Baseball Hall of Fame
Born: Dec 14, 1965
Except perhaps for Jose Cruz, no position player has personified Houston Astros baseball as much as Craig Biggio. His scrappy, no-nonsense style of play has set the example for all the Astros clubs of the 1990s and beyond.
Biggio was an All-American at Seton Hall University, where he played alongside future big league stars Mo Vaughn and John Valentin, under the tutelage of legendary coach Mike Sheppard.
Called up to Houston as a catcher in 1988, he quickly established himself on the everyday roster. In 1992, hoping to extend his career, the club moved him first to the outfield, then to second base, where he spent most of his career. He is, to date, the only player in MLB history to be named an All-Star as both catcher and second baseman.
Craig was a key member of division winners in 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2001 and playoff winners in 2004 and 2005. In 1998, he became just the second player in baseball history to combine 50 doubles and 50 stolen bases in the same season, joining Tris Spreaker of the 1912 Red Sox.
The only time he was placed on the disabled list was in 2000: the Florida Marlins' Preston Wilson slid into second base, trying to break up a double play, and hit Biggio's planted left leg, tearing the anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament in Craig's knee. He missed the rest of the season. Biggio made a dramatic comeback in 2001, and fought his way through the next seven seasons.
On June 29, 2005, Biggio broke the post-1900 career hit-by-pitch record, previously held by Don Baylor with 267. In the fourth inning of a game against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field, a pitch from Byung-Hyun Kim hit Biggio on the left elbow for his 268th HBP. He would retire with the modern-day record of 285.
Almost exactly two years later, on June 28th, 2007, Biggio stroked a single off Colorado's Aaron Cook to center field for his 3,000th career hit. True to form, he was thrown out at second base trying to stretch the single into a double.
Biggio retired at the end of that season with 3,060 career hits (20th all-time), 668 doubles (5th all-time), 291 homers and 414 stolen bases.
Biggio became eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame for the first time in 2013, and topped all candidates with 68.2% of the BBWAA vote, but shy of the 75% needed for induction. His second time up, in 2014, he fell just two votes short of induction with 74.8%. The third time was the charm when, on January 6, 2015, the Hall announced that Biggio drew 454 votes, or 82.7%, and would be inducted the following summer. Biggio was the first player to go into the Hall as a Houston Astro.
Active in the community, Craig is a major supporter of the Sunshine Kids, a charity for children stricken with cancer.