This weekend Houston Astros great Craig Biggio, 5-foot-11, 185 pounds, won induction into the 2015 Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. The Baseball Writers’ Association of America elected him with 82.7% of the vote in his third time on the ballot. Biggio was one of the famous “Killer Bs” of the Houston Astros.
Biggio, in Cooperstown with his wife Patty and children Connor, Cavan, and Quinn, still exudes a youthful enthusiasm and boyish smile at 49. The catcher and versatile position player was a well-deserved favorite of all ages Astros fans. Several thousand Texans, part of the crowd of estimated at 45,000, attended the moving ceremony.
The Biggio record is the reason for his being in the Baseball Hall of Fame. He played for the Astros from 1988 to 2007, 2850 games, 10,876 times at bat, 1,844 runs, 3,060 hits, 668 doubles, 55 triples, 291 home runs, 414 stolen bases, 1,175 RBI, 1,160 walks, a .281 lifetime batting average, seven All Star appearances, five Silver Sluggers, and four Gold Gloves.
The “Killer Bees” nickname was applied to four powerhouse Astros who played together for many seasons. In addition to Biggio, the other players were Jeff Bagwell, Derek Bell, and Sean Berry. Lance Berkman was also included in the “B” club in later seasons.
In his speech he made special reference to his deceased mother, who attended all of his high school and Seton Hall University games when possible and his father. He referred to fellow players Brad Ausmus, Jeff Bagwell, the late Ken Caminiti, and owners Drayton McClane and John McMullen. He expressed special gratitude to former Astro coach Matt Galante, who helped him greatly transition from All-Star catcher to All-Star second baseman. Biggio played catcher from 1988 to 1992, and in 1992 switched to second base. A star football and baseball player in high school, he always displayed a football attitude.
Biggio, an Astro, a “lifer,” now serves as a special assistant to general manager Jeff Luhnow. He enjoys seeing the young athletes grow and mature into great players. As Drayton McClane often said, “He inspired everybody he played with and he inspired the city.”