In his Hall of Fame induction speech Sunday, former Dodgers catcher Mike Piazza said he “will always be truly grateful” to the organization that drafted him and employed him from 1988 to 1998.
Piazza thanked Tommy Lasorda, his first owner, Walter O’Malley, former hitting coach Reggie Smith and former Dodgers teammate Eric Karros, among others he singled out by name.
Lasorda sat in attendance with the other Hall of Famers as Piazza rattled off some fond memories of his first manager:
“You always sent me baseball equipment when I needed it,” Piazza said, “you convinced the Dodgers to draft me, you gave me big league at-bats in spring training when I was a big wide-eyed kid out of junior college, you went to bat for me when I walked away from the game, you convinced the Dodgers to let a very popular catcher in Mike Scioscia go so that a veteran pitching staff would know I was their catcher my rookie year.”
Watch Piazza’s comments here:
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Mike Piazza, who will be inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame this weekend, is the subject of an advertisement placed by the Dodgers in the official magazine being distributed this weekend in Cooperstown, New York:
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The Dodgers drafted Mike Piazza in the 62nd round of the 1988 draft at the recommendation of his brother’s godfather, former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda. (Getty Images)
Mike Piazza, the catcher who was drafted and developed by the Dodgers, was inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday along with Ken Griffey Jr.
Piazza was drafted by the Dodgers in the 62nd round of the 1988 draft and played for the Dodgers from 1992-98.
There were 440 ballots cast this year by the Baseball Writers Association of America. Piazza was named on 365 of them, or 83 percent. A candidate needs to be named on 75 percent of ballots to gain induction.
The Dodgers drafted Piazza at the recommendation of manager Tommy Lasorda, who is the godfather to Piazza’s younger brother, Tommy.
“Congratulations to Mike, an outstanding ballplayer and a great man,” Lasorda said in a statement released by the Dodgers on Wednesday. “I couldn’t be prouder of him after seeing his hard work to go from a 62nd round pick and converted catcher to one of the best ever at his position and now, a fellow Hall of Famer. I’d also like to congratulate Mike’s family and everyone back in Norristown (PA) on this honor.”
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NEW YORK — Ian Thomas and Justin Turner might have had a chip on their shoulder when they took the field Friday for the Dodgers’ 7-2 win over the Mets. The box score is here.
The Dodgers’ team photographer has a couple good Randy Johnson stories that you’ve probably never heard before.
Colleague Tom Hoffarth suggested some possible Angels-Dodgers trades and hypothesized what an AT&T-DirecTV merger means for SportsNet LA.
New Dodgers pitcher Brandon McCarthy believes that Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Mike Piazza belong in the Hall of Fame. (Getty Images)
If you’re sick of hearing about the Hall of Fame and whether known steroid users have a place in it, hang on. A non-voter chimed in today with his 800-word opinion: New Dodgers pitcher Brandon McCarthy
Voicing his support for Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and others, McCarthy writes:
The question of whether performance enhancing drug (PED) users should be allowed to gain admittance to the Hall of Fame is one that I’ve thought a lot about. Admittedly, it’s a mess. The ramifications extend far and wide, but I believe the answer is to admit those players whose on-field accomplishments merit it and leave history to be the final judge and jury. Ultimately, I believe the greatest injustice would be to leave worthy players—some of whom are objectively among the greatest ever—out of the Hall of Fame, when there very well may be guys already enshrined who have used performance enhancing drugs. Who knows how many PED users are already in the Hall of Fame?
Read the full article here.