Guilty By Association, Mets Legend Mike Piazza Is Snubbed By Hall Of Fame Voters
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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — None of the 37 players on the Hall of Fame ballot were elected to Cooperstown on Wednesday afternoon.
The 12-time All-Star, who was appearing on the ballot for the first time, received the fourth-most votes with 329. He received 57.8 percent of the votes, well below the 75 percent that is required.
The only players who received more votes than Piazza were Craig Biggio, Jack Morris and Jeff Bagwell.
Players associated with steroid usage and performance-enhancing drugs, such as Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro and Sammy Sosa fell well short of being elected. Piazza has never been linked to PEDs , but many are suspicious that he took drugs during his playing days.
Being guilty by association is what likely cost the man who is widely regarded as the greatest hitting catcher of all-time.
“We hope in the not too distant future that Mike Piazza will take his rightful place in the Baseball Hall of Fame,” Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon said in a statement after the announcement was made. “The statistics he compiled during his career as a catcher were unmatched by anyone in the history of the game. We are optimistic that one day soon Mike‘s plaque, with a Mets cap, will be hanging in Cooperstown where it truly belongs.”
Piazza was a superstar with the Dodgers before being traded to the Mets in 1998, but if and when he is inducted into the Hall he is expected to don a Mets cap.
The 1993 National League Rookie of the Year was a Met from ’98-2005. He won 10 Silver Slugger Awards and was the All-Star Game MVP in 1996.
He also holds the record for most home runs by a catcher with 396.
The Norristown, Pennsylvania native hit over 30 homers nine time and drove in over 100 runs six times. He also batted .300 or better nine times. His most dominant season arguably came in 1997, when he hit .362 with 40 long balls and 124 RBIs.
In his 16-year tenure in the big leagues, the slugger played for the Padres, A’s and Marlins, in addition to the Dodgers and the Mets. He finished his career with 427 dingers, 1,335 RBIs, a .308 batting average and a .377 on-base percentage.
In honor of the legendary catcher, share your favorite Piazza memory in the comments section below…