Since there are so many stories focusing on the negative aspects of many athletes lately, I thought I would submit a more positive story.
Mike Piazza will be a first ballot Hall of Famer. He has broken the HR record for catchers, has a .313 career batting average, and driven in over 1200 runs. His defense has always been poor, but when it comes to getting in the Hall, his offensive numbers for his position are not matched by anyone.
Piazza began the year batting cleanup for the Mets. This past week, he dropped as low as 7th in the order and probably will not make it much higher than 6th in the batting order the rest of the season. In a city where every action is covered by the media, this has been a very quiet development in NY. Piazza is playing for a rookie manager on a team that has gone through several periods where they have struggled to score runs. He has never complained publicly once about his role with the team. He has actually seemed to be more productive batting in the 6th spot.
The New York fans have been known to “boo’” their superstars when they are not producing. Over the past month, the fans have cheered until Piazza has come out for a curtain call for every HR he has hit. I don’t know if a .267 Avg., 14 HR’s and 54 RBI’s (at this point of the season so far) will land Piazza a DH job next year. With all of the egotistical players in sports today, it is nice to see some athletes actually will do what it takes to help their team win.