Craig Biggio Elected into the Hall of Fame

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History has been made, for the first time in the History of the Astros/Colt organization, a player is selected to the Hall of Fame as a Houston Astro. Yes other players have made it who played in Houston, but this is the first one to wear the Astros logo on his uniform during his last year in the majors. He is also one of the few players that played entire Major League career with the Houston Astros.

I have watched the Astros since I was 14 or 15, so I was spoiled growing up watching two Astros players do their thing and lead the Astros through the 6 playoff years between 1997 and 2005. Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio were Houston’s Derek Jeter. Bagwell had his funky batting stance that he told youth players not to try to replicate. He wasn’t the fastest runner, but he was able to steal because he knew when to run. Biggio, with his Sunshine Kids star on his hat, always played with this hustle and grit.

For then first time in 60 years, 4 players have been voted in to Hall of Fame with 549 ballots turned  in. Speaking of which, former Astro Randy Johnson was voted into the Hall of Fame. The 2015 Hall of Fame class consist of Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz, and….

Craig Biggio

Last year in the 2014 Hall of Fame announcement, Frank Thomas, Tom Glavine, and Greg Maddux were selected to the Hall of Fame. However, Craig Biggio failed to get into the Hall of Fame by 2 votes (74.8%). Early voting coverage by Baseball Think Factory showed Biggio above 80% or more of the public ballot before the results revealed just a little while ago. Before today, people focused on how many people changed their vote on Biggio from a “yes” to a “no” this year. Below is some information about Biggio. They reported that 16 votes were changed in Biggio’s favor.

Yesterday, Brian McTaggart wrote that Biggio wanted to get into the Hall of Fame for his family and friends, not himself. “Last year we were so close, so I’m kind of trying to keep the same path that I was on last year and hopefully this year is a better year for us and the fans and everybody,” Biggio said. “I’m getting a little antsy, and we’re hoping Tuesday is a great day for the family, the fans and the organization.”

Two statues are in front of Minute Maid Park, depicting Craig Biggio throwing a ball to his longtime teammate Jeff Bagwell. However, they will not go into the Hall of Fame the same year. Fortunately Craig Biggio received 82.7 % of the  hall of fame balloting, which was more than the 75% needed to get into the Hall of Fame.

Jeff Bagwell

Bagwell however has been below the 70% during most of the speculation, and the people not voting for him have been very vocal about why they didn’t vote for him. At the end of his career, Bagwell had genetic arthritis in his shoulder, which meant that he could no longer throw the ball. Baseball writers say that this breakdown is caused by use of steroids, which is furthered by the fact that he played on the same team as Ken Caminiti, and he was a physical specimen which leads to PED suspicions.

Votes gained/lost so far from last year (h/t @NotMrTibbs): Biggio +8 Bagwell +5

The good news is as of last night report of public Hall of Fame ballots, Bagwell has increased his vote by 5 voters. Yes, many people voted for other players in this packed Hall of Fame ballot this year, but he was able to increase his vote 54.3% from 55.6 %. However, this is short of the 75% needed to be selected to the Hall of Fame. He may eventually get in, but there were too many quality names this year.  

New Hall of Fame member Craig Biggio is like most Astros fans: he doesn’t understand why Bagwell is not given the support needed to be selected. Biggio on Bagwell’s HOF chances: “When you look at his numbers and what he did on the field at first base, there’s no doubt about.”

While on this day, Jeff Bagwell is celebrating his teammate and friend being voted in, is he starting to think that he may never be given a chance? He has 5 years left on the ballot, because MLB changed the rule from a player getting 15 years to 10 years on the ballot recently.

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It would have sure been nice to have them go into the Hall together, just like they played baseball all those years. Maddux and Glavine had the privilege of going into the Hall of Fame the same year, Bagwell and Biggio should have had that honor as well. Besides Derek Jeter and a few others, no one has meant more to their organization than Biggio and Bagwell.

Until then websites like  Climbing Tal’s Hill, House of Houston, Astros Daily, the Crawford Boxes, Astros.com, and Bags4HOF.com will keep spreading the word on one of the best first baseman in Astros and MLB history. I know I enjoyed watching him.

During the PED era, everyone is a suspect and can’t be proven innocent. Baseball Writer who did not vote for Bagwell may never vote for him, especially the people who turned in blank or 3 player only ballots. The system needs a change, because a player should not be denied his due because a writer wants to make a statement. No matter what they say about you Bagwell, you are the man! Biggio congrats on your fine career, you are the man as well!

 

Here are some Tweets in response to Biggio being selected to the Hall of Fame,   

Here are some Tweets in response to Bagwell not being selected.

Next: How Many Games will Astros Win in 2015

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