As the Baseball Hall of Fame election nears it seems beloved New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza will finally sneak in, and that is outstanding for MLB.
By Aniello Piro
Mike Piazza is in a league of his own when it comes to offensive catchers. He is arguably the greatest hitting catcher to ever step on the diamond, and to keep him out of the hall is disrespectful to him and fans of the game.
The only reason Piazza has not been elected to the hall is due to the fact that he was a power hitter who played in the infamous Steroid Era.
The Steroid Era was one of, if not the darkest time in the history of the sport. With players juicing left and right, it was unsure who, if any of the star players were playing the game naturally.
It turned out that the majority of the big name players were juicing during their tenure in the league, but Piazza never had any hard evidence thrown his direction.
Piazza has never failed a drug test, and has never been proved or connected to taking performance enhancing drugs. He was a big guy that destroyed the baseball. Just because of who he was and how he played the game, is no reason to deny him entry to the hall of fame.
If Piazza played in today’s era or back in the 70s or 80s, he would have been a first ballot Hall of Famer, no questions asked. The only reason he is still waiting for his day to come is simply because of the era he played in, and that is no way to judge a players Hall of Fame credentials.
Piazza was a well rounded player that played the game right. He respected and loved the game of baseball for what it is, and played simply for the love of the game. He was a respected player both on and off the diamond, and a model citizen. These are the type of guys that belong in the Hall of Fame, and will leave a good reputation for the game
“I long for the days when athletes were revered. I want to see the romance return to sports, to see people enjoy the game purely for the game and the players” Mike Piazza once said.
The main reason the writers should put Piazza in the hall is because of what he represents. He was a pure power hitter who played and succeeded in the steroid era while never being convicted or accused of taking PEDs. Letting him in would show that even in the darkest times of the game there were players that played the game right, and were not caught using steroids who were outstanding.
The writers have been hesitant to elect any power hitters from the steroid era to the Hall of Fame. If any exception should be made, it should be for Piazza. And as election day nears it look as if Piazza will finally reach Cooperstown.
According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, Piazza has appeared on 90% of ballots that have been made public. Players must receive at least 75% of the votes to be inducted.
Piazza, in the eyes of many, is a Hall Of Famer. He enjoyed a superb career with many memorable moments. Piazza was a career .308/.377/.545 hitter with 10 Silver Slugger Awards and 12 All-Star selections. He carried the 2000 New York Mets to the World Series and is easily the Mets best power hitter of all time.
Not bad for someone selected in the 62nd round.
His numbers are there, his character is there, and his fans are there to support him. All that is missing is the writer’s votes.
Mike Piazza, the greatest hitting catcher of all-time deserves to be in hall for who he was on and off the field: a well rounded, respected, and great baseball player.
He succeeded and thrived in an era that was known for cheating. Baseball needs to show that even during bad times Piazza was an Amazin’ power hitter who was never convicted of any wrongdoing, even in the court of public opinion.