When it comes to proud fathers, Craig Biggio can give anyone a run for his money. All three of his children, who grew up with a famous father during his Hall of Fame career, played baseball or softball at Notre Dame, left with degrees in hand and are making their way in the world as responsible adults.
That includes his youngest son, Cavan, who was back in town this week while playing for the Blue Jays. Being able to stay at the family’s home in Houston, see his dogs and spend time with his father and mother, Patty, is one of the best trips he looks forward to each baseball season. And so do his parents, who had front-row seats for the games against the Astros.
“It’s always nice for him to get to come in here for three days and have an opportunity to see him in the morning, for him to see his mom and have a little breakfast before he comes to the park and get an opportunity to watch him play,” Craig said. “It’s always an exciting three games for us.”
Family has always come first for Craig, who had his sons tag along as batboys later in his 20-year career. When Craig reached 3,000 hits in 2007, the entire Biggio family poured onto the field at Minute Maid Park. Cavan and older brother, Conor, were in uniform as batboys for that game and were the first to greet him on the field. For Cavan, the memory of being a batboy during the 2005 season remains etched in his mind.
“I was the biggest Astros fan and I had an opportunity to get to know all the guys, too, on a certain level,” he said. “I almost felt a little bit part of the team. It was a great story winning that Wild Card Game and getting to the playoffs after a tough start. That whole journey, that whole season, was something I’ll never forget. Even though they lost in the World Series in four games [to the White Sox], they were four really good games and that was probably my best memory was that 2005 year.”
Growing up in Houston, Cavan, 28, says he always felt like Houston was more of a football or basketball town. That changed in 2005, when the Astros reached their first World Series. The city’s love affair with baseball has been taken to new levels in the last six years, with Houston winning two World Series and four AL pennants. Cavan spent the past offseason in Houston and watched one of the World Series games against the Phillies from Biggio’s Sports Bar, a few blocks from Minute Maid Park.
“This is the Astros’ city,” he said. “You go to dinner and you’re going to see Astros jerseys, you’re going to see Astros hats. I think it goes to show how good the fans are here. They come every game and they support the players. I think the Astros are the model other teams look at now.”
Cavan and Conor were coached by their dad at St. Thomas High School and also overlapped in two of their four seasons at Notre Dame. Conor, 30, was drafted by the Astros but chose to enter the professional world and lives and works in Houston. Biggio’s daughter, Quinn, 23, played softball four years at Notre Dame and is considering a career in law.
And that makes Craig Biggio one proud papa.
“It’s fun now watching your children turn into the people they’re turning into,” he said.