January 9, 2013 by kujhawk
39 votes. That’s how many Craig Biggio came up short of being a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer. A man who amassed over 3,000 hits in his career, over 600 doubles over 400 stolen bases and 1,175 RBIs is not entering the HOF on his first ballot.
It’s time for the baseball writers to get off of their high horses.
Was Biggio ever accused or linked to the rest of the steroid-era players? No he never was. Sure, he played a few years with Roger Clemens (another player who should eventually be in the HOF) but that doesn’t mean Clemens was coaxing him into the locker room to inject him with HGH. And furthermore, Clemens has been exonerated TWICE. His name has been cleared. You can say, “well I still think he did it,” but according to the law, Clemens did not do steroids.
Biggio also spent almost his whole career in Houston with his fellow Killer B and HOF candidate Jeff Bagwell. Bagwell was a slugger who had 449 homers in his career, which included winning rookie of the year in 1991 and an MVP award in 1994. Bagwell was never linked to steroids in the peak of the era, but there seems to be a stigma against any player who has muscles and hits the baseball a long ways. Just because a writer thinks that maybe a player might have used steroids in his career, that shouldn’t mean that he should be black-balled from the HOF.
Is it because these two players were a part of Biggio’s baseball career that he was not voted in? It seems very likely. But Biggio never grew extremely during his time on the baseball field like Barry Bonds. Biggio was always the same. And yet, because he came into contact with players who people “believe” used performance enhancing drugs, Biggio has seemingly been lumped in with all of the other steroid-era sluggers.
Being from Houston, I watched Biggio be a staple for the Astros my whole childhood. Their wasn’t a kid in Houston in the 90s and 00s that didn’t want to be like Craig Biggio.
There is something special about being a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer. Not many players receive this honor. For Biggio, in the weeks and months leading up to this year’s vote, the general consensus was that he would be in this year. And yet, a bunch of guys who never played professional baseball decided that he didn’t deserve to be in this year. My only question is why?
You gave him 68 percent, and he needed 75 to be inducted. The trend for players who get close is that they gain votes in the years following their first vote, so it is likely that he will be voted in in the next year or two. But that doesn’t explain why you kept him out writers. Did you feel that no one deserved to be in this year because it is the first true “steroid-era” vote? Even if a player was never linked, was that message you wanted to send to players and fans? Is this their punishment?
The writers who are voting need to get their act together. They act like they are some police force who needs to defend the HOF from players who are “unworthy.” If a player is even on the ballot after he retires, he is probably worthy of a place in the HOF. What the writers are doing is diminishing the value of the Hall. If the voters think that a player who played 20 years for one team, never had a bad word said about him, accrued seven all-star selections, five silver slugger awards, four gold gloves and over 3,000 hits is not worthy of their vote, I don’t know if the HOF even matters anymore. ESPN analyst Tim Kurkjian said it best, if this trend continues, the relevancy of the HOF will start to come into question.
If any player deserved to be in the 2013 HOF class, no one deserved it more than Craig Biggio, and 39 people should be ashamed of themselves. This day, and this vote really have me questioning whether I care about the HOF anymore.