All of those hit-by-pitches finally payoff as Craig Biggio was elected to the Hall of Fame in his second year of eligibility.
One of the most prominent players in Astros history has achieved the goal that we had all been waiting for since his retirement in 2007. Biggio’s number sits atop Minute Maid Park and his involvement was instrumental in turning the Astros into a top tier team from the mid-90s to the mid-2000s.
Biggio was an Astro for all 20 years of his career. He was selected 22nd overall in the 1987 draft and made his major league debut just a year later. He entered the organization as a catcher and left it as a second baseman, winning All-Star selections and Silver Sluggers at both positions. He collected 4 Gold Gloves at second base and has the illustrious honor of being hit by more pitches than any other player in the modern era.
For the stat heads out there Craig Biggio finished his career with 291 home runs, 414 stolen bases, a batting average of .281, an on-base percentage of .363 and an OPS (on-base+slugging) of .796.
For the deeper stat heads, over Biggio’s career he had a WAR of 65.3 according to Fangraphs and he finished his career with a 9.3% walk rate and a 14% K rate. In what most would consider his best season, 1997, Biggio sported a 9.3 WAR, a .192 ISO, and a wRC+ of 148 (100 is average). In 1997 he came in fourth for the MVP vote behind Larry Walker, Mike Piazza, and our very own Jeff Bagwell.
The fact that Biggio had to wait a year was a bit puzzling in itself. Biggio collected 3,060 hits in his career and when you break that 3,000 hit barrier usually the ‘good ol boy’ system just passes you right on through to the hall. There were only four players with 3000 hits that weren’t in the Hall of Fame; Pete Rose (gambling), Derek Jeter (still active), Rafael Palmeiro (steroids?) and Craig Biggio. Luckily we can strike Craig from the list.
Well Craig, from all of us at House of Houston, and also the City of Houston, congratulations and thank you for representing this city so well from beginning to end.
Alright lets pop the champagne before I start to tear up.
**********Wakes up in a cold sweat on the corner of Crawford ST and Texas Ave.***************
What just happened? Where am I? Was I dreaming that? Why am I covered in champagne? Where did this can of gasoline come from? Who is this homeless guy stroking my hair? AND WHY IS MY HEAD IN HIS LAP????!!!!
You win again BBWAA. Touche’…. Touche’.
Yeah so I wrote all of that a little before noon because I was so damn sure he would make it. What a disappointment.
I don’t even think having 3000 hits should have anything to do with being elected to the hall of fame. (Yeah that’s right no capitalization for you ‘hof”, HOW YOU LIKE ME NOW?!) Arbitrary numbers exist ALL over baseball and really it’s entirely a load of garbage. Batting .300, hitting 500 homeruns, being a 30-30 player, or 40-40 *COUGH* George Springer *COUGH*, getting 3000 hits; it’s all completely arbitrary. Does a player that got 2,900 hits deserve to be in the hall any less that someone who got 3,000? If the player with 2,900 hits played his tail off at a high level every time he stepped on the field and was a role model for the sport then he absolutely deserves the same recognition that a player with 100 more hits gets. Thankfully sabermetrics has begun the process of eliminating these ridiculous notions, but baseball has a long way to go.
Some people blame the small market coverage that Houston gets despite being an enormous market team. Other people blame PED accusations. Some of the voters themselves felt bad that they didn’t vote for Biggio.
— Jon Becker (@JonBecker28) January 8, 2014
Biggio deserved to get in, and that is the only obvious point in this myriad of opinion. Some of us immediately said, “Well it’s ok, that means he will get it next year.” But that is not a lock either as former Houston sports talk radio host Matt Jackson pointed out.
— Matt Jackson (@MJ4Sports) January 8, 2014
With no change expected to be made to the balloting system, literally the only guarantee is that we will be mad about something next year too.
Another day in the life of a Houston sports fan.