Along with Ken Griffey Jr., Mike Piazza was elected to the Hall of Fame on Wednesday. Selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 62nd round of the 1988 draft, Piazza is the lowest-drafted player elected to the Hall of Fame.
Appearing on the ballot for a fourth year, Piazza received 365 of 440 votes (83 percent). Last year he fell short with 69.9 percent.
Players need a minimum of 75 percent to get enshrined at Cooperstown. Piazza enjoyed a successful career with the Dodgers as he established himself as baseball’s premier hitting catcher.
However, a 1998 trade to the then-Florida Marlins strained the relationship between the organization and Hall of Fame Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda’s godson.
The catcher’s time with the Marlins was short-lived — five games — and he was then traded to the New York Mets. In an interview Thursday morning on The Dan Patrick Show, Piazza said he doesn’t harbor any resentment toward the Dodgers:
“Well, I think it’s important to say I have absolutely no animosity or negative feelings towards the Dodgers. That will always be a huge part of my past as far as coming up, they gave me the opportunity. Coming up and going to Spring Training and seeing Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, Roy Campanella, Johhny Rosoboro and Maury Wills, that was not only inspiring but the instruction that I got was huge. We had a falling out and parted ways, and I think both of us were definitely at fault.”
During the Hall of Fame press conference on Thursday afternoon, Piazza confirmed his plaque will be of him wearing a Mets cap. “As much as I loved coming up with the Dodgers and I’ll always cherish my time there, I’m going in as a New York Met,” Piazza said.
As for getting traded by the Dodgers in the wake of failing to agree to a contract extension, Piazza classified the situation as “a combination of egos and bad timing.”
Over parts of seven seasons with the Dodgers, Piazza hit .331/.394/.572 with 177 home runs, 563 RBIs and was a five-time All-Star. In eight years with the Mets, he batted .296/.373/.542 with 220 home runs, 665 RBIs and was named to six more All-Star teams.