Houston Astros legend Craig Biggio’s long wait for the Hall of Fame is almost over, and his former teammate and fellow club great Jeff Bagwell will be there to watch.
Voted into the Hall of Fame in early January, Biggio, the Astros’ all-time leader in hits (3,060), doubles (668), runs (1,844) and games played (2,850), will be joined by Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz as the four newest members during the July 26 inductions in Cooperstown, NY.
But will Bagwell — the Astros’ all-time leader in homers (449), RBI (1,529) and walks (1,401) — eventually join Biggio in the hallowed halls of Cooperstown?
For his part, Bagwell, a four-time All-Star who won the 1991 National League Rookie of the Year and the 1994 NL MVP, doesn’t think so.
"I don’t expect to get in [to the Hall of Fame]," he told reporters Tuesday in Kissimmee, Fla., at the Astros’ spring training complex. "I’m just glad that Craig got in. It’s about time, 3,000 hits, man. The only problem with that is I’ve got to go and watch four guys get into the Hall of Fame, and listen to them all talk in July."
Like Biggio (1988-07), Bagwell (1991-05) only played for Astros. Along with the 449 homers, the right-handed slugger tallied 2,314 hits with 1,529 RBI, while batting .297 — Biggio hit .281 with 291 homers, 1,175 RBI and 414 stolen bases.
While many spend their entire careers hoping to get into the Hall, Bagwell doesn’t see it as the pinnacle of his life.
"I keep telling people this, and people don’t understand it," he said. "That’s not what defines me as a person. Baseball does not define me as a person. It’s what I do with my kids, as a husband, is what’s going to define me. And that’s not — I can’t say that. I mean, it’s just the way I feel. I mean, it’d be an honor, don’t get me wrong. But, you know, I got other things to do in my life."
Bagwell ranks second to Biggio in several categories on the Astros’ leaderboard, including: hits, doubles (488) runs (1,517) games played (2,150). This was his fifth year on the Hall of Fame ballot and he only received 55.7 percent of the vote, well below the required 75 percent to get into the Hall.
He is the only player in MLB history to reach 30 homers, 100 RBI, 100 runs and 100 walks in six consecutive seasons (1996-2001).
Unfortunately for Bagwell, his accomplishments might be tarnished by the era he played in. He denied ever taking steroids, but being a slugger who played in the ’90s, he has been dogged by PED speculation even after his playing days ended.