Long Shot

Long Shot


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Long Shot by Mike Piazza

In this New York Times bestselling autobiography, baseball legend Mike Piazza takes readers into his exceptional and storied career—from the rumors and controversies to his proudest achievements.

In this remarkably candid autobiography, superstar Mike Piazza takes readers inside his life and career to show what it takes to make it to the major leagues and to stay on top.

Piazza was drafted in the sixty-second round of the 1988 MLB draft, a courtesy pick because of a family connection to Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda. No one expected Mike Piazza to play in the major leagues except Mike and his dad—not even the Dodgers. But with talent, determination, and a formidable work ethic, long shot Piazza learned the demanding position of catcher and not only made it to the majors, he became one of the great players in the history of the game.

With resolute honesty Piazza addresses the issues that swirled about him during his career: the rumor that he was gay, the infamous bat-throwing incident with Roger Clemens, and the accusations of steroid use that plagued nearly every power hitter of his era. But above all, Long Shot is the story of a superstar who rose to the top through his talent and his deep drive to succeed.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781439150238
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 02/18/2014
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 418,133
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 9.00(h) x 2.00(d)

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). The author of Intangiball: The Subtle Things That Win Baseball Games, he lives in New Richmond, Ohio.

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Long Shot 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
bookladygran More than 1 year ago
With a heavy emphasis (of course) on baseball details, this book gives many Insights into Mike Piazza and how he views the phases of his life in that game.  Having been a Met fan since the 1969 World Series,  I have great appreciation for those wonderful years when Piazza was in NY and gave us much to cheer about.  The writing was polished and professional, yet still gave the impression of being personal and in Piazza's own words.  I enjoyed reading about his successes, regrets, and growth as a player and as a person.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
great read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Chapter Nineteen,  one of the most moving chapters of any book I have read.    The essence of New York,  The Met's,  the fans,  the patriotism.   Thank you Mike for sharing with your many loyal fans.  We miss you!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MinTwinsNY More than 1 year ago
Rating:   4 of 5 stars (very good) Review: Baseball fans have heard the story: 62nd round draft pick, who was chosen by a well-known major league manager as a favor to the player’s father. Worked his way up to the big leagues where he became one of the best hitting catchers in the game. Mike Piazza shares his thoughts on these topics and a lot more in this memoir of his life and career that was fun to read, and at the same time it evoked a lot of reaction for his comments and viewpoints on many issues and people that affected him personally. The first impression I had when reading this book, no matter at what point in his life or career he was describing, was that he was being himself and honest.  It didn’t seem to matter to him if someone would be upset or offended by his comments; he wrote what he felt about the topic.  This was especially telling when he talked about his bitter contract negotiations and subsequent trade from the team that drafted him, the Los Angeles Dodgers. He blamed many others for the situation, including broadcaster Vin Scully, a beloved icon in Los Angeles. He blamed the Dodgers’ ownership, fans, and anyone else that he could except himself.  He had the on-field statistics to back him up for his position in the negotiations, but even to this day, it doesn’t seem that he fully understood why some people would not look upon this situation favorably.   While this was the most notable example of Piazza being critical about others, it wasn’t the only one.  When he ended up in New York playing for the Mets he was critical of many of their moves as well.  Whether the reader believes the criticism is justified or not, Piazza’s style of writing and the items he chooses to discuss can rub many readers the wrong way. However, it is also obvious that he is being honest with his opinion and because of that I thought the book was one to enjoy, even if the reader disagrees or will react with anger to some of the comments. The tone he sets also comes across as defensive, especially when addressing topics such as performance enhancing drugs, the feud between himself and Roger Clemens and the aforementioned departure from Los Angeles.  Whether he was explaining why he was taking “andro” (a legal substance at the time and the one that was famously found in Mark McGuire’s locker in 1998), telling why he would not react differently to Clemens beaning him and then throwing a broken bat piece at him in the World Series, or even when trying to explain the rumors in New York that he was a homosexual, he comes across as overly defensive.  