On the threshold of becoming the 27th man in history to collect 3,000 career hits, Craig Biggio stepped out of the batter's box and called a brief timeout as the sellout crowd at Minute Maid Park chanted his name.
BIG-GI-O! BIG-GI-O! BIG-GI-O!
Once he settled back into the batter's box, he ripped an RBI single to center field to collect his third hit of the night and the 3,000th of his 20-year career, sending the sellout crowd of 42,537 into a five-minute ovation unlike anything seen in Houston outside the 2005 World Series and the Rockets' 1994 and 1995 NBA titles.
He is the epitome of class and a strong work ethic. A true hero in the world of sports. He will always be one of my favorite players for who he is on and off the field. I was at his very first game with the Astros. I was at the first one for Bagwell and the dear departed Caminiti. I'm glad Jeff was there and so wish Ken could have been, but I know Ken was cheering him on from the beyond.
Thank you Craig for the wonderful years you have given to this great sport, my baseball team, and my city. Thanks to your wife and children for sharing you with us all.
You will always hold a special place in my heart for what you did for my daughter some 14 years ago at Astrofest. You, Casey Candale, Shane, DK, Ken(gawd I miss both of you), Jeff, among a few others.
I wish I could have been at Minute Maid for your 3,000th, like I was at the Dome. You've been catcher, 2nd base, and outfield. You've gone to the All-Star game for 2.
A little rundown:
- He hit his 3000th hit on June 28, 2007 at 9:14 PM (CST), to a sold out crowd at Minute Maid Park.
- He is the only player in Major League Baseball history with at least 600 doubles, 3,000 hits, 250 homers and 400 steals.
- He led the majors in runs scored in 1995 and 1997 and in doubles in 1998 and 1999.
- He became the first player in baseball history in 1997 not to hit into a single double play while playing an entire 162 game season. Two players had previously played an entire season with the same feat, but did not play in as many games in their respective seasons.
- He scored 146 runs in 1997, which is the most of any National League player since the Chuck Klein of the Phillies' scored 152 runs in 1932.
- He tops the Astros' career list in games played, at-bats, runs scored, hits, doubles and extra-base hits.
- He holds the record for most regular season games played before his first World Series appearance with 2,564.
- In 1998 he became the second player to have 50 stolen bases and 50 doubles in the same season. The only other person to accomplish this is Tris Speaker, a Hall of Famer.
- He holds the National League record for most lead-off home runs in a career with 52. He is 2nd in behind Ricky Henderson who sits at 81.
- And last but not least, Biggio is a 7-Time All Star and considered by many to be a future Hall of Famer.