Ex-catcher Mike Piazza ready for ballet cameo

Former MLB baseball player Mike Piazza with principal dancer Patricia Delgado before a rehearsal of "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue" at the Miami City Ballet, April 16.
AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

MIAMI BEACH, Fla.Former Major League Baseball catcher Mike Piazza is ready for his cameo with Miami City Ballet.

Mike Piazza, former MLB baseball player, is fitted for his costume for his upcoming role as a gangster at the Miami City Ballet, Tuesday, April 16, 2013.
AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

Piazza will play the role of a gangster in the ballet's Friday night performance of "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue."

It's not a dancing role, and Piazza's not wearing tights. He'll walk onstage in a taupe houndstooth suit and say a few lines as a hit man hired to kill a jealous dancer's rival.

Piazza had 427 career home runs and made 12 All-Star Game appearances.

His daughter is a student at Miami City Ballet School. Piazza says he wants to help boost ballet's image among sports fans.

At a rehearsal last month in the ballet's Miami Beach studios, dancers praised Piazza for his acting skills and for the attention he brought to their performance.