While a lot of purists are sitting smug in their cocoons of self imposed perfection I look at this year’s Baseball Hall of Fame vote as a crying shame of self-righteousness. We can look at the facts, and we can look at the implications of perceptions, but we have to be careful when we start playing God over others.
Craig Biggio had more than 3000 hits, and he played over 250 games at catcher, second base and centerfield. He’s the only player to do that. Biggio also won Silver Sluggers at catcher and at second base; he is the only player to have done that. He stole 414 bases and is fifth all time in doubles.
All but two players with over 3000 hits who are retired are in the hall of fame and Rafael Palmeiro was busted for steroids after speaking to Congress. The other is Pete Rose who broke the only commandment of baseball: Don’t Bet on Baseball.
I’ve seen some who have ranked Biggio among the top five second basemen in the game’s history. I’m not sure I’d go there because off the top of my head that’s Roberto Alomar, Joe Morgan, Ryne Sandberg, Jackie Robinson and Eddie Collins. But this link will take you to a list of all the second basemen in the HOF as of today… I’ll let you decide where he ranks, but there is not much question that he belongs with them.
Biggio was never besmirched with rumors of steroids and if you contact the Houston Astros to talk about Biggio’s charity works with the community during his tenure with the team you will get a long list. The facts don’t lie. His numbers are deserving of enshrinement. Even if we wanted to play God, we can’t get him on his integrity. He was a Roberto Clemente Award winner for best citizen to the game in 2007, and a Branch Rickey Award winner in 1997. There are no police reports for beating a wife, being a drunk, beating up fans or anything else. I couldn’t even find a speeding ticket on him.
There is zero reason that he shouldn’t have gotten 75 percent of the vote or higher.
To see who Brad would have voted for, check out his Unofficial Hall of Fame ballot.