(BEVERLY HILLS, Cal.) - Mike Piazza is calling it quits after a 16-season career in which he became one of the top-hitting catchers in history.
In a statement released yesterday by his agent, Dan Lozano, Piazza said, "I walk away with no regrets. I knew this day was coming, and over the last two years I started to make my peace with it. I gave it my all and left everything on the field."
Piazza, 39, hit .275 with 8 homers and 44 RBIs as a designated hitter for the Oakland Athletics last season, became a free agent and did not re-sign.
Taken by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 62nd round of the 1988 amateur draft at the urging of then-Dodgers manager Tom LaSorda, Piazza was the son of a hometown friend of LaSorda's.
He became a 12-time All-Star, finished with a .308 career average, 427 home runs and 1,335 RBIs for the Dodgers (1992 to 1998), Florida Marlins (1998), Mets (1998 to 2005), San Diego Padres (2006) and Athletics (2007).
Piazza never had a great throwing arm but was praised by pitchers for his game-calling.
But his 396 homers are far and away the most for a major league catcher, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Carlton Fisk is second with 351, followed by Johnny Bench (327) and Yogi Berra (306).
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