Welcome to Cooperstown, Craig Biggio!
Over the course of his 20-year MLB career, Craig Biggio only managed to earn seven All-Star appearances at two different positions, four Gold Gloves at his fifth position, five Silver Sluggers and MVP votes in five seasons. Ya know … only.
Oh, and he accomplished all of that on his way to finishing 16th all-time in career games played, 21st all-time in career hits and fifth all-time in career doubles. And if wearing pitches is your thing, he's second all time in HBP with 285, because grit. (And just like Boy Meets World's "Beanbag" Bagwell, Biggio hung 'em up just shy of the all-time mark: Hughie Jennings' 287.) And even though Biggio won't be officially granted entry until this July at the induction ceremony, his battered arm guard already graces the Hall.
Whether he was stretching a single into a double, playing four positions in a single season or hiding his batting helmet beneath enough pine tar to turn George Brett's head, Biggio was a joy to watch. I mean, how many former catchers turn into Gold Glove-winning second baseman then into center fielders and back into second baseman - all while swiping over 400 bags? He was essentially a Transformer.
And thanks to Biggio and the fearsome Killer Bs of Jeff Bagwell and Derek Bell (with Lance Berkman playing Shemp to Bell's Curly in the '00s), the Astros were a fearsome squad that finished lower than second only once between 1994 and 2006. In 2005, the 'Stros ran the gambit to the World Series with Biggio leading the way with 26 home runs and 11 steals in the regular season … at the age of 39. Do you know how many other 39-or-older players have managed to hit at least 25 home runs and steal 10 or more bags? Zero. Zilch.
Biggio has always been surrounded with a triumvirate of talent, too. While playing for Seton Hall in 1987, Biggio was teamed with then-future Red Sox John Valentin and Mo Vaughn.
Now that Biggio finally eclipsed the 75-percent mark to gain induction into the Hall of Fame, feel free to use the announcement as an excuse to relive some of the major milestones of his impressive career.
His 3,000th hit, becoming the first Astro to reach the mark. Naturally, Biggio went 5-for-6 to become only the 28th player in Major League history with that many hits. (Biggio also fell only nine home runs short of becoming the second player since Willie Mays to post a 3,000-hit, 300-home run and 300-steal career):
And let's not forget the time that he hit for the cycle:
Or that time he set an NL record for career leadoff HRs:
Even stranger was the previously unreported times that he saved people from paper cuts, thieves and even zombies. If that's not a Hall of Famer, I don't know what is.