have yet to see another catcher hit better and more consistently than him. He never won an MVP or a championship but he came very close to both and he is a first ballot Hall of Famer without question and I will make every effort to be there when he is inducted.

He had a good supporting cast, but deserved better, especially between 2002-2004, when the Mets were simply awful. Art Howe is a bum for having Piazza play first just because he struggled to throw out runners. His defense is underrated. Everyone thought that he was the worst defensively but he always called a good game, and look no further than the 1999 and 2000 Mets seasons for proof. He also could block the plate better than average and he never got credit for that.

All in all, Mike Piazza is the greatest hitter the Mets have ever had and they need to retire #31 asap!

Marilyn
April 27, 2011
When I heard the Mets dealt for Mike on May 22, 1998, I immediately went to Shea and purchased a Sunday plan and also tix for his first game the next day-which just happened to be our wedding anniversary. I knew the team was in for a special run, and he didn't disappoint. So now look forward to his next baseball accomplishment-enshrinement in the HOF in 2014!

Shale
March 9, 2012
@ Marilyn, he will be eligible in January 2013 actually. I hope he gets in first ballot because he deserves it, but if not, it would be simply due to the same treatment Jeff Bagwell is getting because of all the potential steroid allegations. Piazza didn't do anything though so putting him under that label would be quite unfair.

Anyway, I finally met Piazza at an autograph show this past January at the Westchester County Center. Had to pay $150 just to be able to get his autograph, but it was totally worth it because I had tried so much at Shea Stadium back then to get his autograph, but it never happened unfortunately. It was a huge honor for me to meet the player I idolized growing up and right before he got to meet the next person on line, I told him that I would see him at Cooperstown in 2013. He said, "Thank you!" and I cannot wait to see him get inducted. Hopefully, by then, Fred Wilpon will finally realize that some jerseys really do need to get retired and Piazza will receive this honor that he deserves more than any other Met.

Man do I miss those 1999 and 2000 seasons when all my favorite Mets were playing. Those were the good days. I can only hope that future Mets teams attain similar success.

Elerby
May 22, 2012
Mike is one of the all-time great Met players. In 2013, he becomes eligible for the Hall of Fame and I have no doubt that he will be inducted in his first year on the ballot. Coincidentally, with Citi Field hosting the All-Star Game in '13, it would be morally correct that Mike be the National League's honorary captain on that night. What a great scenario it would be with a soon-to-be Hall inductee in that role to represent the hometown team!

Sha-Le
February 26, 2013
Unfortunately, Iron Mike didn't get added to the Hall of Fame this year, but we all know that will happen real soon!

And if anyone hasn't read his autobiography "Long Shot" yet, it's a must-read for not just any Mets fan, but any baseball fan for that matter. You'll learn a lot of stuff about Piazza that you may have never imagined.

Shickhaus Franks
July 16, 2013
Congrats on Metal Mike who is gonna be inducted to the Mets HOF on Sept 29th even though his No. 31 is NOT being retired, which is kind of strange since he left the Mets in 2005, NO ONE has worn that number!!!!

Plus I remember the 2001 All-Star Game in Seattle when he faced Rotten Redneck Roger Clemens for the first time since the infamous "I Thought It Was The Ball" incident during the 2000 Subway World Series and Joe Buck talked up the beaning on July 8, 2000 as well but the at-bat turned out to be totally uneventful since he flied out to right field.









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