Wednesday, January 06, 2016

HALL OF FAME! Congrats Mike Piazza! Congrats Ken Griffey Jr.!

This announcement should be of no surprise.  Both Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza are now Hall of Famers!

Since I like to talk about cards I figured I'd share pics of their most sought after rookie cards.  Above is Piazza's 1992 Bowman card, and at the very bottom is Griffey's 1989 Upper Deck card. 

For whatever reason, I have never had the Piazza card in my collection, but I do have a 1989 Salem Dodgers minor league card somewhere in a box.  I'll have to fish that out.  As for the Griffey, I've had more than a few of them over the years.  That card came out during my heyday as a teenage card-dealing entrepreneur, and I bought and sold a small fortune in them.  BTW, Rich Mueller at Sports Collectors Daily notes that the, "Graded Ken Griffey Jr Rookie Card Tally (is) Now Over 100,000."  That's a lot!  On another note, the Griffey rookie is one of the most over-produced cards in the hobby (trust me on this).  Nevertheless, they still sell for a heck of a lot - which tells you a bunch about how popular Junior remains.

Per a Dodger Press Release:
The National Baseball Hall of Fame announced today the election of former Dodger catcher Mike Piazza to the Hall of Fame in voting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Piazza was named on 83.0 percent of voter ballots, surpassing the 75-percent threshold, and will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in ceremonies July 22-25 in Cooperstown, New York.

Piazza will be the 48th player in franchise history to be enshrined in Cooperstown and the first since Pedro Martinez last year.

“Congratulations to Mike, an outstanding ballplayer and a great man,” said Dodger Hall of Fame Manager Tommy Lasorda. “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.”

“Congratulations to Mike Piazza and his family—this is truly a special day for both Mike and the Dodger organization,” said Dodger President and CEO Stan Kasten. “We are very proud of the fact that the best-hitting catcher in baseball history began his Major League career in Los Angeles.”

The 12-time All-Star (1993-2002, 2004-05) compiled a .308 lifetime batting average with 427 home runs and 1,335 RBI in 16 Major League seasons with the Dodgers (1992-98), Marlins (1998), Mets (1998-2005), Padres (2006) and Athletics (2007). Piazza won 10 Silver Slugger Awards during the course of his career, compiling 2,127 hits, 344 doubles, a .377 on-base percentage and a .545 slugging percentage in 1,912 games. He leads all Major League catchers (min. 2000 PA) in home runs and slugging percentage, while ranking among the all-time greats at the position in batting average (2nd), RBI (2nd), on-base percentage (3rd) and hits (4th).

Piazza made his Major League debut on Sept. 1, 1992 and won National League Rookie of the Year the following season, batting .318 in 149 games with Los Angeles to earn an All-Star selection and setting franchise rookie records with 35 home runs and 112 RBI. In seven years with the Dodgers from 1992-98, Piazza batted .331 with 177 home runs and 563 RBI in 726 games and ranks among the all-time Los Angeles leaders (min. 3000 PA) in batting average (1st), on-base percentage (.394, 1st), slugging percentage (.572, 1st), home runs (177, 5th) and RBI (563, 10th).

The Norristown, Pennsylvania, native was selected by the Dodgers in the 62nd round of the 1988 First-Year Player Draft.

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