Mike Piazza, as he expected, delivered an emotional speech during his Hall of Fame induction on Sunday. He knew tears would come, and they did.
“It was amazing,” Rock DJ and Piazza friend Eddie Trunk said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “He told me when he finished writing it, he called me and he said, ‘I just finished the speech. I think it’s going to be good. I can tell you right now I’m going to cry. I know I’m not going to be able to do it without breaking down.’ I thought he got through it pretty amazingly well. I was so happy for him then. His dad played an enormous role in his career, getting Tommy Lasorda to call in that favor and to pick him.”
Lasorda drafted Piazza, a career .308 hitter, in the 62nd round of the 1988 MLB Draft. Piazza won Rookie of the Year in 1993 and was named to 12 All-Star teams. Perhaps the greatest offensive catcher in history, he hit 427 home runs.
Trunk was happy and relieved that Piazza’s father, Vince, was able to watch his son go into the Hall of Fame.
“His dad had a really serious stroke a couple years ago,” Trunk said. “We didn’t know if he was going to make it. It was one of the reasons why I was going bonkers when they kept snubbing him for the Hall. I was like, if they keep snubbing him and his dad isn’t with us to be able to see his son have that moment, it would have been just horrendous. But thankfully his dad started to make a good recovery and was able to be there and watch that incredibly powerful speech and moment.”
During his speech, Piazza spoke about his father, his mother, his wife, his kids, his faith, and, of course, Mets fans. Trunk, who was one of Piazza’s invited guests, had a ball.
“For him to have invited me and to have given me an opportunity to (go to the Hall of Fame for) first time and to have that sort of access and to go in that way was absolutely surreal to me,” Trunk said. “It was an unbelievable weekend. Going with him as one of his guests, I got to go to this party that was just bizarre beyond words in the best of ways. It was a party in the Hall of Fame with the Hall of Famers that were there. It was bizarre. My whole childhood was flashing in front of me as I walked around. I wasn’t ready for it. I had never been to Cooperstown, so I didn’t know what to expect. It was one of the most insane weekends ever.”