Former MLB catcher Mike Piazza, known best for his years with the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets, fell short of the required 75 percent of votes for entry into the Hall of Fame in his second year of eligibility. Piazza has been denied entry to the Hall of Fame the past two years because many voters believe he used steroids during his career. However, there is no proof that Piazza used illegal PEDs, and his absence from the Hall of Fame is unjust.
Despite speculation, Piazza denied using banned substances in his autobiography “Long Shot.” He never failed a drug test during his career, he wasn’t mentioned in the Mitchell Report and there’s never been any direct link between him and illegal PEDs.
When it comes to Piazza and PEDs, it’s all conjecture. There’s little evidence and absolutely no proof that he used substances that were banned by MLB during his career. The best evidence against Piazza is the presence of acne on his back, which is a common side effect of steroids. But acne on his back is a weak argument as that can also be a result of excessive sweat, which tends to happen when someone spends the entire summer wearing catcher’s gear day after day.
Without the weak argument that Piazza may have used illegal substances, he’s a surefire Hall-of-Famer. Piazza is the best hitting catcher in the history of baseball, and it’s not even close. He hit 427 home runs and was an All-Star on 12 occasions. For his career, he hit .308 and was one of the best hitters of his generation.
There’s no way a player with Piazza’s resume should be left out of the Hall of Fame without good reason, and there’s no good reason. Piazza did get 62 percent of the votes this time around, which is up from the 57 percent he got last year, so there is some hope that he’ll get enough votes a few years down the line. But Piazza should have been a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer, and there’s no reason why he shouldn’t already be a member of the Hall of Fame. The voters that left him off the ballot should be ashamed of the disservice they’ve done to Piazza and the game of baseball.