Piazza's former teammates John Franco and Edgardo Alfonzo presented him with the plaque. The former catcher was joined by his parents, brother, wife and two daughters during the ceremony. During his acceptance speech, Piazza thanked the organization and the fans for their support during his eight-season career with the Mets.
“I look back now, in retrospect, and realize it was just fate,” Piazza said, speaking to the media before the Mets played the Brewers. “I was just meant to be here. That's that feeling I was talking about. You know, you can talk about agents and numbers and arguments and who's right and who's wrong. But if you look at the big picture of life, you realize that sometimes there's just a destiny in things. And I truly feel it was my plan to be here, in one way, shape or form. It may not have been the most beautiful journey at the time, but it was meant to be.”
A 12-time All-Star, Piazza began his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1992. He joined the Mets in a trade with the Marlins in 1998 after the Dodgers traded him to the Florida team a week earlier.
During his eight seasons with the New York Club the catcher was a seven-time All-Star and batted .296 with 220 home runs and a .915 OPS.
In honor of the occasion, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg dubbed September 29, “Mike Piazza Day.”
Piazza's name first appeared on the Hall of Fame ballot last year. He received 57.8 percent of the vote and was 98 voted shy of the 75 percent needed for induction. It is believed the votes were cast in suspicion surrounding the catcher's generation's use of performance enhancing drugs.
“The Hall of Fame, I truly feel I got a lot of support. It's a process. I'm very proud of my career. Obviously I put my body of work up against anybody, I've said before. But, you know what? I truly feel that the process is a beautiful thing as well.”
Regarding his future in the game, Piazza -- who was the hitting coach for Team Italy at the World Baseball Classic in March -- said he didn't rule anything out.
“I always loved the game,” he said. “I loved the Classic. It was fun. I don't rule anything out.”
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