Home / Top Story / If Piazza doesn’t wear Mets cap on Hall plaque, blame Boggs

If Piazza doesn’t wear Mets cap on Hall plaque, blame Boggs

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Thursday, January 7, 2016, 10:21 AM

Mike Piazza is mostly known for his Mets career.Keith Torrie/New York Daily News

Mike Piazza is mostly known for his Mets career.

Mike Piazza’s a Met, right?

The Hall of Famer spent most of his career in New York — after starting his career with the Dodgers — and had cups of coffee with the Padres and Athletics (the cup never reached his lips with the Marlins).

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Despite that, Piazza was cagey when asked what cap he’d wear on his Hall of Fame plaque upon his enshrinement in Cooperstown on July 24.

Exported.;CHRIS O’MEARA/AP

Wade Boggs has denied that his contract with the Devil Rays included a bonus if he went into the Hall of Fame wearing a Devil Rays cap.

“I’m like the guy who snuck into Studio 54 — I don’t want to break any rules,” he joked with reporters Wednesday after getting into the Hall of Fame with 83 percent of the vote.

Piazza indicated in his autobiography that he’d like to enter the Hall of Fame as a Met, like Tom Seaver, and everyone will find out at his Thursday press conference.

While it seems that, if the choice was his, Piazza would go in as a Met, it’s not up to him.

Wade Boggs took that privelige away from the players when he, as free agent in 1998, reportedly negotiated a bonus with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays that the team would pay him more if he went into the Hall of Fame wearing their cap. Boggs denied it — and went in with a Red Sox cap in 2005 — but the Hall of Fame took over the cap-picking duties in 2002 — “based on where that player makes his most indelible mark” — and their choices haven’t been without controversy.

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Gary Carter enters the Hall of Fame as an Expo in 2003. MIKE SEGAR/REUTERS

Gary Carter enters the Hall of Fame as an Expo in 2003.

Enlarge The most iconic image of Gary Carter's career is of him leaping into the arms of Jesse Orosco after winning the 1986 World Series with ... the Mets! Paul Benoit/AP

The most iconic image of Gary Carter’s career is of him leaping into the arms of Jesse Orosco after winning the 1986 World Series with … the Mets!

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Gary Carter was the first player affected by the so-called Wade Boggs rule, with the Hall of Fame deciding to put him in as an Expo rather than as a Met.

GARY CARTER

He wanted to go in as an Expo. Then as a Met. Ultimately, he went in wearing a Montreal cap.

“We looked at it from every angle,” then-Hall of Fame president Dale Petroskey said at the time. “We took Gary’s thoughts into consideration. But when you look at it, it’s very clear that Gary Carter was an important part of the history of the Montreal Expos. He had some great years there. He played 1,500 games in Montreal, 600 in New York. He had 1,400 hits in Montreal, 500 in New York. He had 220 home runs in Montreal, about 90 in New York. So, to us, the right decision is the Montreal Expos.”

Carter, who was the first player affected by the so-called Boggs Rule, said during the announcement that he was relieved that the Hall made the choice for him, saying he had a place in his heart for both Montreal and New York.

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While Dawson only played six seasons with the Cubs, he felt strongly that those years cemented his status as a Hall of Famer. JOHN SWART/AP

While Dawson only played six seasons with the Cubs, he felt strongly that those years cemented his status as a Hall of Famer.

Enlarge Andre Dawson publicly expressed his displeasure with the Hall of Fame's decision to induct him as an Expo. ADAM FENSTER/REUTERS

Andre Dawson publicly expressed his displeasure with the Hall of Fame’s decision to induct him as an Expo.

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Andre Dawson is the most vocal player to express his displeasure in entering the Hall of Fame as an Expo.

ANDRE DAWSON

The Hawk wanted to go in as a Cub, but the Hall of Fame decided to put the 400-homer club member in as an Expo after playing 11 seasons with Montreal compared to six with the Cubbies.

