|Birth Day:||December 14, 1965|
|Birth Place:||Long Island, United States|
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He turned down football scholarships after high school in order to continue playing baseball.
Although Biggio was an infielder, Seton Hall coach Mike Sheppard switched him to catcher because the team was in need of one. In 1986, he played collegiate summer baseball in the Cape Cod Baseball League for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox.
Biggio was called up as a catcher midway through the 1988 season, having batted .344 in his minor league career. In 1989, his first full season, Biggio became the Astros' starting catcher. He won the Silver Slugger Award in 1989. He was a very speedy runner, and an adept base stealer. Astros' management, in an attempt to keep the rigors of catching from sapping Biggio's speed, tried him in the outfield part-time in 1990, as he had played 18 games there in the minors. Yogi Berra mentioned Biggio's height in his book You Can Observe A Lot By Watching, saying, "I always identified with short catchers—they don't have to stand up as far".
The Astros finally convinced Biggio to convert to second base in spring training 1992, even though Biggio had made the National League All-Star team as a catcher the year before. Biggio made the All-Star team for the second time in 1992, becoming the first player in the history of baseball to be an All-Star at both catcher and second base. It is remarkably rare for a major league catcher to make a successful transition to middle infielder. If a catcher changes positions, it is usually to first base, or occasionally to outfield or third base.
Biggio was selected by the Houston Astros in the first round (22nd overall) of the 1987 draft. Biggio remains Seton Hall's leader in triples, second in runs scored, and is in the top 10 in 18 other single-season and career categories. In 1996, Biggio was inducted into the Seton Hall Hall of Fame and had his number 44 retired in 2012.
However, he improved slightly for the 2003 season, averaging .264 with 166 hits despite being asked by management to move to center field after the signing of free agent All-Star second baseman Jeff Kent. In 2004, he put up numbers more typical for his career, batting .281 with 178 hits, including a career-high 24 homers. Biggio moved to yet another new position, left field, midway through the 2004 season to accommodate Beltrán, who was acquired in a trade to help bolster the Astros' struggling offense.
In February, 2005, Biggio and Bagwell were jointly inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame. Biggio resumed playing at second base after Kent left for the Dodgers and set a new career-high with 26 home runs. He also reached 1,000 RBI, becoming the second Astro to do so, following Bagwell.
After having played 4,714 games and their entire major league careers together in Houston, Biggio and Bagwell appeared in their first World Series in 2005 against the Chicago White Sox. The White Sox swept the Astros to secure the championship with the lowest run-scoring differential in World Series history. Both Biggio and Bagwell received Baseball America's Lifetime Achievement Award after the 2005 season.
Over his career, Biggio gained a reputation for being hit by pitches; some observers criticized him due to the fact that many of the pitches hit him on his sizable elbow pad. Some have even gone so far as to proclaim him the "king of hit batsmen". On June 29, 2005, Biggio broke the modern-era career hit-by-pitch record, previously held by Don Baylor with 267. He is second to only Hughie Jennings on the all-time list with 287. Despite being hit by a record number of pitches, Biggio never charged the mound, and had no serious injuries as a result of being hit by a pitch.
On May 23, 2006, Biggio became the 23rd player in MLB history to reach 10,000 at-bats.
In his final season, however, Biggio was only hit three times. He was hit fewer times total between 2006 and 2007 (nine times in 2006, total of 12) than he was in 10 of his previous 11 individual seasons. In August 2007, the satirical online newspaper The Onion referenced this in the article "Craig Biggio Blames Media Pressure For Stalling at 285 Hit-By-Pitches". Biggio sent an arm guard to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in recognition of his high hit-by-pitch total.
With the 2006 annual golf tournament, Biggio has raised over $2 million for the organization. During 2007 spring training, MLB informed Biggio that he would no longer be allowed to wear the small yellow sun on his cap during interviews, photo shoots, or spring training. Biggio had worn the Sunshine Kids pin for over a decade. This edict was big news in Houston, and Houstonians, long known for their charitable nature and unconditional love of Biggio, reacted very negatively to MLB. After the public uproar, MLB relented and Biggio was allowed to wear the Sunshine Kids pin as he had done since becoming a spokesperson.
