NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mike Piazza, considered by many to be Major League Baseball’s greatest hitting catcher, has come up short in Hall of Fame voting for the second straight year.
Piazza was named on 62.2 percent of the ballots (355 of 571), well shy of the 75 percent needed for induction. The New York Mets great received 57.8 percent in his first year of eligibility in 2013.
“On behalf of the organization and our fans, Mike is a true Hall of Famer,” Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon said in a statement. “We proudly display his plaque in the Mets Hall of Fame, and we’re hopeful that he’ll soon have one hanging in Cooperstown.”
The Baseball Writers’ Association Of America announced its results on Wednesday. Heading to the Hall in 2014 are former Atlanta Braves teammates Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, and Chicago White Sox slugger Frank Thomas. They’ll join expansion era committee inductees Joe Torre, Bobby Cox and Tony La Russa.
Craig Biggio, who had 3,060 hits in 20 years with the Houston Astros, fell two votes short (74.8 percent).
Piazza’s candidacy has likely been hurt by the Steroids Era, even though the case against him has consisted of little more than whispers, speculation and apparent bacne. Last year, former Mets general manager Steve Phillips called his snubbing “a travesty.”
Piazza has denied using banned steroids.
“I just don’t understand what part of ‘no’ people don’t understand,” Piazza told WFAN radio last February. “I guess it’s just something that, unfortunately, is a black mark on the game. And I hate the fact that it happened in the game because I’ll always love the game. It’s given me everything.”
Piazza had 427 career home runs, including a record 396 as a catcher. He batted .308 with 1,335 RBIs in 16 seasons mostly with the Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers.
Piazza was famously taken by the Dodgers in the 62nd round of the 1988 draft. He was traded to the Marlins in 1998, and then flipped to the Mets after just five games. He finished his career with one-year stints in San Diego (2006) and Oakland (’07).
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