Famous Baseball Players
Base Ball Players
Craig Alan Biggio [BIDGE-ee-oh] (born December 14, 1965 in Smithtown, NY) is a seven-time All-Star baseball player who has played his entire Major League career with the Houston Astros. On November 10, 2006, The Astros reached a 1-year agreement with Biggio, ensuring his 20th consectuive season with the team.
Through 2006, Biggio leads all active ballplayers in doubles (637) and hit by pitch (282).
Biggio was called up as a catcher midway through the 1988 season, having batted .344 in his minor league career, and became the Astros starting catcher. He won the Silver Slugger award in 1989. Biggio 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.
The Astros finally convinced Biggio to convert to second base in spring training 1992, even though Biggio had made the All-Star team as a catcher in 1991. 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 became known as a reliable, hustling, consistent top of the order hitter, with unusual power for a second baseman. His statistics reflect this, having consistently good marks in hitting, on-base percentage, hit-by-pitch, runs, stolen bases and doubles throughout his career.
Yogi Berra, when asked about Biggio being short for a catcher, said "Short catchers are better, because they don't have to stand up as far."
His consistency was epitomized by playing 1,800 games without ever being put on the disabled list until August 1, 2000, when he had a season-ending knee injury. In the play that Biggio was injured on, the Florida Marlins' Preston Wilson (who later had a stint as Biggio's teammate) slid into second base, trying to break up a double play, and hit Biggio's planted left leg, tearing the anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament in Biggio's knee. Biggio rebounded with a good season in 2001, but had a lackluster performance in 2002, with only a .253 average, his lowest since entering the league.
However, he improved slightly for the 2003 season, averaging .264 with 166 hits despite being asked by management to move to center field. In 2004, he put up numbers more typical for his career, batting .281 with 178 hits, including 24 homers. Biggio moved to yet another new position, left field, midway through the 2004 season to accommodate Carlos Beltrán.