Mike Piazza to make ballet debut in Miami

Former All-Star catcher Mike Piazza will make his ballet debut in Miami.

Having failed to gain entrance to baseball’s Hall of Fame in his first try, perhaps Mike Piazza now has eyes on a Tony or an Oscar.

Piazza will make his ballet debut as “The Gangster” in Miami City Ballet’s production of George Balanchine’s “Slaughter on Tenth Avenue” on Friday, May 3, at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Miami.

According to the MCB’s press release, Piazza “will not be dancing, leaping or catching ballerinas. But he will be sporting a 1920s-era gangster costume, throwing out a few lines Al Capone-style and then sitting back and watching the stage come alive ….”

Piazza’s 6-year-old daughter Nicoletta is a student at Miami City Ballet School.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun seeing the reaction of my two little girls,” Piazza said in the release. “My oldest daughter is a student at Miami City Ballet School and for her to have the opportunity to see Daddy on stage is my little gift. I’m looking forward to it.”

The MCB release also makes a point to say this will not be Piazza’s first acting experience because “he’s been a spokesman for Pert Shampoo and appeared in the TV sitcom 'Married with Children' and the movie 'Two Weeks Notice.' "

Piazza, 44, is better known as one of baseball’s all-time greatest hitting catchers. He played 16 years for five different teams, including a brief stint with the then-Florida Marlins.

In January, Piazza fell well shy of being elected during his first year of eligibility despite hitting a record 396 career homers as a catcher. (He had 427 home runs overall.) Although never directly linked to steroids or human growth hormone, Piazza’s candidacy apparently suffered from his playing during the Steroid Era.

Charlie McCarthy can be reached at mac1763@bellsouth.net or on Twitter @mccarthy_chas.

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