Mike Piazza is a picture of 1990's perfection. A few months ago we looked back at his epic Baywatch cameo. Today we have an old commercial for New York Mets tickets featuring Piazza taking advice from New Yorkers. While the commercial was from the early-2000's, but it sent me down a rabbit hole that ended with ALF and long distance calling. Let's go!
So initially, I was wondering if Piazza was the MOST 90's baseball player. He did hit 240 of his 427 career home runs in the 90's. In 1998, when Mark McGwire was chasing Roger Maris, Piazza quietly hit 32 home runs and was traded twice. While McGwire was the one to set the new MLB record for home runs, they both ended up in New York in 1999. Piazza on the Mets and McGwire on Mad About You.
A good-looking guy with incredible hair, Piazza quickly became an ad executive's favorite. He was kind of the face of baseball in advertising as he played in the sport's two biggest markets and endorsed everything from allergy medicine to shampoo.
FOX even used him to promote their new baseball coverage in 1996, having him put on a knight armor mask to show you how metal MLB Baseball on FOX was going to be. If you can't handle FOX at their heavy metal baseball coverage, you don't deserve them at their glow puck. Or something.
And then a year or two later they hit him with a Mac truck.
But that's all small potatoes. Piazza's pitchman career peaked in the early 2000's when he landed the 10-10-220 account. Young people are probably unfamiliar with those numbers in that order, but they were omnipresent in the early aughts. And Piazza was the face of affordable long-distance phone calls. He was teamed with other celebrities like Hulk Hogan, Emmitt Smith and Terry Bradshaw.
But of course, the peak of the peak. The top of the cream of the crop. That was when Piazza and ALF got together. An 80's icon and a 90's kid's favorite baseball player argued the importance of 10-10-220 a court of law and then ruined the life of an old guy who lured a beautiful young woman into a relationship with cheap long-distance calling.
A Baseball Hall of Famer and Television Hall of Famer joining forces is just not fair. It's amazing that cell phone plans ever figured out a way to topple the long-distance calling industry with worse pitchmen and more annoying ads.
Though, 10-10 services do still exist, so maybe they can make a comeback by reuniting Piazza and ALF for a discounted Super Bowl ad next weekend. Stranger things have happened.