As expected, former Astros great Craig Biggio is among the 2013 candidates for election into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
The ballot was officially annouced by The Baseball Writers Association of America at 11 a.m. on Wednesday. Other notable names making their way to the ballot for the first time are Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling. This year's ballot includes 24 newcomers and 13 returnees. To be enshrined, a candidate must receive 75 percent of "yes" votes from the BWAA. Results of the election will be announced on Jan. 9.
Biggio joins longtime teammate Jeff Bagwell, in his third year of eligibility, on the ballot.
“Craig Biggio is an iconic player who is deserving of being a first-ballot Hall of Famer,” Astros Owner and Chairman Jim Crane said earlier this week. “He is a superb representative of the organization, the city, the fans and the game of baseball.
“With Craig now joining his long-time teammate, Jeff, on the Hall of Fame ballot, next year’s induction ceremony has a chance to be an historic occasion for our city and its fans. Both players are Hall of Famers in our eyes, and we hope the voters agree.”
Biggio is still involved with the Astros, as a special assistant to general manager Jeff Luhnow.
For all 20 of his major league seasons, Biggio was an Astro. He was a catcher, second baseman and an outfielder. Biggio had 3,060 hits (21st all-time). Twenty four of the 28 players to reach 3,000 hits are in the Hall of Fame. The ones who aren't: Derek Jeter, Rafael Palmeiro and Pete Rose.
“I really can’t believe it has been five years (since retiring)," Biggio said. "To be included on the ballot is an incredible feeling. It is hard to put into words. I would of played the game for free if I had to. I just enjoyed the game for what it was and the opportunity to go out there and compete day in and day out.”
For his career, Biggio hit .281 with 668 doubles, 291 home runs and 1,175 RBIs. He also stole 414 bases and scored 1,844 runs, ranking him 14th all-time. Biggio hold the NL record for career leadoff home runs with 53 and the MLB hit-by-pitch record with 285.
Biggio is the only player in MLB history with 600 doubles, 250 homers, 3,000 hits and 400 stolen bases.
Here is the full 2013 ballot, with last year's voting percentages where applicable...
Sandy Alomar Jr.
Jeff Bagwell (56.0)
Edgar Martinez (36.5)
Don Mattingly (17.8)
Fred McGriff (23.9)
Mark McGwire (19.5)
Jack Morris (66.7)
Dale Murphy (14.5)
Rafael Palmeiro (12.6)
Tim Raines (48.7)
Lee Smith (50.6)
Alan Trammell (36.8)
Larry Walker (22.9)
Bernie Williams (9.6)