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Long Shot Paperback – February 18, 2014


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (February 18, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439150230
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439150238
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #141,362 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Piazza applies the single-minded drive he showed at the plate to making the case for his legacy. . . . [He] is forthright and often quite funny. . . . Mets fans will find insights, if not solace, in Piazza's account of the team's woes." (Ada Calhoun The New York Times Book Review)

"Mr. Piazza has had one of the stranger and more inspiring careers in baseball history. . . . [Long Shot] explain[s] how this non-prospect blossomed into a legendary hitter." (Tim Marchman The Wall Street Journal)

"Beloved Mets catcher Mike Piazza comes out swinging in a new memoir—confronting rumors about being gay and taking steroids, detailing his romantic home runs and finally setting the score with his hated rival, Roger Clemens." (Michael Gartland and Cynthia R. Fagen The New York Post)

About the Author

Mike Piazza grew up in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, and was chosen by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the sixty-second round of the 1988 Major League Baseball amateur draft. He was National League Rookie of the Year in 1993 and was a twelve-time All-Star selection. He holds the record for most home runs by a catcher (396) and held the record for highest batting average in a season by a catcher (.362) until it was recently broken. He lives with his family in Miami Beach, Florida.

Lonnie Wheeler’s numerous books include collaborations on the autobiographies of Hank Aaron (I Had a Hammer), Bob Gibson (Stranger to the Game), Mike Piazza (Long Shot), a baseball dialogue between Gibson and Reggie Jackson (Sixty Feet, Six Inches), and reflections on a summer at Wrigley Field (Bleachers). He lives in New Richmond, Ohio.

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Customer Reviews

Easy and enjoyable read.
Deb
Mike Piazza was a Great Baseball Player whose star shined in the Big Apple.
Bill Rosenberg
Fans of Piazza and the Mets will enjoy this book.
L. Smith

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Larry Underwood on February 23, 2013
Format: Hardcover
To say Mike Piazza's professional baseball career seemed destined for obscurity is an understatement. After all, he wasn't even selected until the 62nd round of MLB's amatuer draft in 1988, and he may have never been selected at all if his dad wasn't a good friend of Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda. Five years after Lasorda graciously "threw away" that late-round pick for the young catcher from Pennsylvania, the "long shot" Piazza emerged as the NL Rookie of the Year, displaying a remarkable hitting prowess that defined his entire career. A twelve-time All-Star, Piazza was a slugger who specialized in hitting "long shots", retiring with more career home runs (396) than any other catcher in the history of the game.

Defensively, Piazza was below average, rarely throwing anybody out trying to steal a base; however, playing his career during the notorious "Steroids Era", hardly anybody was running anyway. After all, a guy on first base was already in "scoring position" with so many home runs being hit. Piazza addresses the performance enhancing drug issue by flatly denying he ever juiced, and I tend to believe him. After all, his throws from home to second base never seemed to gain any velocity; not a scientific evaluation, but what worked for pitchers should've worked for rag-armed catchers, as well.

Piazza also refutes the "gay rumors", that were circulating during his playing days with the New York Mets; proving that playing in the Big Apple was a challenging endeavor, to say the least. Perhaps his biggest challenge in New York was staying out of harm's way whenever Roger Clemens was on the mound.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the autobiography of Mike Piazza former 12-time Major League Baseball All Star who currently holds the all-time record for most homeruns hit by a catcher in a career (396). The first thing worth pointing out to potential readers is that this book is not a typical run-of-the-mill baseball biography with big printed letters with wide spaces between the sentences and large blank margins to increase the number of pages in a book without increasing the intellectual content. The 347 pages of the story are easily equal to probably 425 or more pages in most books of this type. The writing style comes across as if Mike is talking directly to you with no phony re-interpretation of his thoughts and feelings to make his personal experiences come across more digestible for the everyday fan. In this vein... it is first a little surprising... and I mean pleasantly surprising... that when he discusses his childhood he does not camouflage his childlike exuberance for anything, whether it's his favorite snacks... favorite music... or his love of baseball... and his family.

His Father, Vince played an unbelievable roll in Mike's love for and growth within the magical world that is baseball. And here's where even an old-school-baseball-fanatic like myself... learned more about Mike's Dad than I had learned over all the years that Mike has been in the countries spotlight. Being that I was a Mike Piazza fan from the time he was a rookie on the Dodgers... I of course knew that his Dad (Vince) was old friends with Dodger manager and Hall Of Famer, Tommy Lasorda... and that if it wasn't for Tommy, Mike would not have even been drafted in 1988. It's part of the legend that Tommy pushed through a complimentary throw away 62nd round pick on Piazza.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on March 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover
If not for a favor to Los Angeles Dodger manager (and family friend) Tommy Lasorda, Mike Piazza would never have been selected in the 1988 baseball draft. As it was, Piazza was the 1,390th overall pick, chosen in the 62nd round. The odds are long even for a 10th round pick. But the 12-time All-Star tells the story of how hard work and determination paid off in spectacular fashion.

Piazza went on to enjoy a 16-year career, most famously with the Dodgers and New York Mets, with brief stops in Florida, San Diego and Oakland before calling it quits in 2007, with the record for most home runs by a catcher, a .300-plus batting average, and, one would have thought, an express ticket to the Baseball Hall of Fame in the first round.

Unfortunately, Piazza had the misfortune to be on the ballot with Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, and other players whose statistics have been tainted by accusations of using performance-enhancing drugs. There are those who have raised eyebrows over Piazza's accomplishments as well, although there has never been any proof and he emphatically has denied taking banned substances. His career, he claims, is based on an unending desire to succeed, hard work and good nutrition.

That desire was imparted in no small measure from his father Vince, who comes across --- depending on one's point of view --- as the nightmare Little League parent who demands his child get the best treatment, the star status, and who is not above making a good deal of noise when that doesn't happen. It brings to mind another overbearing father who drove his son to the big leagues: John Piersall, whose constant demands for perfection drove Jimmy into madness, which was chronicled in the latter's 1955 autobiography, FEAR STRIKES OUT.
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