Mike Piazza goes from baseball to ballet

Mike Piazza goes from baseball to ballet
Mike Piazza will make a guest appearance with the Miami City Ballet in May, appearing in George Balanchine's "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue." (Morry Gash / Associated Press)

Mike Piazza, the former major league baseball player, is taking on an unconventional post-retirement job. The athlete is teaming up with Miami City Ballet and will perform a role in the company's production of George Balanchine's "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue."

But don't expect the baseball star to wear leotards or a codpiece. And don't expect him to dance, leap or lift female dancers, the company said.


Piazza will appear in one performance of the ballet -- on May 3 at the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami. He will play the role known as the "Gangster" and is expected to wear a '20s-era outfit. The company said in a release this week that Piazza will throw out a few lines "Al Capone-style" and will sit back and watch "the stage come alive."

"Slaughter" features music by Richard Rodgers and was initially part of the stage musical "On Your Toes."

Miami City Ballet said Piazza became involved with the production through his 6-year-old daughter, Nicoletta, who is a student at the company.

The athlete said in a statement that "for her to have the opportunity to see Daddy on stage is my little gift. I'm looking forward to it."

Piazza has played with the Dodgers, Florida Marlins, New York Mets, San Diego Padres and Oakland Athletics. He retired from major league baseball in 2008.