He is honest, he doesn’t pull punches, but it felt like he was trying too hard to win over the reader’s mind.   That wasn’t necessary in my opinion.  The honesty was refreshing – that was all that was needed.  Some of his stories can be quite touching. One in which I thought was really good was also my favorite one in the book and that was when Ted Williams came to his house and watched Piazza takes some cuts in the backyard.  Williams, who always had a keen eye for hitting, felt that Piazza would be a great hitter someday. That prediction did turn out to be true.  So given all this, I still felt the book was an enjoyable read even if by the end of it, the aura he left in my mind of his career was a little tarnished because of his attitudes. That doesn’t take away his on-field accomplishments, nor does it take away from my opinion of the book, which certainly is one to read if you are interested in learning more about him.  It was an enjoyable and entertaining read, and one that will surely leaving you wanting to talk about it with anyone else who read it or follows baseball.  Did I skim? No.   Pace of the book:   It reads fairly quickly as Piazza takes the reader throughout all the important events and stories of his life and career, from childhood to the end of his playing career. There isn’t a lot after that except for his opinion on a few baseball topics in the epilogue. Do I recommend?   Fans of Piazza and the Mets will enjoy this book.  Dodger fans may not take kindly to some of his remarks, however.  If the reader was not a fan of Piazza or looks poorly upon any player who is controversial, this is not a book for him or her. Otherwise, I do recommend it to all baseball fans, regardless of team loyalty. Book Format Read: Hardcover
JimRGill2012 More than 1 year ago
During Mike Piazza’s years with the Mets (1998-2005), I loved the guy. I was a HUGE Piazza fan, so much so that at one point, I was seriously considering getting a tattoo of his uniform number, 31. The beanball that Roger Clemens threw at him in 2000, which cost Piazza an appearance in the All-Star Game that year, and the Subway Series that year—during which Clemens inexplicably threw a bat shard at Piazza, claiming he thought it was the ball—roused my indignation. I still believe that Clemens is the biggest jerk to ever don a major league uniform. But I never thought I would consider Piazza to be a kind of a jerk—until I read his autobiography. He calls the book “Long Shot,” and in the epilogue, he mentions his fervent hope that his story will serve as an inspiration to his readers. He spends much of the book, however, whining and complaining about how unfair he was treated throughout his major league career, and he misses no opportunity to demonize everyone who (in his perception) slighted him in the least. His father loom over Piazza’s story—indeed, he dominates the guy’s life—so comprehensively that it’s impossible to conceive of Piazza’s career if his father hadn’t been there to pave the way (and in some cases bully people) for Piazza’s opportunities. Tommy Lasorda—although he is not literally Piazza’s godfather—played that role for him, negotiating opportunities for Piazza and making sure that he got what he wanted. But Lasorda, along with many other teammates and acquaintances of Piazza’s, didn’t even attend the guy’s wedding. As Piazza admits, despite his seventeen years in the majors, only two of his teammates chose to attend his wedding. He also admits to being a “brat” for almost the entire time he was in the majors. Throughout this book, he asserts that he wasn’t a good teammate and that he was fairly selfish—and he recites his achievements at random moments, citing the length of certain homeruns and rattling off statistics that admittedly put him among the game’s elites. But Piazza doesn’t seem to understand that the way to make yourself look good in your autobiography is not to simply brag about your numbers and enumerate your various accomplishments—and you certainly don’t impress anyone by repeatedly expressing your bitterness over never being named MVP or claiming that you’re the target of some widespread conspiracy among Latino players. I learned a lot about Piazza the man—his fondness for heavy metal music, his abstinence during much of his young adulthood, his devotion to his Catholic faith, and his conservative political beliefs (which should not have come as a surprise to me—did I really think that a multi-millionaire who held a press conference to proclaim his heterosexuality would be a liberal?). Ultimately, Piazza comes across as a disgruntled brat, despite his claim, in the email that announced his retirement, that he was grateful for his amazing journey through the big leagues. Before I read the book, I was a huge Piazza fan. My fanaticism is considerably tempered now. I will be forever grateful that he played the majority of his career with the Mets, and I will cherish all of the great memories he created on the diamond. But Piazza the man? Not so much.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As much as I like Mike Piazza his book is hard to read cause it's badly written.