When I was 6 years old I lived in Willis, Texas, a northern suburb of Houston. My first grade teacher’s name was Ms Biggio, none other than Craig Biggio’s aunt. Craig Biggio was a young catcher on the hometown team and since I played catcher in little league at the time, he was my favorite player. Towards the end of the school year and the beginning of the baseball season she got me this ball autographed by almost all of the 1991 Houston Astros, including among others, Jeff Bagwell, Curt Schilling, Steve Finley, and the manager Art Howe. It was my prized possession for much of my youth until I moved to St. Louis a few years later and became indoctrinated as a Cardinals fan, which I remain today. Your first anything as a kid always holds a special place of importance and Craig Biggio was my first favorite baseball player so despite my shifted allegiance to the Redbirds, he would remain one of my favorites until he retired in 2007. Growing up I would purposely try to see the Astros when they came to Busch in order to see Biggio play, who had by that point in his career moved to the outfield and second base to save his knees. 

Craig Biggio missed out on being voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame today by two tenths of a percent. Two more votes and he’s a hall of famer. And while he’ll likely get voted in next year, it was a disappointing result for a guy with over 3,000 hits and who more impressively (I think) was hit by the pitch 285 times in his career, the most in modern history, and never once charged the mound. 

Next year, Craig. 

Texans defensive tackle J.J. Watt wore a Craig Biggio jersey today as a tribute to the former Astros star, who was 39 votes short of making the baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday. When Watt met with the media after practice, he was asked about the jersey. He praised Biggio.