Class of 2021
A.J. Pierzynski

Born in Bridgehampton, NY, and raised in Florida, A.J. Pierzynski began his Major League Baseball career in 1994 after the Minnesota Twins drafted the left-handed hitting catcher in the third round as the seventy-first overall pick. He was an All-State honoree at Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando, Florida, and had signed a letter of intent to play at the University of Tennessee before making the decision to go pro. Pierzynski’s career in professional baseball spanned nineteen seasons from 1998 to 2016, during which time A.J. suited up for seven different MLB teams. A career .280 hitter with 2,043 hits, the two-time All-Star also played for the San Francisco Giants, Chicago White Sox, Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox, St. Louis Cardinals, and Atlanta Braves. He is one of only ten catchers in the history of Major League Baseball to record more than 2,000 hits. In his first season in Chicago in 2005, Pierzynski’s leadership helped the White Sox break an 88-year World Series Championship drought. His brash hard play, intellect behind the plate, and ultra-competitive edge made him an instant fan favorite and nemesis to rival ball clubs. During his second season on the South Side in 2006, A.J. made his second career MLB All-Star team, with his first coming in 2002 with the Twins. In his final year with the White Sox in 2012, he won the Silver Slugger Award and produced a slash line of .278/.326/.501 with 27 HR and 77 RBI. A.J. retired as a player in 2016 but continues his involvement in Major League Baseball as an analyst and in-game commentator for Fox Sports. He is also active in coaching baseball at the youth level. A.J. and his wife, Lisa, along with their two children, reside in Orlando, Florida.

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