Biggio falls short of Hall of Fame again

Biggio falls short of Hall of Fame again
January 8, 2014, 12:15 pm
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Biggio missing HOF is personal for Reid Ryan

(USA Today Sports Images)

For the second straight year, Craig Biggio fell short of the 75 percent of the vote needed to be enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

This time, he was two votes short. Biggio finished with 74.8 percent of the vote, just below the required 75 percent.

“Congratulations to Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas," Biggio said in a statement released by the Astros. "Obviously, I’m disappointed to come that close. I feel for my family, the organization and the fans. Hopefully, next year.”

Jeff Bagwell also fell short of 75 percent, finishing with 54.3 percent of the vote.

Biggio, who spent 20 seasons in an Astros uniform and was an All Star as both a catcher and a second baseman, finished his career with 3,060 hits, seven All Star game appearances, five Silver Slugger Awards and four Gold Gloves.

All those accolades were not enough to put Biggio over the top in the vote by the Baseball Writers Association of America.

“We certainly share our fans’ disappointment over the voting results today," Astros president Reid Ryan said in the release. "This was just the third time in history that  a player has come within two votes of making it into the Hall of Fame, so that was tough.  

“On the positive side, it is encouraging that Craig appears to be on his way to eventual induction. The other two players that came as close as he did (Nellie Fox, Pie Traynor) eventually were inducted. It was also encouraging that on a crowded ballot with several strong candidates this year, Craig increased his vote total by six percent. The Astros and our fans know that Craig deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, and it is good to know that 74.8 percent of the Baseball Writers agree. We’re hopefull it will happen in 2015.

“We also feel Jeff Bagwell is worthy of the Hall of Fame and are hopeful that his day will come in the near future as well.”

The three chosen this year were Maddux, Glavine and Thomas. The last time three first-ballot players went in was in 1999.

If he was elected, Biggio would have been the first player to be enshrined as an Astros player. A former first round selection from Seton Hall University, Biggio began his career as a catcher, reaching the All Star in 1991 before making the switch to second base where the All Star appearances , Silver Slugger Awards and Gold Gloves continued.  

Biggio will appear on the Hall of Fame ballot next year; players can remain on the ballot for 15 years. With the percentage of votes he has received in his first two years, it seems more likely that his eventual election is more likely than not. No player has received as large a percentage of the vote in their first two seasons and not been elected to the Hall of Fame.