Mike Piazza to Have No. 31 Retired by Mets: Date, Comments and Reaction

Matt FitzgeraldCorrespondent IIIJanuary 25, 2016

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08:  Mike Piazza appears at The Empire State Building on January 8, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Donna Ward/Getty Images)
Donna Ward/Getty Images

The New York Mets announced Monday that longtime catcher Mike Piazza will have his No. 31 jersey retired by the franchise on July 30.  

Adam Rubin of ESPN.com added that Piazza will be only the fourth uniformed team member in Mets history to have his number retired. Piazza played for the club from 1998-2005.

The 12-time MLB All-Star spoke about the impending number retirement, thanking majority owner Fred Wilpon and COO Jeff Wilpon in particular, per the team's official news release: "It is such a tremendous honor to have my number retired alongside the great Tom Seaver. My time as a Met was truly special and I want to thank Fred, Jeff and the entire organization for this incredible gesture."

MLB Network Radio's Casey Stern was among those who approved of New York's decision:

Piazza spent approximately eight of his 16 seasons with the Mets and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2016.

After enjoying a fine start to his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Piazza settled down in the Big Apple for the majority of his remaining playing days. He wasted little time making a tremendous impact, leading the Mets to a World Series appearance in 2000, where they lost to the New York Yankees.

Because of how tremendous a hitter Piazza was with a career .308 batting average and 427 home runs, his prowess at the plate overshadowed his defense.

Although he wasn't the best at keeping runners in check on the basepaths, other facets of Piazza's game as a catcher were respectable. He was most adept at blocking stray pitches and framing the ball for extra strikes, per FiveThirtyEight's Ben Lindbergh.

On the strength of his unique accomplishments in the batter's box alone Piazza deserved to have his jersey retired. It took until the fourth ballot for his bust to be in Cooperstown, so perhaps it's fitting Piazza will become the fourth Met to have his jersey retired.