Houston baseball legends Nolan Ryan and Craig Biggio will be teaming up once again to deliver the ceremonial first pitch during the Astros’ Opening Day festivities on Tuesday.
Biggio, whose rookie season in 1988 was also Ryan’s last with the Astros before moving on to the Texas Rangers, caught the Hall of Famer’s 100th win as a member of the Astros, and the two will be battery mates again Tuesday prior to Houston’s game against the Yankees at Minute Maid Park.
"The fact that I threw to him and I saw pretty much his entire career… I know what he means to the organization," Ryan told MLB.com. "It makes it special."
Biggio began his major-league career as a catcher, but spent the majority of his 20 years with the Astros at second base, along with appearing briefly in the outfield. Ryan, who kept tabs on Biggio’s career after the two played together, knew that he was a special player just from that one season.
"I remember him coming up as a rookie and being as enthusiastic then as he was his entire career," Ryan said. "You know he was a talented kid. Just seeing how he made that transition, which obviously he didnt’ have any trouble… it never crossed by mind that he’d end up playing second base the majority of his career. When I looked at him I thought he was a catcher with a lot of athletic ability."