Griffey Jr. & Piazza Hall of Fame – Chuck Barberini

Real Estate Agent Serving Contra Costa County

Barberini Robinson Real Estate Group

Griffey Jr. & Piazza Hall of Fame – Chuck Barberini

As a long time baseball fan, I am very pleased with this year’s inductees. Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza. Two great players that could have not been more different, not only in their careers, but also in the roads that lead them to the Hall of Fame.

When you consider the thinning out process on the path to the major leagues, it really is remarkable. Every city has a little league program and there are many teams for the 6-7 & 8-year-old kids, along the way many of those kids get bored and stop playing and by the time young boys are eighth graders there are only a hand full of teams because so many have dropped out, or in this day and age, moved on to lacrosse. The survivors then move on to high school where the cream starts to rise to the top, of all of the little leaguers that enter the 9th grade only 15-20 players make the freshman team.

By the time a player becomes a senior, there is probably only 8-10 players left playing. This is every high school in every town in the country. The survivors then move on to college where the thinning continues, unless you are one of the very elite players and sign a professional contract right out of High School.

If you are fortunate enough to get signed by one of the 32 professional organizations, you start playing for one of the team’s 6 – 8 minor league affiliates with other survivors, only this time you are with survivors from all over the world. The best move up, surviving the thinning out, surviving injuries, and travel and being away from home and coaches that you don’t get along with and if you survive all of that, you make one of the 32 teams.

You have been the best of the best in little league and high school and college and through the minor leagues and you finally arrive, you make the show, you’ve got it made, or do you? No, now you have to become a regular and earn a position and keep that position year after year while other survivors try to take it away from you. If can do that and do it well and do it long enough, then maybe, you will survive once more and become a member of the Hall of Fame.

Ken Griffey Jr. is a baseball legacy, his dad a professional player and he grew up in and around professional baseball, he was a number one draft choice and starter for the Mariners while still a teenager. He was smoother and graceful, he hit with power and made unbelievable plays in the outfield.
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Piazza-MetsMike Piazza had a dream and worked, he hit every day as a youth in a back yard batting cage, when it snowed, he wrapped his bat in pipe insulation. He was picked in the 62nd round of the draft and didn’t start playing catcher until he was a professional.

Despite the different routes to Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame, these two survivors shared the stage yesterday and achieved what so few do. They will always be remembered along with the legends of the game.

Check out a couple of the links the I have attached on these two Hall of Famers. I really like the two by Grant Brisbee  @mccoveychron …

Let me know what you think, Chuck

Mike Piazza was terrifying and the Dodgers should have kept him
Ken Griffey Jr. was a transcendent motherf**ker
Mike Piazza and Ken Griffey Jr. inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame

Tribune news services

Contact Reporter

Staring out at their families and tens of thousands of fans who hung on every word, Ken

Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza were inducted Sunday into the Baseball Hall of Fame in a ceremony tinged with tears all around.

“I stand up here humbled and overwhelmed,” Griffey said. “I can’t describe how it feels.”

The two became a piece of history on their special day. Griffey, the first pick of the 1987 amateur draft, became the highest pick ever inducted. Piazza, a 62nd-round pick the next year —No. 1,390 — is the lowest pick to enter the Hall of Fame.

Griffey played 22 big-league seasons with the Mariners, Reds and White Sox and was selected on a record 99.32 percent of ballots cast, an affirmation of sorts for his clean performance during baseball’s so-called Steroids Era.

A 13-time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glove Award winner in center field, Griffey hit 630 home runs, sixth all-time, and drove in 1,836 runs. He also was the American League MVP in 1997, drove in at least 100 runs in eight seasons, and won seven Silver Slugger Awards.

Griffey, who fell just three votes shy of being the first unanimous selection, hit 417 of his 630 homers and won all 10 of his Gold Gloves with the Seattle Mariners. He played the first 11 seasons of his career with the Mariners and led them to the playoffs for the first two times in franchise history.

“Thirteen years with the Seattle Mariners, from the day I got drafted, Seattle, Washington, has been a big part of my life,” Griffey said, punctuating the end of his speech by putting a baseball cap on backward as he did throughout his career.

