Craig Biggio was one of four players elected into the 2015 Hall of Fame alongside Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, and John Smoltz. Being hitter voted in ahead of players like Mike Piazza, Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, and Sammy Sosa speaks volumes to his abilities at the plate, as well as his character during baseball’s Steroid Era.
Biggio was already 21 years old when the Houston Astros drafted him as a catcher out of Seton Hall University in New Jersey, which may have led to his quick ascension to the Major League level.
His first season of professional baseball came in 1987 for the Single A Asheville Tourists where he compiled an impressive .375/.471/.597 triple slash line through 64 games while stealing 31 bases as the backstop. What was even more impressive is that Biggio cranked out 81 hits over those 64 games. It became apparent to the Astros organization that Biggio was the real deal and wouldn’t require much more vetting in their system.
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In 1988 Biggio was promoted to the Triple A Tuscon Toros. His triple slash line was exceptional again, hitting 320/.408/.456 with 90 hits in just 77 games. Biggio showed once again that he could use his legs by swiping 19 bags in 23 attempts. It was here that Biggio’s brilliance put him front and center for a promotion to the Show. After just 497 minor league at bats, Craig Biggio was called up to play for the Houston Astros and he never looked back.
Biggio went on to be one of the most consistent, reliable, and well-liked players in the game, playing catcher, second base, and outfield. His durability allowed him to play in more than 130 games in 17 of his 19 full seasons. His career achievements include: 7 All Star appearances, 4 Gold Gloves, and 5 Silver Slugger awards. Biggio walked away from baseball at the age of 41 with a life time batting average of 281 and a second place finish in HBP (285).
Welcome to Cooperstown, Craig Biggio.