Mike Piazza; From baseball to ballet, former Miami Marlins catcher to make ballet debut in Miami

Will wear 1920s-era gangster costume

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Former Major League Baseball catcher Mike Piazza will be taking center stage with the Miami City Ballet.

The Miami Beach-based dance company has tapped Piazza to play the role of a gangster in the May 3 production of "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue."

Piazza won't be dancing in tights. He'll wear a 1920s-era gangster costume, say a few lines and then watch the rest of the performance from a seat onstage.

Piazza says his turn with the troupe is his gift to his 6-year-old daughter, a student at Miami City Ballet School.

The ballet features gangsters, strippers and an attempted murder plot. It originally appeared as part of the 1930s musical "On Your Toes."

Piazza went to the University of Miami and played for the Miami Marlins in 1998. He had 427 career home runs and made 12 All-Star Game appearances.

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