A couple of weeks ago, we told you that former baseball star Mike Piazza would be making his debut with the Miami City Ballet, playing the Gangster in Balanchine's famous Slaughter on Tenth Avenue this May as a gift to his 6-year-old daughter, who's a student at the Miami City Ballet School.

All together now: awwwwww.

But if you were having a bit of a hard time imagining Piazza doing ballet—and trust us, we were too—this should help.

Earlier this week, the Associated Press went inside the studio with Piazza and the MCB dancers as they rehearsed the ballet. And that means we now have photographic evidence of the big guy's ballet skills.

Though Piazza's part isn't especially dance-heavy—OK, it doesn't really involve any dancing at all—there is one interesting pic of him showing off before rehearsal with MCB principal Patricia Delgado. By the looks of it, he's got some moves! Take a peek.

All photos Lynne Sladky/AP

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UPDATE: And now there's video!

Uh, thanks for this, New York Daily News.

I'll admit it: When I got the press release announcing that former baseball star Mike Piazza would be performing with Miami City Ballet, my first reaction was: Huh?

Yes, Piazza was apparently a great catcher and an even better hitter during his 16 years playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Florida Marlins, the New York Mets, the San Diego Padres and the Oakland Athletics. (And yes, I personally have Wikipedia to thank for all that information.) But what's his connection to the ballet world, exactly?

Then I read a little more of the release, and things got real cute, real fast.

It turns out Piazza's 6-year-old daughter is a student at Miami City Ballet School, and he's making his ballet debut for her sake. "For her to have the opportunity to see Daddy on stage is my little gift," he said in the release.

Aww! That's so lovely. (And it reminded me of my own dad's turn as a parent in my youth ballet's Nutcracker party scene, which 13-year-old me pretended to be totally embarrassed about but was actually kind of delighted by.)

Don't expect to see Piazza in a tutu, though. He'll be performing as the Gangster in Balanchine's Slaughter on Tenth Avenue—a role that requires him to don a '20s-era suit, rather than white tights, and say a few Al Capone-y lines.

Piazza's one-night-only performance will be on May 3. Merde, Mike!


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