Blum on Biggio: 'I'm extremely disappointed'
Just 24 hours after failing to get the necessary votes to get elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame, Astros legend Craig Biggio cracked jokes and waxed philosophical about not getting in.
“We’re pretty close. You look at the numbers and we got a 68, and I’m going to go back and study and hopefully get a 75 next time,” Biggio joked with reporters at Minute Maid Park.
With more than 3,000 career hits over his 20 year career, the seven-time All Star was thought to be a good candidate to get into the Hall of Fame in his first opportunity. But Biggio received 68.2 percent of the vote instead of the required 75, missing induction by 39 votes.
The snub created a brief firestorm of criticism from Astros fans who thought he should have been inducted easily his first time through, but there were a few factors working against him. There is typically a bias against a player in his first year of eligibility, some writers leave all first year players off their ballots because there of a perceived significance of getting in on the first try. Historically, 21 percent of Hall of Famers get in on their first ballot. This election was also the biggest referendum to date on players from the steroid era with Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa all on the ballot for the first time. Several writers refused to fill in any names from the steroid era in apparent protest.
Biggio chose not to designate a certain reason why he wasn’t elected, citing both factors as contributors, and instead focused on the fact that he debuted at 68.2 and how close it is to 75.
"It’s really special, that’s a lot of votes” Biggio said. “Hopefully we can find 39 more people next year.”
He also chose not to take the BBWAA to task for failing to vote a single candidate into the Hall of Fame this year for just the eighth time ever and the first time since 1996.
“Honestly, I think that’s what makes the Hall of Fame special,” Biggio said. “When you have a lot of quality guys on the list and nobody’s able to get in, it speaks volumes about how special that group is.”
Biggio did take time to lobby for his teammate, Jeff Bagwell, who received 59.6 percent of the vote on his third time on the ballot.
“There’s no doubt about it, Baggy’s a Hall of Famer to me,” Biggio said. “You look at his numbers, you look at the way he played the game, you look at the way he represented the organization and the city. There’s no doubt about it.”