Hall Of Fame Debate: Assessing Mike Piazza’s Vote Tally From His Second Ballot
Let me preface this post by saying that I am not a Mike Piazza fan. No, he did not do anything personal to me to make me feel this way, I just never got on board with him. It may be the fact that he played for ‘my team’ for just 5 games back in 1998 or it could be the fact that when with the Mets he crushed ‘my team’ pretty regularly.
While I don’t care for him, I absolutely respect him. His offensive game was unreal, and he was more than fair behind the plate.
It does seem that the BBWAA does not respect him though.
On his first Hall of Fame ballot, Piazza accumulated 329 votes which was good for 57.8% of the vote. And then in 2013, he pulled in 355 votes while earning 62.2% of the vote. I would have given him my vote on both ballots. And I think that he should have been selected for enshrinement in 2013.
This improvement in votes captured shows that Piazza is heading in the right direction. But based on the percentage change from 2012 to 2013, he is still 3-4 years away from getting to the needed 75%.
What is taking so long??
Isn’t Mike Piazza often tagged as the ‘Best Hitting Catcher Of All-Time’???
His offensive numbers are certainly Hall-worthy: .308 batting average, .377 on-base percentage (mostly from the clean-up spot), 2,127 hits, 344 doubles, 427 home runs, 1,048 runs scored, 1,335 RBI, and 3,768 total bases. All of this screams ‘Hall of Fame’. He also raked in six 30/100 seasons and narrowly missed the number during three more seasons. So, his production was strong – and very consistent.
Why the slow collection of votes??
Is it the ‘pretty boy’ image? Is it the lack of superior play behind the plate? The lack of postseason success?
Mike Piazza is a former Rookie Of The Year. He was a 12-time All-Star. He won 10 Silver Slugger Awards during his career. Piazza never won an MVP Award, but he finished in the Top 9 during seven different seasons.
Of all of the eligible offensive players on the ballot, I would select Mike Piazza as a Hall of Famer before any of them. Before Craig Biggio, before Jeff Bagwell, and even before my beloved Tim Raines.
Am I missing something??