Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell. Along with Derek Bell, Sean Berry and Lance Berkman, they helped make up the Killer B’s, a fearsome part of the Astros lineup that helped power Houston to success from the mid 1990’s through the middle of the 2000’s. Now, for the second consecutive year, Bagwell and Biggio are linked once again, this time on the 2015 MLB Hall of Fame Ballot.
If the writers actually vote on the merit of the candidates, then Biggio and Bagwell will be linked together one last time, as they enter the Baseball Hall of Fame together. Teammates for 15 years, both Bagwell and Biggio more than have the statistical resume to enter Cooperstown together.
Jeff Bagwell was an interesting blend of power and speed, particularly for a first baseman. How many first basemen had over 400 home runs and 200 stolen bases? Bagwell. That is all. Overall in his career, he produced a .297/.408/.540 batting line with 449 home runs and 1529 RBI while stealing 202 bases. Bagwell’s resume includes four All-Star appearances, a Rookie of the Year award, a Gold Glove, an MVP award and three Silver Slugger awards.
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So, why isn’t Bagwell in the Hall of Fame? Because, despite never testing positive for PEDs, Bagwell is still painted with the same brush that Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa and Rafael Palmiero were touched by. Why is that? Because some writers, notably Murray Chass, think that he took PEDs. Nice how, despite all evidence to the contrary, Bagwell is presumed guilty until proven innocent.
Interestingly, Craig Biggio is also considered a PED user by that same collection of “experts.” Granted, players such as Manny Alexander and Alex Sanchez were caught for PEDs, but Biggio just does not appear to be of that mold. Since Biggio was never suspended, suspected or otherwise implicated in anything involving PEDs, his being lumped in with that group is ludicrous.
Statistically, Biggio certainly has the resume for induction. The owner of 3,060 hits, that mark alone should be enough to enshrine Biggio, as only the pariah Palmiero and the exiled Pete Rose have not made the Hall with 3000 or more hits. On top of that number, Biggio hit at a .281/.363/.433 rate, with 291 home runs and 414 stolen bases.
In addition to those numbers, Craig Biggio also made seven All-Star games, including making his first as a catcher. Biggio also won the first of his five Silver Slugger awards as a catcher, and after moving to second base, reeled in four consecutive Gold Glove awards.
Both Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio have the resumes to be enshrined in Cooperstown. Hopefully, the BBWAA finally realizes this, and both are allowed to enter those hallowed halls together.