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Mike Piazza

From Academic Kids

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Mike Piazza in episode 3 of The Apprentice 2, promoting Crest toothpaste in NYC, with competitor Elizabeth

Mike Piazza (born September 4, 1968 in Norristown, Pennsylvania, USA) is a U.S. Major League Baseball player. He is generally recognized as the top-hitting catcher of his era. He is a ten time All-Star. On May 5, 2004, Piazza surpassed Carlton Fisk for most home runs by a catcher with the 352nd of his career.

Piazza was drafted in the 62nd round of the 1988 draft. It is believed that the pick was partly a favor on the part of Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda, who is godfather to one of Piazza's brothers and like Piazza grew up in Norristown. Piazza's major league debut came with the Dodgers in 1992, when he appeared in 21 games. He then won the National League Rookie of the Year Award in 1993.

Piazza's best season was arguably 1997. He finished second in MVP voting. He hit .362, with 40 home runs and 124 runs batted in, an on base percentage of .431 and a slugging percentage of .638.

He played for the Dodgers until a trade to the Florida Marlins in the middle of the 1998 season. Piazza and Todd Zeile went to the Marlins, in return for Gary Sheffield, Charles Johnson, Bobby Bonilla and Jim Eisenreich. The Marlins then sent Piazza one week later to the New York Mets for Preston Wilson, Ed Yarnall, and Geoff Goetz.

Piazza helped the Mets to two consecutive playoff appearances, the second resulting in a five-game World Series loss to the crosstown New York Yankees in 2000.

During the 2004 season, Piazza began to split his time between catching and playing first base.

Piazza appeared on the September 23, 2004 episode of the NBC television program The Apprentice. He was paid $20,000 for a half-hour of work pitching a vanilla-mint flavored Crest toothpaste.

On January 29 2005, at an evening wedding at St Jude's Catholic Church in Miami with 120 guests that included former Mets pitcher Al Leiter and Detroit Tigers catcher Ivan Rodriguez, Piazza married his girlfriend of two years, Alicia Rickter, a Playboy model formerly of the TV show Baywatch.

In a 14-year career, Piazza has batted .313 with 384 home runs, 1,186 RBI, and 17 stolen bases in 1,635 games.

Salary

During the 2005 season, Mike Piazza is the 9th highest paid player at $16,071,429.

External links

Mike was the subject --and source--of a hoax involving the movie Teen Wolf starring Michael J Fox. Mike alleged in an interview with New York Sports Express that he had played the boyfriend of the beautiful blonde. ( whom Fox eventually sleeps with). It worked so well that it even fooled IMDB ( The well respected Internet Movie Database website) who listed him as playing the part of Mick McAlister ( in fact, played by Mark Arnold). IMDB went so far as to display a picture of Piazza.

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