Former MLB Player
May 02, 2019
A. J. Pierzynski
Former MLB Player

Pierzynski was born on December 30, 1976, in Bridgehampton, New York.  He attended Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando, Florida, where he won All-State honors in baseball. Future Major Leaguer Johnny Damon was one of Pierzynski's high school teammates.  Pierzynski graduated from high school in 1994 and signed a letter of intent to play baseball at the University of Tennessee.  He was also selected by the Minnesota Twins in the third round (71st overall) of that year's MLB Draft and chose to sign with the ballclub on June 9th.  He began his minor league career with the Gulf Coast League Twins and spent the next four years playing for the minor-league Elizabethton Twins, Fort Wayne Wizards, Fort Myers Miracle, New Britain Rock Cats, and Salt Lake Buzz.

After four years in the Twins organization, he was called up to the major league team, and made his debut on September 9, 1998, when he was 21 years old. He then spent the next five seasons, through the 2003 season, with Minnesota, though he was not a regular starter until 2001. From 1998-2000, he appeared in just 49 games for the Twins. In 2002, he made the American League All-Star Team as a reserve catcher. In the 2002 American League Division Series, Pierzynski hit an important home run in the ninth inning of the final game, in which the Twins clinched the series. In 2003, Pierzynski reached a .312 batting average, a career high.

On April 27, 2016, Pierzynski recorded his 2,000th career hit off Steven Wright of the Boston Red Sox, becoming the tenth catcher to reach the 2,000 hit mark.  He was placed on 15-day DL on August 17, 2016.  On March 28, 2017, Pierzynski announced he was retiring.  Pierzynski was hired by Fox to be an analyst for the 2011 MLB postseason on the pre-game and postgame show.  He joined Fox again for the 2012, 2013, and 2015 postseasons. In 2017 Fox announced he would be a full-time analyst.

Pierzynski is married to Lisa Pierzynski.  The couple has two children, Ava and Austin.


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