Astros great Biggio elected to Hall of Fame after last year’s narrow miss
In his third year on the ballot, longtime Houston Astros-great Craig Biggio is heading to the baseball’s Hall of Fame, it was announced on Tuesday.
Last season, Biggio missed out on the Hall of Fame by a mere two votes, getting 74.8 percent of the needed 75 percent of all voters’ ballots. In 2015, the 20-year veteran appeared on 82.9 percent of ballots by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, more than surpassing the needed amount.
"For this year, I was real anxious, and very grateful and humbled to be elected to the Hall of Fame," Biggio told MLB Network Tuesday afternoon after the announcement was made. "We were so close last year, and knowing the way the system works, I mean, you were hoping you keep graduating and going up in the numbers."
With the election, Biggio will become Houston’s first player to enter the Hall of Fame wearing an Astros cap. The organization has several former players enshrined in Cooperstown — most notably former pitching-great Nolan Ryan — however none have yet to opt for the Astros cap as they spent little time or had more prominent stats with other teams.
"Its huge," Biggio said of being the first full-time Astro in the Hall of Fame. "You play 20 years in one city, you know that’s hard to do, and the fans become part of your life. They’ve been so great to me, and so great to my family to be able to do that now and for them to be able to finally have a guy that goes in, I mean, it’s an unbelievable feeling."
Biggio’s credentials certainly added up to a Hall of Fame career. He is the first MLB player to record more than 600 doubles, 250 home runs, 3,000 hits and 400 stolen bases. Leading the Astros during the franchise’s most successful period in its history, Biggio guided Houston to its first World Series appearance in 2005 and was a seven-time All-Star. Playing three positions during his career — catcher, center field and second base — he finished with 3,060 hits, 668 doubles, 414 stolen bases and a .281 batting average.
He also had 291 homers, 1,1175 RBI and 1,844 runs. He’s No. 1 on the Astros all-time lists in hits, doubles, runs, games played (2,850) and at-bats (10,876). He’s second in stolen bases, RBI and third in homers.
"I had no regrets in my career," Biggio said. "I did everything that the organization ever asked me to do. I made the All-Star team my fourth year as catcher. I stared figuring it out and they go ask me to play a position I never ever played in my life, and who knows how that was going to work out —which actually worked out very well — and then go to the outfield. I love the city, I love the organization."
Along with Biggio, three others — all pitchers on their first ballot — will be inducted in the Hall of Fame on July 26. Randy Johnson, a five-time Cy Young Award winner who was also a member of the Astros for one season in 1998, was the top vote-getter appearing on 97.3 percent of the ballots, the eighth-highest percentage in the history of the voting. Pedro Martinez, a three-time Cy Young winner, was on 91.1 percent of the ballots and former Atlanta Braves-great John Smoltz was picked on 82.9 percent of the ballots.
Biggio’s longtime teammate, Jeff Bagwell, missed out on the Hall of Fame again, appearing for the fifth time on the ballot, but gained more support with 55.7 percent of voters giving him a nod on their ballots.
Follow Shawn Ramsey on Twitter: @ShawnPRamsey