By 2006 the Mets were going in a new direction. Piazza was past his prime and he was no longer in their plans. He was never pursued as a free agent by the Mets and signed on with the San Diego Padres. He had a respectful year batting .283 with 22 HRs and 68 RBIs.
On April 20th the Mets came to town in San Diego & Piazza faced off against his old team going hitless in the first two games. In the third game he got two hits including a third inning lead off HR off Pedro Martinez. In his triumphant return to Shea Stadium on August 8th Piazza received a tremendous ovation from the Shea crowd. In his first at bat he struck out against Steve Trachsel& then later got a base hit in his next at bat.
The next day he hit two HRs both solo shots coming off Pedro Martinez in the Mets 4-3 win over the Padres. At season’s end he was released by the Padres and signed on for one final year in Oakland with the Atletics.
In 83 games at Oakland he was mostly used as a DH, batting .275 with 8 HRs 17 doubles & 44 RBIs.
Piazza played in 11 All Star games being elected to 12 all star teams being the top vote getter three times. He has won ten Silver Slugger Awards.
In his career Piazza was the one of the greatest hitting catchers in MLB history. He holds the all time record of 396 HRs while playing in the catcher’s position.
Overall he batted .308 (120th all time) with 427 HRs (44th all time) with 2127 hits (209th all time), 344 doubles, 8 triples, 779 extra base hits (123rd all time) 759 walks, 149 intentional walks (49th all time) a .377 on base % (199th all time) & 1335 RBIs (88th all time) in 1912 games played. He struck out 113 times (188th all time) & grounded into 229 plays (50th all time).
Behind the plate he caught 1620 games (20th most all time) posting a .989 fielding %. He has made 10,844 putouts ( 8th most all time) with 733 assists (90th all time) throwing out 23% of runners attempting to steal, while allowing 1400 stolen bases (7th all time). He is destined for Cooperstown in 2113.
In Mets history he is among the top in many offensive categories. He has played in 972 Mets games (12th all time) & is second to Jerry Grotes in games at catcher (826).He has a .296 life time Mets batting average (sixth all time).
He is first in slugging % (.542 %) Second in HRs (220) third in RBIs (655) & fifth in on base % (.373 %) doubles (193) & total bases (1855). He has 532 runs scored (10th on Mets all time list ) 424 walks (11th all time) 3478 at bats (11th all time). He is one of only three Mets to ever hit three grand slams in a season.
Honors: In the 2006 Hometown Heroes voting, in which 5 of the greatest players in the team’s history were awarded, Piazza was nominated for the Mets hero along with John Franco, Tug McGraw, Tom Seaver, and Keith Hernandez.
Piazza was at the closing ceremonies of Shea Stadium in 2008 and caught the ceremonial last pitch there thrown from Tom Seaver. The two exited together to the great Beatles song “ In My Life” walking through the Shea gates for the last time.
In 2009 he returned to catch the ceremonial first pitch from Tom Seaver at the Mets new home at Citi Field. In 2010 he was coaching pro baseball in Italy & in 2011 was manager of the United States Futures Games team.
He operates Mike Piazza Honda dealership in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania.
Family: On January 29, 2005, he married Playboy Playmate Alicia Rickter in Miami, Florida. Guests included Eric Karros, Brande Roderick, Lisa Dergan, Anjelica Bridges, Al Leiter & Iván Rodríguez. Billy Ray Cyrus was their wedding singer.
On February 5, 2007, Piazza's wife gave birth to the couple's first child, a daughter. Nicoletta Veronica Piazza, in New York City.
Trivia: He is known to be a fan of heavy metal music and is featured on the CD Stronger than Death by Black Label Society. He is also godfather to former Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Zakk Wylde's son, Hendrix.
Piazza also appeared on the Radio Show, Metal shop with Q 104s Eddie Trunk.
During the 1994 baseball strike, Piazza and Joe Morgan appeared on Married... with Children.
He also did cameos in episodes of Baywatch, Celebrity Jeopardy!, The Apprentice and the 2002 Sandra Bullock movie, "Two Weeks Notice".
In 1998, "Mike Piazza's Strike Zone" was released for the Nintendo 64 system.