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Biggio’s case for the Hall of Fame

This Sunday article on longtime Astro Craig Biggio briefly discusses his likelihood of getting into the Hall of Fame.

Biggio someday will hang up his elbow pads and mucky helmet, but don’t rush him. He’s still in great shape, he’s still productive, and there’s still the lure of 3,000 hits.

Most of all, he still has the desire.

He’s come a long way

Who could have guessed that the fresh-faced Long Island kid that who replaced Alan Ashby at catcher 18 years ago would put together a Hall of Fame-caliber career? Biggio has made the NL All-Star team seven times, won four Gold Gloves and broken a whopping number of countless records.

He has continued to adapt with age. He went from the physical demands of catcher to second base to the outfield and back to second. He added a leg kick to his batting stance and later took it away.

And at 40, he’s still going strong. This will be Biggio’s 19th season with the Astros, an impressive unprecedented run in an era of treachery constant player movement and free agency. But this season probably won’t be his last.

[…]

While Jeff Bagwell, who joins Biggio atop virtually all the club’s offensive charts, could see his career end at any moment, Biggio chugs away. He hit .264 last season with a 26 homers (a career high) and 69 RBIs, strengthening his Hall of Fame case.

I think Biggio’s case for the Hall can be summed up as follows: He’s 43rd all time in career base hits. Every single currently eligible player ahead of him on that list is in the Hall. The others are Pete Rose, Cal Ripken, Rickey Henderson, Harold Baines, and Rafael Palmeiro, whose case for the Hall hinges more on how pissy the writers will be over his Senate testimony. He’s also 24th all time in career runs scored, and again, he trails only Famers plus Henderson, Rose, and Barry Bonds. If he gets 3000 hits, he’s a mortal lock. He’s pretty damn close to it without that number on his resume.

I’ll wait to see what Jay Jaffe has to say about Biggio’s statheads case before I make any statements about how he ought to fare in the voting, but I expect Bidge’s case there to be pretty solid, too. He played a lot of games in the Astrodome, so his overall numbers are really better than they look. I wouldn’t worry too much about it.

Lair has more, while Plunk Biggio notes that a part of him is already enshrined.

By the way, the print story noted that Bidge is second on the Astros’ all-time stolen base list with 407 thefts. This should be an easy question for longtime fans, but who’s number one? Answer below the fold.


Cesar Cedeno had 487 steals as an Astro. The complete list is here.

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One Comment

  1. Patrick says:

    Through 18 seasons Biggio is currently 12th all-time in doubles with 604, one behind Paul Waner and Paul Moliter. If he were to stay healthy this year he could climb up to 7 or 8 on the list, passing 3 nobodies – Hank Aaron, Honus Wagner and Carl Yastrzemski.

    I’d also point out that everybody ahead of him on that list has at least 20 years of major league time.

    And as I’ve mentioned before, I think if he retires here in Houston Biggio will benefit from playing his whole career as an Astro. I think that kind of loyalty will be worth a few votes with the writers.