All-time home run king for catchers
Mike Piazza was known for his powerful bat and he did much of that throughout his entire career. On May 5th, 2004 he added to his future hall-of-fame resume.
At the time Carlton Fisk held the record for most home runs by a catcher with 351 where he spent his twenty-four-year career with the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago White Sox. On April 27th, Piazza hit his third home run of the season which was his 351st as a catcher to tie Fisk’s record and was just one long bomb away from the history books.
With being one away Piazza struggled for the next few games. Following his record-tying home run over the next six games, Piazza went just 5-for-17 at the plate and all he needed to do to break out the slump was to hit that one long ball.
On May 5th, 2004 a Wednesday night the Mets faced off with the San Francisco Giants in the second game of their three-game set at Shea Stadium and all eyes were still on Piazza. The starting pitcher for the Giants was Jerome Williams who came into the game with a 3-1 record and he quickly retired Kazuo Matsui and Todd Ziele in the bottom half of the first inning. The next batter was the man himself, Mike Piazza.
Williams fell behind the count with three balls and one strike and had to put the pitch over the plate to avoid the walk. That next pitch became history when Piazza launched the fifth pitch of the at-bat to deep right field off the scoreboard to give the Mets the early lead and even bigger to make history.
Piazza with his 352nd home run as a catcher became the record holder for most home runs by a catcher and to this day he still holds that record. In his career, he has 427 home runs and 396 of those as a catcher. There labeling him as the greatest hitting catcher of all time.