“I wanted to tell them what really catapulted me to Hall of Fame status and pretty much what my preference was, but I think their decision had been made. It was a little gut-wrenching for me to hear that, but it’s their decision,” Dawson told Chicago’s ESPN Radio affiliate in 2010.

“I’m disappointed. I can proudly say that because Chicago was my preference.”

He then added in a statement: “I respect the Hall of Fame’s decision to put an Expos logo on my cap, and I understand their responsibility to make sure the logo represents the greatest impact in my career. Cubs fans will always be incredibly important in my heart, and I owe them so much for making my time in Chicago memorable, as did the fans in Montreal, Boston and South Florida, my home. But knowing that I’m on the Hall of Fame team is what’s most important, as it is the highest honor I could imagine.”

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Greg Maddux goes into the Hall of Fame in 2014 with a blank cap. Tim Roske/AP

Greg Maddux goes into the Hall of Fame in 2014 with a blank cap.

Enlarge Greg Maddux is known for his key role in the Braves' run in the '90s. Keith Torrie/New York Daily News

Greg Maddux is known for his key role in the Braves’ run in the ’90s.

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While most associate Greg Maddux as a Brave, he went into the Hall of Fame with a logo-less plaque, citing his years with the Cubs.

GREG MADDUX

Mad Dog was a little more diplomatic upon learning that he’d go in logo-less after essentially splitting his career with the Cubs (10 seasons) and Braves (11).

“My wife Kathy and I grew up in baseball in Chicago, and then we had just an amazing experience in Atlanta with the Braves. It’s impossible for me to choose one of those teams for my Hall of Fame plaque, as the fans of both clubs in each of those cities were so wonderful,” he said upon his induction in 2014.

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Tony La Russa's Hall of Fame plaque features a blank cap, as he had equal success with Oakland and Seattle.Mike Groll/AP

Tony La Russa’s Hall of Fame plaque features a blank cap, as he had equal success with Oakland and Seattle.

“I can’t think of having my Hall of Fame induction without support of both of those fan bases, so, for that reason, the cap on my Hall of Fame plaque will not feature a logo.”

TONY LA RUSSA

The manager won World Series rings in two cities — Oakland and St. Louis — and followed Maddux’s lead in going in with a plain cap.

“The Chicago White Sox gave me my start in the game as a big league manager for my first eight seasons in my 33-year managerial career. In Oakland, we recorded four first-place finishes in 10 years, winning three pennants and a World Series. And in St. Louis, our clubs won three pennants and two titles in 16 years. It’s the totality of the success of each of those three teams that led me to Cooperstown, so I am choosing to not feature a logo so that fans of all clubs can celebrate this honor with me.

RANDY JOHNSON

The Big Unit would’ve — should’ve? — been the first Mariners player to go into the Hall of Fame but instead went in as a Diamondback.

Randy Johnson emerged with the Mariners after beginning his career with the Expos. LM OTERO/AP

Randy Johnson emerged with the Mariners after beginning his career with the Expos.

Enlarge Despite playing fewer seasons with Arizona than Seattle, Randy Johnson enters Cooperstown as a Diamondback. Elsa/Getty Images

Despite playing fewer seasons with Arizona than Seattle, Randy Johnson enters Cooperstown as a Diamondback.

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While Randy Johnson cultivated his indimidating “Big Unit” persona in Seattle, he was a more dominant pitcher with the Diamondbacks.

“I got elected to the Hall of Fame for my body of work,”he told the Seattle Times in 2015. “Seattle was a huge body part of that. I got the bulk of my wins in Seattle. It was really my apprenticeship, if you will.

“But then I came here for seven years and I was pitching at a whole other level. The years I played here (Arizona) were my best years, and I had many more of them. I had to think with my head and my heart. … If I could wear two emblems on my plaque, I would. I can’t.”

While Johnson played more seasons with Seattle, he was more dominant with Arizona, winning four Cy Young Awards and a World Series in eight seasons in the desert.

Tags:
mike piazza ,
wade boggs ,
gary carter ,
andre dawson ,
greg maddux ,
tony la russa ,
randy johnson ,
baseball hall of fame ,
mlb ,
new york mets
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