Craig Biggio (Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports)
To me it is simple, Craig Biggio deserves to be elected into the Hall of Fame. I’m not sure that we really need to get into his credentials again here.
Biggio played 20 seasons for the Houston Astros and recorded 3,060 hits. That alone should put him in Cooperstown. Prior to last year’s election, that was never an issue. And quite frankly it should not be.
Last year Biggio appeared on the ballot for the first time and came up 39 votes short of election finishing with 68.2% of the vote. That I can understand, as even though he ranks 21st on the all time hit list, Biggio was never a transcendent star. Now part of that is because he played his whole career in Houston and the Astros never had much postseason success (2004 and 2005 excluded).
But Biggio is still a seven time All-Star who played three positions, and was one of the best players of the 90’s. Along with Jeff Bagwell, Biggio legitimized the Astros.
If the argument was that Biggio belonged in Cooperstown all along, but just not on the first ballot, then that I can understand. Just about any other reason is mind boggling to me. However, some reasons are worse than others. And for that, we have Murray Chass to thank.
"The boxes next to these 10 names will not get an X: Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Eric Gagne, Paul Lo Duca, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Mike Piazza, Sammy Sosa.These non-exes won’t get my vote because they were proved to have cheated, admitted they cheated or are strongly suspected of having cheated. I have not voted for any player in those categories and am not prepared to start doing so now."
How and when did Biggio get lumped in with these other nine names? I don’t believe that Piazza and Bagwell are guilty of steroid use, but that fact at least has to be considered despite the void of definitive evidence. For the record, I do believe that both belong in the Hall of Fame as I would need solid evidence of steroid use before excluding someone for that reason. As we get closer to the vote, there will be more on that in this space as well as greater discussion about the other candidates.
I understand Chass’ logic, even if I don’t agree with it, but my major issue here is the inclusion of Biggio. That just doesn’t seem to have any logic at all.