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Mike Piazza - Piazza Is Everywhere

brendan vince hit league

Piazza enjoyed his celebrity. His charm off the field landed him cameo appearances as well as several guest appearances on TV shows like Baywatch and Married…with Children. He has also been seen in commercials, notably several for Pert shampoo and 10-10-220. He is known and admired for his drive, as well as his attitude towards life in general. In 1995, he donated $100 for every home run he hit to a fund for all the Dodger Stadium employees who were not paid during the baseball strike.

Piazza was impacted by the September 11th attacks, and after visiting "ground zero" was so touched by the experience he wanted to do something to help. One of the firehouses, Ladder 3, found out about this and hooked him up with the Carroll family. Mike Carroll was a huge fan of Piazza, and was teaching his son Brendan to hit "like Piazza," according to an interview with the Carroll family in Sports Illustrated. Mike Carroll was one of the many New York Fire Fighters who lost his life in the World Trade Center on September 11th. The day before Thanksgiving that year Piazza met with Brendan and his mom, Nancy. Brendan was ecstatic to get to ask his father's favorite player questions about his life. During the barrage of questions Brendan asked if Piazza knew him and his dad were at the game where Roger Clemens hit him in the head with a pitch. It was at that point that Brendan broke down and cried. According to the article in Sports Illustrated Piazza did not move, but rubbed Brendan's shoulders saying, "You'll be alright, buddy, you'll be all-right." He then invited Brendan and his mother back to his place to hang out. He and Brendan played a video football game while Nancy looked on. Nancy noted that "Brendan is hanging out with Mike Piazza, in Mike Piazza's apartment, and Mike thinks it's the funniest thing in the world." She knew her husband Mike would have been ecstatic knowing that Brendan had this opportunity, because he knew what an outstanding person Piazza was. Piazza stated in an interview with Julius Whigham of the Palm Beach Post, "I enjoy the triumph of the human spirit. To see the inspiration of how you come through it … through the challenges and pressures of life and death." It is obvious that Piazza lives this idea, and has truly made an impact on a little boy named Brendan.

Related Biography: Father Vince Piazza

Vince Piazza was a first generation American who became a millionaire. He believed that anything is possible when you put the effort into the job.

Vince dreamed for one of his boys to play in the major leagues. Mike expressed a passion for the game and Vince provided Mike with whatever was necessary for him to succeed. When Mike was passed over by several talent scouts, Vince called on his childhood friend, Tommy Lasorda. He knew that his son was not getting the attention he deserved. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times Vince said, "it was me who gave Michael the tools, but it was Michael who used them." Vince knew that Mike's hard work had paid off when Mike joined the Dodgers in 1992, and later received the Most Valuable Player award for the 1996 All-Star game. In an interview for the Sporting News Vince expressed, "I prayed to the good Lord that he would make my son a big-league ballplayer, but who ever dreamed this? I mean, there's only two professional ballplayers that ever came out of Norristown, PA. One is the manager. The other is my son. And they're on the same ballclub."

Awards and Accomplishments

1986 Broke record for career homeruns at Phoenixville High School
1993 Hit the most home runs for a Major League rookie catcher
1993 Named National League Rookie of the Year
1993-2002 Awarded Silver Slugger award, honoring the best offensive players
1993-2002 Elected to All Star team
1995 Becomes first Dodger to hit more than twenty home runs in first three seasons
1996 Named Major League All-Star MVP
Mike Piazza - Related Biography: Father Vince Piazza [next] [back] Mike Piazza - Catcher If He Can

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