HOUSTON -- Craig Biggio is used to having the cameras on him. He was the center of attention in Houston during his Hall of Fame career for 20 years, and these days, he's often filmed as a spectator in the stands, both at Astros games as a special assistant in
HOUSTON -- Craig Biggio is used to having the cameras on him. He was the center of attention in Houston during his Hall of Fame career for 20 years, and these days, he's often filmed as a spectator in the stands, both at Astros games as a special assistant in the front office, and at Blue Jays games, as a proud dad to his son, second baseman Cavan Biggio.
Craig knew the cameras were following his every move when he was in Toronto a few weeks ago to watch Cavan's Major League debut, and Craig employed a mostly stoic expression -- even though, on the inside, he was as nervous as any dad would be watching his kid bat for the first time in the big leagues.
But ahead of the Blue Jays' series in Houston, Craig let his guard down just a bit. He's excited for this, happy for his kid and thrilled that this is all coming together on Father's Day weekend.
"I can't tell you how many people have come up to me and said how excited they are for this, coming up, [saying], 'I'll be there!'" Craig Biggio said. "They've known him since he was five, six years old, running around here. I'm looking forward to an exciting weekend."
Cavan, a rookie second baseman on a rebuilding Blue Jays club, will be all business during this visit. But he fully acknowledged that he'll give himself a chance to soak in the joy of playing somewhere so familiar to him, in front of dozens of family and friends who didn't have to travel far to watch him, as a Major League player.
"I always wanted to play in this stadium, whether or not it was with Astros on my chest," Cavan Biggio said. "This is going to be just as good."
Cavan, his older brother, Conor, and their younger sister, Quinn, grew up at Minute Maid Park. That is no exaggeration. The 24-year-old Cavan was five when the ballpark opened, and for the next seven years, until Craig retired in 2007, the kids bounced around Minute Maid Park like it was a backyard amusement park.
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They know every crevice of the building, including the press conference room where Cavan and his dad addressed the Houston and Toronto media prior to Friday's series opener between the Blue Jays and Astros.
"I can't tell you how many times we had a fake press conference in here," Cavan said. "We'd come in here and the mic was still on and we'd act like we were [former manager] Phil Garner talking about how Craig Biggio had a game-winning hit."
Past Father's Days didn't always include the Biggio family being together. As a player, Craig was out of town a lot on Father's Day, and when Cavan became a college player at Notre Dame, and later started his pro career, Craig and his wife, Patty, often employed the "divide and conquer" method -- one would go to Cavan's games, and one would stick with Quinn, a rising softball star at Notre Dame.
Cavan surmised this might be the first Father's Day his dad is actually able to watch him play.
"I think this whole weekend, it'll be a very cool experience for me," he said. "I've been around my whole life, grew up in this building. My parents have been coming to this building for a while. This time is going to be very different for them, and it's going to be something pretty special, not only for my dad but also for my mother."
The weekend series is a full family affair. Craig, mom Patty, Quinn, Conor, Patty’s 82-year-old dad and dozens of extended family and friends were expected to be in attendance for the three games.
Which family members will be rooting for the Astros and which will come down on the side of the Jays was undetermined. Patty and Quinn were wearing specially-made jerseys that included both teams, and Conor went with the two-jersey look: underneath, Houston, and over that, Toronto.
For Cavan and Craig, the decision was less complicated.
"This weekend, I just want to see them lose these three games," Cavan said of the Astros.
"I hope [Cavan] has a great weekend," Craig said. "And [the Astros] win all the games."
Wins and losses will be secondary to what's most important to Craig -- reveling in the accomplishments of all his kids, and celebrating the hard work of one particular second baseman who currently wears "Biggio" on the back of his Jays jersey.
"Father's Day weekend, watching your son play in the big leagues ... it's pretty special," Craig Biggio said. "It's exciting for myself and my family to see him earn his own stripes and make his own way."
Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter.