CRESSKILL, N.J. -- Happy birthday to Mike Piazza, who lived in Cresskill while playing Major League Baseball with the New York Mets.
The newly-inducted baseball hall of famer was born Sept. 4, 1968 and turns age 47 on Sunday.
Piazza lived in Cresskill from 1998-2002, and was raised in Phoenixville, Pa. As a pre-teen, baseball legend Ted Williams came to his backyard to watch him hit and told him not to let anyone change his swing.
The 12-time All-Star recorded 427 home runs with a .308 batting average and 1,335 RBIs.
As catcher with the Mets, he had at least one RBI in 15 consecutive games in 2000, the second-longest RBI streak ever.
He got his start in 1988 with the Dodgers, a connection made between his father Vince and family friend Tommy Lasorda. His major league debut with the Dodgers in 1992 earned him Rookie of the Year and All-Star for the first of ten consecutive seasons.
Upon retirement in 2002, Piazza returned to his home state of Pennsylvania and is with the family business, Piazza Auto Group, and also owns two golf courses there.
He sport is now soccer, and he has a majority ownership stake in the Italian team A.C. Reggiana 1919, and is hands-on, even planning to have his children study there part time.
Piazza and his wife Alicia have three children, Nicolette, 9, Paulina, 6, and Marco, 3.
His Mets jersey, number 31, was retired.
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