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2016 MLB Hall of Fame Class Inducted

Hall of Fame Jeremy Del Rio via


Hall of Fame

Mike Piazza and Ken Griffey Jr. make up the 2016 Hall of Fame class

Mike Piazza and Ken Griffey Jr. were formally inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame on Sunday. These inductees took two totally different paths to Cooperstown. Griffey, who was a number 1 overall pick in 1987, became the highest draft pick ever to be inducted into the hall. On the flip side, Piazza became the lowest draft pick to be inducted at 1,390th overall in 1988.


Mike Piazza

Hall of Fame

Piazza was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1988. He was drafted as a favor to his father Vince from Tommy Lasorda. It was even Tommy who suggested that the young Piazza change positions from a first baseman to catcher. Looking back now, it seems to have been solid advice as many believe that Piazza is the best hitting catcher to play the game.

The Hall of Famer ended up with 427 career home runs; 396 as a catcher (most all-time). Piazza is most remembered for his iconic home run at Shay Stadium ten days after the 9/11 attacks. The moment was so memorable that Piazza’s plague mentions the unforgettable moment.

Piazza who retired as a 12-time All-Star, a 10-time Sliver Slugger and a member of the New York Mets Hall 0f Fame gave a very emotional speech during his induction. In the 25 minute speech, Piazza touched on just about everyone that had an impact on his life. He showed his appreciation for Mets fans and the Mets organization.

“How can I put into words my love, thanks and appreciation for New York Mets’ fans? You have given me the greatest gift and graciously taken me into your family.”

He also touched on the home run in the first game after 9/11 saying it “helped rally a nation.” Piazza gave praise to all the men and women that lost their lives on 9/11 saying that they deserve the “true praise.”

Piazza honored his father in his speech by thanking him for all he had done for him during his life and career.

“We made it, dad. The race is over. Now it’s time to smell the roses.”

Ken Griffey Jr.

Hall of Fame

“The Kid” was drafted number 1 overall in the 1987 draft by the Seattle Mariners. Unlike Piazza, Griffey was a well-known talent that could have played major league ball at 17. Griffey tallied over 99% of the Hall of Fame vote which is a record. This is a testament to the talent that Griffey had and how well he displayed it on the diamond.

With 630 home runs in his career, Griffey ranks 6th all-time. With his numerous injuries while a member of the Cincinnati Reds, it begs the question if Griffey could have been even better. “Junior” would miss over 400 games due to injury in his career. Still, over his 22 seasons in the majors, he racked up 13 All-Star appearances, 10 Gold Gloves and 7 Silver Slugger Awards.

Many times during his induction speech, Griffey was moved to tears. He talked about all the organizations he had played for but was most moved when he talked about the Mariners.

“Out of my 22 years, I learned that only one team will treat you the best, and that’s your first team. I’m damn proud to be a Seattle Mariner.” 

Griffey thanked his teammates and called Jay Buhner “the greatest teammate I ever had.” Griffey also made sure that people knew that the game was not as easy as he made it look.

“Just because I made it look easy doesn’t mean it was.”

As he ended his speech, Griffey reached under the podium and put a hat on backwards. Griffey is remembered by many baseball fans for wearing his hat backwards so this was a fitting way to end his speech.

The 2016 Hall of Fame class consisted of two players that came from two different situations but ended up in the same place. That place is Cooperstown. Despite their different backgrounds, they are now both enshrined in the MLB Hall of Fame for everyone to see.