“I’m going to leave you with one thing. In 22 years I learned that one team will treat you the best, and that’s your first team. I’m damn proud to be a Seattle Mariner.”

Dubbed “The Natural” for his effortless excellence at the plate and in center field, Griffey avoided the Hall of Fame until his special weekend because he wanted his first walk through the front doors of the stately building on Main Street to be with his kids, whom he singled out one by one in his 20-minute speech.

“There are two misconceptions about me — I didn’t work hard and everything I did I made look easy,” Griffey said. “Just because I made it look easy doesn’t mean that it was. You don’t become a Hall of Famer by not working, but working day in and day out.”

Griffey’s mom, Birdie, and his father, former Cincinnati Reds star Ken Sr., both cancer survivors and integral to his rise to stardom, were front and center in the first row.

“To my dad, who taught me how to play this game and to my mom, the strongest woman I know,” Junior said. “To have to be mom and dad, she was our biggest fan and our biggest critic. She’s the only woman I know that lives in one house and runs five others.”

Selected in the draft by the Dodgers after Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda, a close friend of Piazza’s father, Vince, put in a good word, Piazza struggled. He briefly quit the game while in the minor leagues, returned and persevered despite a heavy workload as he switched from first base to catcher and teammates criticized his erratic play.

Mom and dad were foremost on his mind, too.

“Dad always dreamed of playing in the major leagues,” said Piazza, just the second Hall of Famer depicted on his plaque wearing a Mets cap, after Tom Seaver in 1992.

“He could not follow that dream because of the realities of life. My father’s faith in me, often greater than my own, is the single most important factor of me being inducted into this Hall of Fame. Thank you dad. We made it, dad. The race is over. Now it’s time to smell the roses.”

Piazza played 16 years with the Dodgers, Marlins, Mets, Padres and Athletics and hit 427 home runs, including a major league record 396 as a catcher. A 12-time All-Star, Piazza won 10 Silver Slugger Awards and finished in the top five of his league’s MVP voting four times.

Perhaps even more impressive, Piazza, a .308 career hitter, posted six seasons with at least 30 home runs, 100 RBIs and a .300 batting average (all other catchers in baseball history combined have posted nine such seasons).

Though the Dodgers gave him his start, Piazza found a home in New York when he was traded to the Mets in May 1998.

Three years later, Piazza became a hero to the hometown fans with perhaps the most notable home run of his career. His two-run shot in the eighth inning at Shea Stadium lifted the Mets to a 3-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves in the first sporting event played in New York after the 9/11 terror attacks.

Piazza paid tribute to that moment.

“To witness the darkest evil of the human heart … will be forever burned in my soul,” Piazza said. “But from tragedy and sorrow came bravery, love, compassion, character and eventual healing.

“Many of you give me praise for the two-run home run in the first game back on Sept. 21st, but the true praise belongs to police, firefighters, first responders that knew that they were going to die, but went forward anyway.”

Attendance was estimated at around 50,000 by the Hall of Fame, tying 1999 for second-most all time.

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Griffey Jr. & Piazza Hall of Fame – Chuck Barberini

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Author: Chuck Barberini

As a professional Realtor for over 15 years, I have lucky enough to work with several companies and many different brokers. I have learned and gained experience through all of my interactions and transactions. I have continued to work diligently to nurture and support my network of clients, both buyers and sellers, Real Estate colleagues, investors and other professionals in related fields. By working on and developing relationships, I have been able to maintain and grow my business through the dramatic ups and downs in the Real Estate market over the past decade. I am, however, more than just a Real Estate professional, I’m also a neighbor, a friend, husband and father. I take a keen interest in people and their well-being, working hard to earn and maintain their trust and respect. My upbringing here in the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as my professional experience, has given me the ability to work easily with a variety of Real Estate clients who have a variety of needs. From helping first-time home-buyers find that special home together, to strategizing with investors to find and secure wealth-building assets, I help navigate and problem-solve the complex processes and negotiations that are inherently part of this industry. I prefer to focus on the relationship rather than just the transaction, believing that a satisfied client will share my name with their friends and colleagues. This approach has helped me expand my local network to include the legal community involved with probate issues. And I am proud to be a preferred agent to a number of professionals in this area.

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