Sep 25, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Cleveland Indians third baseman Russ Canzler (4) is congratulated by first baseman Matt LaPorta (7) for hitting a home run against the Chicago White Sox during the second inning at U.S. Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Is Matt LaPorta Attempting To Be The Next Mike Illitch?

Awarded 18 Pie Five Pizza Franchises In Tampa Area

Maybe Former Cleveland Indians first basemen Matt LaPorta will follow in the footsteps of Detroit Tigers and Detroit Red Wings owner Mike Illitch who made his money by franchising Little Ceasers Pizza.

As life away from the diamond begins for Laporta he has made a decision to enter the restaurant business being award 18-units of the Pie Five Pizza Franchises in South Florida.

LaPorta last played in the big leagues while with the Indians in 2012 (20 games) and 2013 with the Columbus Clippers  before departing as a minor league free agent.

He signed a minor league contract with the Baltimore Orioles but was released in spring training and signed on with the Campeche de Pirates in the Mexican League. After 32 games where he was productive posting a .286/.366/.555 with seven home runs and 24 RBI he asked for and received his release (LINK).

LaPorta will not be alone in his quest to become a pizza king. He will be joined by former big league player Josh Fields and restaurant operators Brandon Birdwell and Jeff Engle.  LaPorta says that opening a pizza shop has been something he’s wanted to do for a long time and calls pizza his new passion.

“What can I say, what Italian doesn’t love pizza? For the longest time I’ve wanted to open up a cool pizza place like this. I guess you could call pizza my new passion,” said LaPorta, a Port Charlotte native. “So when Josh told me about Pie Five, and my family and I tried it out for ourselves, I knew this was it. The operational model is excellent, the company’s leadership is top notch and the food is fantastic.  I’m convinced Pie Five is going to be a huge hit in this area.” – Press Release From MarketWatch

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