Thanks to the news that New York Mets legend Mike Piazza is on the newest Hall of Fame ballot, we ponder his chances this third time.
By Aniello Piro
With Hall of Fame inductions right around the corner, there is one man on the ballot this year that has been left in baseball purgatory for too long. That man is #31 Mike Piazza the best hitting catcher to play the game of baseball.
This year will be Piazza’s third go around in attempting to gain the 75% majority vote to enter the Baseball Hall of Fame. He fell short in last year’s vote gaining 69.9%. Historically, 21-of-22 who received 69% of the votes have at least broke the 75% mark the following year via Adam Rubin of ESPN.
The biggest reason, aside from his numbers, that Piazza can get in this year is the lack of talent on the ballot. Aside from Ken Griffey Jr., there are no real contenders which substantially boosts Piazza’s chances of getting more votes.
For a full list of everyone on the 2015 HOF ballot, click here.
— Baseball Tonight (@BBTN) November 9, 2015
In addition, Piazza has made strides each year toward the 75% threshold. In his first year of eligibility Mike received a percentage of 57.8%. The following year he received a percentage of 69.9% and now is only five percent away from reaching Cooperstown.
As far as PEDs are concerned, there is no connection at all to Piazza and the use of illegal steroids. The thing baseball fans and hall of fame voters need to understand is that Piazza was a big guy naturally.
Ever since he made his professional debut he was a big framed, strong guy. This did not change over his playing career. While coming through the farm system Piazza was regarded as a guy that hit for extraordinary power, which proved to be true. At no point in his career did he go from a toothpick to a giant, like Barry Bonds for example.
My personal belief is that as long as there is not connection whatsoever to a player and the use of steroids, he should be allowed into the Hall of Fame, regardless of the era he played in.
He played in the “PED” era, but was elected into the Hall of Fame for his offensive numbers, mainly his 3,000 plus hits.
Derek Jeter is another perfect case and point. Jeter played in the “PED” era and there is no doubt in my mind that he will be a first ballot Hall of Famer. But just because he was not a home run power type of hitter does not mean he is any different than Piazza as far as credentials and achievements are concerned.
My point is this: Just because Piazza was a monster at the plate and was a naturally built guy who hit a ton of home runs, does not mean he used or had an affiliation with PEDs.
Finally, the last and biggest area a player should be judged on, is his numbers, and Piazza has good enough numbers to be in the hall by a landslide. During his 16-year professional career, Piazza hit .308/.377/.545 with 427 HR, 1,335 RBI, and owned an OPS of .922. He leads all catchers in home runs, OPS, and slugging percentage. He also owned a WAR (wins above replacement) of 66.8 the highest among all catchers (FanGraphs). So, based off his numbers he is the best hitting catcher ever to play the game of baseball.
The people that have a say in the Hall of During his 16-year professional career, Piazza hit .308/.377/.545 with 427 HR, 1,335 RBI, and owned an OPS of .922.
Fame voters are trying to protect the game’s integrity, we get that. However, not allowing Mike Piazza, the greatest hitting catcher ever in the hall, you’re just destroying and hurting the hall for what it is and what it stands for. Bottom line is if the best catcher to swing a bat does not get to punch their ticket to Cooperstown, then who will?
Does Mike Piazza deserve a spot in Cooperstown? Absolutely, no doubt in my mind, 100% YES. Mike Piazza is more than deserving of a spot in the Hall of Fame.
[su_button url=”https://elitesportsny.com/2015/11/11/matt-harvey-dark-knight-found-new-sidekick/” target=”blank” background=”#000080″ size=”10″ wide=”yes” radius=”0″]NEXT: Matt Harvey Has A New Girlfriend, And She’s Stunning[/su_button]