Biggio inducted to MBA Hall of Fame

Vidal Maldonado, Sports Editor

Twenty year Houston Astro Craig Biggio was inducted to the Major League Baseball Hall Of Fame on January 8. He was inaugurated despite missing last year by a mere two votes.

But this year, Biggo surpassed that with ease. In an era of increasingly crowded Hall of Fame ballots, Biggio’s election should come as welcome news to contemporaries like Mike Piazza and longtime Astros teammate Jeff Bagwell. Not only does Biggio’s entry into the Hall take his name off the ballot for next year, but also it helps establish a precedent for position players from his era.

Craig Biggio started his career when he was drafted by the Astros out of Seton Hall University in 1987, the 22nd pick in the first round. Biggio was drafted as a catcher despite his size for that position. He did not play much of his rookie season due to him playing in the minor league for a brief time. However, he was called for his talents midway through the 1988 season.

In 1989, Craig became the Astros starting catcher and began a long career in the major leagues, moving around positions as one of the most talented all around players in the league.

At the end of Craig’s run the major league, he was part of the prestigious 3000 hit club; he fell just nine home runs short of the 300-300 club which is 300 homeruns and 300 stolen bases. He would have been only the seventh player all time and the second player to have 3000 hits 300 home runs and 300 stolen bases along with Willie Mays.

On July 24, 2007, Biggio announced his retirement, effective at the end of the season, his 20th season with the club, a franchise record. Hours later, with the Astros locked in a 3–3 tie with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Biggio hit a grand slam in the 6th inning. The Astros went on to win the game 7–4.

In the penultimate game of his career, Biggio started as a catcher and caught two innings for the Astros. He also hit a double in his first at-bat of the game.

A sellout, record-breaking crowd packed Minute Maid Park on September 30, 2007 to witness Biggio’s final game. He recorded his final career hit, a double in the first inning, and scored his final career run that same inning. In his final career at-bat, he grounded the ball to third baseman Chipper Jones who threw out the hustling Biggio by half a step. He left the field to a standing ovation from the fans. When he was replaced defensively in the top of the eighth inning, Biggio shook hands with umpires and teammates and left to another standing ovation as he waved to the fans. The Astros won the game 3–0.

Biggio finished his career with 3,060 career hits, 668 doubles, 291 home runs, 1175 RBI, 414 stolen bases and a .281 batting average. Here are some of his numbers from his inspiring career as an Astro. He achieved 53 leadoff home runs, which is the national league record. 285 hit by pitches most in Major League Baseball History not really something to be happy about but it shows the rigidness of Biggio himself as he also carries 668 career doubles, which is fifth all time. He is also part of the 3000 club, which is 3000 career hits total a big achievement for any baseball great.

On January 27, 2015,  Biggio visited Notre Dame to share and reflect on his baseball career with the young baseball players.

“I love the game. I respect the game. I appreciate the game for all the right reasons. I was a very lucky man to be able to put on a big league uniform for 20 seasons. I always loved to play. It was just enjoyable. I would have played it for free.”

Biggio describes his Hall of Fame induction to the media as, “an exciting time for my family and for the Astros organization.”