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Mike Piazza fondly recalled his biggest believer Friday.
The Hall of Fame catcher expressed his sorrow following the death of Tommy Lasorda, his first MLB manager and a close family friend. Lasorda, 93, had battled various illnesses in recent years.
“Tommy took a chance on me and went to bat for me time and time again,” Piazza wrote on Twitter. “In a room full of doubters, Tommy was the one person who believed in me.”
At the behest of Lasorda, the godfather of Piazza’s brother, the Dodgers selected Piazza in the 62nd round of the 1988 draft. Piazza beat the odds and became a star, eventually landing with the Mets, where he emerged among the most recognizable players in franchise history.
“[Lasorda] taught me a lot about the game, but most importantly about life,” Piazza wrote. “My love and utmost appreciation for Tommy Lasorda is deeper than baseball. He was an inspiration to so many and I know I am lucky to have had that opportunity to spend so much time with him.”