On June 28, 2007, Biggio became the 27th player in the history of Major League Baseball to join the 3,000 hit club, with a single against Colorado Rockies pitcher Aaron Cook. Though Biggio was tagged out on the play attempting to stretch it into a double, drawing the throw allowed a run to score. The game action paused while Biggio shared the moment with his wife and children. Longtime friend and former teammate Jeff Bagwell emerged from the Astros clubhouse to congratulate him. Biggio became the first player in Astros history to accumulate 3,000 hits. It was Biggio's third hit of the game, and he went on to accumulate two more later in the game, one in the ninth inning and one in the eleventh inning. Biggio's 3,000th hit came on the same day that Frank Thomas hit his milestone 500th career home run, both marks which are considered to guarantee one's induction into the Hall of Fame.
On July 24, 2007, Biggio announced his retirement, effective at the end of the season (his 20th season with the club, a franchise record). Hours later, with the Astros locked in a 3–3 tie with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Biggio hit a grand slam in the 6th inning. The Astros went on to win the game 7–4.
A sellout, record-breaking crowd packed Minute Maid Park on September 30, 2007, to witness Biggio's final game. He recorded his final career hit, a double in the first inning, and scored his final career run that same inning. In his final career at-bat, he grounded the ball to third baseman Chipper Jones, who threw out the hustling Biggio by half a step. He left the field to a standing ovation from the fans, and when he was replaced defensively in the top of the 8th inning he shook hands with umpires and teammates and left to another standing ovation as he waved to the fans. The Astros won the game 3–0.
Biggio has received awards from various organizations, including the Hutch Award (2005) and being named one of Sporting News' Good Guys (2004). The Hutch Award is given to a player that shows competitiveness and never gives up. Part of the reason Biggio was given the award was for his multiple position changes, but also because of his work in the community and inspiring other teammates to participate as well. He also received the Roberto Clemente Award in 2007. The Roberto Clemente Award "recognizes the player who best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual's contribution to his team".
On May 23, 2008, during a pre-game ceremony, Biggio received an award for MLB.com's This Year in Baseball 2007 Moment of the Year award for his 3,000th hit. On June 28, the Astros announced that they would retire Craig Biggio's jersey. The Houston Astros retired his No. 7 jersey on August 17, 2008, prior to the start of a game versus the Arizona Diamondbacks. Biggio was the ninth player in Astros history to have his number retired.
Biggio and his wife, the former Patty Egan, have three children: Conor, Cavan, and Quinn. They live in Houston. For several years, Biggio was the head varsity baseball coach at St. Thomas High School. Biggio coached St. Thomas to back-to-back Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS) Class 5A state baseball titles in 2010 and 2011.
Biggio has been a special assistant to the general manager since 2008. In this role, he works in several areas, including with the baseball operations staff in its major and minor league player development programs with special emphasis on instruction, the amateur draft and scouting, and major and minor league talent evaluation. Biggio was involved in the selection of new Astros Manager Bo Porter in 2012. Additionally, Biggio participates in the club's community development program.
Both of Biggio's sons played for the St. Thomas baseball team. Cavan hit a home run in the team's 2011 championship game, while older brother Conor provided the winning offense in St. Thomas' semi-final victory. In Summer 2012, Conor played left field for the North Adams SteepleCats of the New England Collegiate Baseball League; in Summer 2013, he played outfield and second base for the North Shore Navigators of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League. When asked by the Houston Chronicle about the success, the elder Biggio replied
Biggio first appeared on the writers' ballot for the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2013, the earliest possible year of consideration. He led all Hall of Fame vote-getters by being named on 68.2% of ballots cast. However, this was 39 votes shy of reaching the 75% threshold required by the BBWAA for induction. The following year he once again failed to garner enough votes to be inducted, finishing two votes shy with a voting percentage of 74.8%. This ties him with Nellie Fox (1985) and Pie Traynor (1947) for smallest margin not to get into the Hall.
On January 6, 2015, Biggio was rewarded for his career by being elected to the Hall of Fame. He received 82.7% of the votes and was inducted into the hall on July 26, 2015.
Currently, Craig Biggio is 57 years, 3 months and 18 days old. Craig Biggio will celebrate 58th birthday on a Thursday 14th of December 2023.
Find out about Craig Biggio birthday activities in timeline view here.