Hamilton: 'Disappointment doesn't cover it all'
Is Craig Biggio a Hall of Famer?
The short answer is both no and yes.
The longtime Astros star came up two votes short of the 429 necessary to earn enshrinement into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. In a year with a stacked ballot, thanks in large part to the question of performance enhancing drugs in baseball, Biggio improved from 68.2 percent of the vote to 74.8 percent this year.
Detractors will point to the MVP voting. Biggio failed to finish in the top three in MVP voting in any one season, and only reached the top 10 three times. They will point to his final seasons when he failed to hit over .264 in 2005, 2006 or 2007. That he was an accumulator, hanging on to reach the statistical milestones that have historically been qualifiers for automatic enshrinement in the Hall of Fame.
That is why he isn’t.
But he is.
In every sense of the word, Biggio is a Hall of Famer. What he accomplished in his career bears that out. An All-Star seven times, winner of the Silver Slugger five times, the Gold Glove four times. He finished his career with 3,060 hits, 668 doubles, 1,175 RBIs, 1,844 career runs and 414 stolen bases.
He was an All-Star as a catcher and second baseman.
As a leadoff hitter he scored at least 100 runs in eight seasons; he scored at least 94 in 12 seasons.
But more than the numbers, fans watched Biggio play day after day. They saw the grit and hustle, but more importantly they saw the greatness.
While Houston fans haven't seen a whole lot of team success, they have been witness to several individual feats and seasons of greatness through the years, but only twice have they been treated to the kind of sustained excellence worthy of being called a Hall of Fame career. Astros fans know it. But have yet to have what they’ve seen validated with the official stamp of approval from the Baseball Writers of America.
Biggio was supposed to be the first, and in all likelihood he will be at some point down the road. Just not today.
That doesn’t mean the fans are wrong -- they’re just ahead of the writers who, in 12 months, have another chance to make official what we already know: Craig Biggio is a Hall of Famer.