Should Mike Piazza be Part of the Next Baseball Hall of Fame Class?

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Former New York Mets Mike Piazza is regarded by many major league baseball insiders and fans alike as one of the best hitting catchers in the history of the game, batting .308 and slugging 427 homers in his career. He also drove in 1335 runs.

Accolades aside, Piazza was one of the best clutch hitters of his time.

His home run against Terry Mulholland on June 30, 2000 capped a historic come back after being down 8-1 in the eighth inning to the Atlanta Braves. And who can forget his momentous game-winning blast against the same team in the eighth inning of the first game back after the Sept. 11 tragedy?mike-piazza-2

It should be enough to put him in the baseball shrine this year.

Piazza currently appears on 86 percent of 39 public Hall of Fame ballots, according to Thibs HOF Tracker, Dec. 22.

To gain entry into Cooperstown, a candidate must appear on 75 percent of the 571 ballots from Baseball Writers Association of America.

But the 1993 National League Rookie of the Year got just 62.2 percent last year, up from his debut. So, it isn’t probable he’ll make it in this year, according to HOF analyst Jay Jaffe.

“Given the likelihood of anywhere from two to four honorees, Piazza isn’t likely to get in this year,” Jaffe said (SI.com, Dec. 9). “But, with Ken Griffey Jr. the only likely first-ballot candidate in 2016, Piazza has a strong chance then, particularly if he inches forward this year. It won’t be the first-ballot entry he deserved, but he’ll get his bronze plaque soon enough.”

To me, he should have been inducted last year. However, the shroud of steroid suspicion still looms over Piazza’s head, denying him entry for the time being. But in due course, the BWAA will come to its senses, and vote the Norristown, Pennsylvania native into the illustrious institution.

For now, Pizza will have to settle for the Mets’ HOF.

Results of the 2015 election will be announced on Tuesday, Jan. 6 on MLB Network and MLB.com.

 

 

About the author

Jerry Del Priore is a veteran freelance sports writer from Brooklyn, New York, who covers a variety of professional, college and high school sports for a number of print and digital publications. In addition, Del Priore is the author of Running Through Roadblocks: Inspirational Stories of Twenty Courageous Athletic Warriors, available on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.

View all articles by Jerry Del Priore
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