BBWAA (Baseball Writers' Association of America): Vote to induct Mike Piazza, the greatest hitting catcher of all time, into the hall of fame where he belongs.
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Vote to induct Mike Piazza, the greatest hitting catcher of all time, into the hall of fame where he belongs.
Mike Piazza is an indisputable hall of famer and he is not getting the recognition he deserves. Here is why:
1.) He is the greatest hitting catcher of all time, without question. Here is how he ranks next to some of his nearest competition already in Cooperstown:
Mike Piazza - .308 AVG/427 HR/1335 RBI/.545 SLG
Gary Carter - .262 AVG/324 HR/1225 RBI/.439 SLG
Johnny Bench - .267 AVG/389 HR/ 1376 RBI/.476 SLG
Yogi Berra - .285 AVG/358 HR/1430 RBI/.482 SLG
Piazza has these greats beat in 3 out of the 4 categories. The most recent catcher to be inducted - Gary Carter - doesn't even come close to Piazza's statistics.
(sources: http://www.baseball-almanac.com/hof/hofstca.shtml and http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/p/piazzmi01.shtml)
2.) Piazza's defense was actually better then he got credit for and he was an outstanding receiver. His 23% success rate throwing out runners was below average, but far from a "defensive liability". His fielding percentage of .989 was equal or better then HOFers Carlton Fisk and Yogi Berra. And he made the pitchers who pitched to him better. Pitchers who pitched to him averaged a 3.80 ERA, which was consistently better then the league average. (source http://www.baseballnation.com/2013/1/21/3900126/mike-piazza-hall-fame-defense-glove-throwing-hitting-stats).
3.) Piazza was a classic underdog success story that everyone should root for. He was a 62nd round draft pick, and only even given a CHANCE to play in pro ball because his father had a connection to Tommy Lasorda. He worked his way up from nothing to become a big leaguer, and then to become a superstar.
4.) The allegations of PED use being perpetuated against Piazza by some sports writers are baseless. There is no more evidence to support the notion that Piazza used them then there is that recent HOF inductees Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine did. We've already learned that being a soft tossing pitcher with a slight build doesn't make you any less likely a steroid user then a power hitter with a big build. So any such accusations against Piazza are completely baseless. The FACT is Piazza put together an incredible career at an incredibly physically demanding position. And he did it in an era where NO OTHER catcher even came close to his offensive production. Give him the recognition he deserves by voting him into the baseball Hall of Fame, where he belongs, in 2015.
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