Mike Piazza's first memory of Ken Griffey Jr: Getting 'robbed' of a hit
When Mike Piazza and Ken Griffey Jr. were inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sunday, two players with remarkably different starting points ended up in the same hallowed place. While Griffey was the first overall pick with the kind of talent that made his eventual arrival at the podium seem like destiny, Piazza's path was a little different. Drafted in the 62nd round (!) as a favor to his family by Tommy Lasorda (the Draft only goes 40 rounds now), Piazza's chances of even reaching the Major Leagues were slim.
After admitting that the only way he ever thought he'd be at a Cooperstown induction ceremony was by buying a ticket, Piazza turned to Junior.
"About the only thing we have in common as ballplayers is two arms and two legs," the catcher said. "I'll never forget the first time I witnessed your skills. Unfortunately it came at my expense when you robbed me on a ball in the gap in the instructional league early in our careers. I knew at that time professional baseball was going to be very difficult."
Fortunately for Piazza, he would end up hitting plenty of balls that Griffey couldn't rob no matter how hard he tried: