Mike “The Pizza Man” Piazza is a famous American baseballer who played sixteen seasons in the MLB. In 2016, he was elected to the Hall of Fame, having received over 80% of the available votes. His most famous phrase is “never let your dreams go away.”
Like many baseball players, Mike was under suspicion for alleged anabolic steroid use to improve his sports performance on the baseball field (which did not stop the athlete from being included in Cooperstown).
Let’s try to find out whether or not this is true, that is, whether Mike Piazza used steroids pills throughout his sports career.
A Brief Biography of Mike Piazza and His Career in Sports
The future baseball player was born in the Norristown borough of Pennsylvania on September 4th 1968. Mike’s father was a schoolmate of Tommy Lasorda (Baseball’s current Goodwill Ambassador) who managed the LA Dodgers from 1976 to 1996.
When the Dodgers moved to Philadelphia, his father talked to Lasorda personally, and he allowed the body to watch games from the dugout (a team’s bench area). This affected the boy’s blooming sense of self and he became obsessed with this sports game. Piazza himself did partake in a bit of baseball, preferring to play in the catcher’s position.
In the late eighties, they chose the guy as the last draft for the Dodgers club pull. This may have been because the manager of the Dodgers, Lasorda, was the godfather of Mike’s brother. Therefore, it’s not astonishing that the future famous baseball player began to play in that team.
For four years, the sportsman played in minor leagues, until, in the early 1990s, the club managers decided that Mike was finally ready for games at the highest league — the MLB. The baseball player went on the baseball field as a catcher and hitter 21 times. In the next season, “The Pizza Man” got his first title – “Best Beginner of the Year in Major League Baseball”. Piazza played in the Dodgers for 6 seasons. In 1996, he was chosen second in the Most Valuable Player category behind Ken Caminiti.
In 1998, the sportsman moved to the NY Mets. In that year, Piazza shone, but the Mets still did not get into the playoffs. Mike played for them until the mid-2010s, and with his participation in 1999, for the first time in a long period, the Mets reached the National League final, where they were vanquished by Atlanta.
In 2005, the club refused to enter into a new agreement with him, and Piazza, as a free player, went to the San Diego Padres. In summer 2006, “The Pizza Man” beat his two-thousandth hit in the MLB.
After the season, the player left the team and moved to Buckland Athletic. In the summer of 2007, during a guest match with the LA Angels, a provincial rooter threw a bottle of water at Piazza. The police arrested the hooligan; he was imprisoned for 1 month with a 3-year trial period.
On May 2008, the catcher ended his sports career. The athlete told “the fourth estate” he had discussed all options with his loved one and his sports agent, deciding to finish on a high. He thanked all his fans and said he always felt their support, regardless of where he played: LA, San Diego, Miami or Oakland.
Baseball helped him earn enough funds to start a business. Currently, Piazza owns a network of Honda car dealerships in Philadelphia.
Suspicions of the Use of Anabolic Steroid Drugs
In 2010, Jeff Pearlman released a book called “The Rocket That Fell to Earth”. In that book, there was an interview with one anonymous player who played against Mike. He said that it was obvious Mike was taking steroids.
He and his team had watched Mike and noticed that for a while, Piazza was openly lost on the field, but at one point everything changed dramatically and he rapidly increased his performance. When the player was asked to assess the probability of Mike Piazza’s using steroids on a scale of 1 to 10, he said: “12. Maybe 13.”
Several well-known journalists and sports personalities defended Michael, calling the “evidence” unconvincing and false. According to Sports Illustrated, he wasn’t named in the 2007 Mitchell Report.
Mike Piazza and the Steroid Issue During his Election to the Hall of Fame
In his 2013 memoir “Long Shot”, the illustrious sportsman denied using steroid drugs like Anavar and Andriol. In the summer of 2016, during elections to the Hall of Fame, journalists asked him whether he could comment on speculation concerning anabolic meds. He replied that he had been asked this many times. He said that Major League Baseball carried out the necessary investigations in this regard and it had no questions.
During Jim Rome’s (James Phillip Rome) interview, the interviewer asked Michael: “It was insinuated that you used [PEDs]. How much did that bother you?” and the sportsman said he “tried to rectify it.”
A Positive Outcome for Mike
The 2016 Hall of Fame induction ceremony was held in July in Cooperstown, NYC, and several new plaques were added to the museum. Among these plagues, there was one devoted to Piazza. Therefore, suspicions of “juice” use didn’t prevent him from being deservedly included in the Hall, which cannot be said for other pro baseball players like Gary Sheffield.
Where is he now? According to his Instagram (@mikepiazza31), the baseball veteran smokes cigars, drinks whiskey, and enjoys spending time with his relatives. He has about 60 thousand followers at the time of writing. One user wrote to him: “Cherish the moments Mike.”