With their pick in the 62nd Round of the 1988 MLB Amateur Draft, the Los Angeles Dodgers selected Mike Piazza from Miami-Dade College. Mike Piazza has two true rookie cards.
Against All Odds
What makes Piazza’s statistics and achievements remarkable is that he was drafted in the 62nd Round. He was the 1,390th overall pick!
Expectations were not very high for him but he got his foot in the door and made the most of it.
The other remarkable fact about Mike Piazza is, there aren’t too many catchers in the Hall of Fame, he is only the 17th catcher inducted all time.
Piazza is regarded as one of the best offensive catchers in baseball history.
On May 5, 2004, he surpassed Carlton Fisk for the most home runs by a catcher with his 352nd and currently is the all-time leader with 427.
Defensively he was no slouch either, while with the Dodgers he caught two no-hitters one for Ramon Martinez the other for Hideo Nomo.
In 2000 Piazza had a .997 Fielding Percentage which was tops in the National League that year.
The Most Memorable Moment of Mike Piazza’s Career
September 11, 2001, is perhaps one of the darkest times in American history.
A diabolical terrorist attack led to the hijacking of three airplanes. One of the targets was The World Trade Center, which was the Finacial District located in Manhatten, New York.
The attack caused the Twin Towers to collapse and cause mass destruction. Most unfortunate, thousands of American lives were lost.
The Nation grieved over this heinous act. Under the leadership of President George W. Bush, the directive for Major League Baseball to continue play was given in an effort to help America heal.
On September 21, 2001, 10 days after the Terrorist Attacks of September 11th, Mike Piazza hit a home run in the first professional sporting event in New York City since the attacks, giving the Mets a 3-2 lead over the Braves.
Shea Stadium erupted! That home run lifted the spirits of the people in the city of New York, and to the Nation for that matter.
It ushered in hope, and the determination that we will get through this together. And yes, the Mets won that game 3-2.
Career Stats & Accomplishments
Mike Piazza played in the MLB for 16yrs. 1998 season can be considered that one crazy year in Piazza’s career.
He started the season with the Dodgers where he played 37 games, then he was traded to the Florida Marlins for 5 games, then traded again to the New York Mets where he played in 109 games to finish the season.
Piazza also had a 1-year stint with the Padres and a final year with the Oakland A’s before retiring in 2007.
Games 1,912 | At Bats 6,911 | Hits 2,127 | Home Runs 427 | Batting Average .308 | RBI 1,335.
- 1993 NL Rookie of the Year
- 12x All-Star
- 1996 All-Star MVP
- 10x Silver Slugger
- 2016 Hall of Fame Induction
In February 2014 Mike Piazza released an autobiography, entitled Long Shot.
Mike Piazza True Rookie Cards
1992 Bowman, #461 (RC)
1992 Bowman is a 705 card set released in a single series. Bowman really stepped up and offered collectors to this point, their best modern-day release.
You could consider this set to be a benchmark product of the 1990s. At the heart of the “mass-produced era,” Topps opted to do something different.
They printed their Bowman set to order, meaning order forms were sent to hobby shops, those forms were collected then printers ran to fulfill orders.
This approach cut production runs which equates to hobby gold. The set is loaded with rookie cards of Hall of Famers most of which are dressed in some pretty corny street clothes.
But not the Mike Piazza rookie card pictured here, it’s one of the most eye-appealing cards in the hobby.
1992 Fleer Update, #U92 (RC)
1992 Fleer Update is a 132 card factory set that was available only at hobby shops. Due to poor sales of previous Update sets, Fleer decided to utilize the print-to-order concept.
It’s considered an Update set so it mimics the 1992 Fleer product exactly, except for the U-prefix numbering.
Acceptions were made to consider this one as a true Mike Piazza rookie card. Hobby standards say, “rookie cards must come in pack form and distributed Nationally.”
However, since Fleer didn’t include him in their original release hobby publications and collectors viewed this one as a True RC as well.
If you would like to learn more about the topic of Rookie Cards check out this post here The 10 Commandments of the Rookie Card.
Happy Collecting Collectors,
Learn. Collect. Enjoy.