Will Biggio Make It Next Time?

This also happened 284 other times during the 20-season Astros career of the great Craig Biggio.

This also happened 284 other times during the 20-season Astros career of the great Craig Biggio.

In 2013, 569 BBWAA writers held the credentials for voting in the annual selection of inductees into the Baseball Hall of Fame. For selection, an eligible party had to receive a minimum of 75% approval in the voting process for induction. For a voting population of 569, that translated to an eligible party getting a minimum of 427 votes of approval (75.3%).

For eligible parties who fell short of induction in the vote, Craig Biggio finished at the top of the heap with 388 votes (68.2%) – or 39 votes short of the 427 total votes he needed for election on his first eligible ballot. It also means that 181 votes (31.%) of the 569 total were withheld from Biggio in 2013 for one of four basic reasons: (1) the voter did not think that Biggio was deserving; (2) the voter does not think that anyone deserves a first ballot ticket to Cooperstown; (3) the voter views Biggio’s numbers as merely the product of longevity and not the fruits of greatness; or (4) the voter was not paying close attention and did not notice Biggio’s name on the ballot.

What about the 2014 ballot? Will Craig Biggio make it to the Hall of Fame then?

Here’s where “next year” always gets interesting for candidates like Biggio, assuming that he is like all previous retired players in the sense that he is now powerless to improve upon the same career numbers that the voters examined “this year”. – If this voting process were totally a logical matter, one would have to ask: If the career numbers for Biggio haven’t changed in the past year, why should the voting numbers change at all?

The answer’s obvious. – The voting culture in baseball is not all that logical or tied to any one standard of what represents greatness.

So, if Biggio loses votes rom the 388 writers who supported him in 2013, it says what? That those voters have had a change of heart, for whatever reason, on his deservedness for the HOF? That being said, at any rate, it is unlikely that Biggio will lose any of his 388 writer votes from this year, unless they are either dead or physically unable to vote by next year.

No, the big question next year is – how many of those 181 hold-back votes this year were firm negations of Biggio or simply a show of “no hands” from those same kind of writers that didn’t vote for Babe Ruth or Hank Aaron on their first ballots.

All Biggio has to do is hold his 388 “yea” votes from 2013 and add 39 more next time and he goes into the HOF in 2014. I think he will get them next time, if something in the meanwhile doesn’t blow through the world of baseball like the Spanish Flu did to the whole planet back in 1918 to depress the urge and desire for accolading anyone new.

I keep thinking of Biggio’s 3,060 hits – and his twenty seasons as an Astro – and of the fact he was both an All Star catcher and second baseman – and of Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell as the “Icons in Bronze” at Minute Maid Park – and of his 285 HBP’s – and of his work with the Sunshine Kids – and of the data reality that only one of the other comparable twenty men who have already made it to “The Hall” as second basemen even came close to amassing – his 668 career doubles total. The great Napoleon Lajoie finished with 657 doubles, eleven shy of the Biggio mark.

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4 Responses to “Will Biggio Make It Next Time?”

  1. Bob Hulsey Says:

    The vote total may regress because of the new names who will be added for 2014:

    Tom Glavine, Luis Gonzalez, Jeff Kent, Greg Maddux, Mike Mussina, Kenny Rogers, Frank Thomas

    Maddux is almost a certain first-ballot guy while Glavine could join him and Frank Thomas might go in as well.

    Voters can only put 10 names on their ballot so a few guys who wrote in Biggio eighth or ninth may drop him in 2014 however some who try to punish those not deemed first-ballot worthy might add him on.

    Plus, there could be the same first ballot bias at work for guys like Bonds, Clemens and Sosa (although there could also be the steroid cloud holding them back). Those factors may also work against Biggio.

    I think he has an uphill climb from here because he played his whole career in a media backwater and rarely got the sort of attention that would give him any support from American League writers. To them, he’s just an old guy who hung around a long time.

  2. Shannon Says:

    It really doesn’t matter what the HOF people decide, we all know that Craig Biggio is a great athlete, great person and an outstanding role model. He most certainly deserves to be inducted into the Hall of Fame this year, but if not, it’s on them.

  3. Andy Lopez Says:

    I think with a little lobbying he will make it. Is Justice the only voting member from the area?

  4. Wilfredo Says:

    Biggio is much more deserver than a lot of guys on the ballot, plus Jack Morris shouldn’t deserve any attention from the voters, he was good, but not a hall of fame guy, he’s ERA will tell you that. Tommy John was better than him, and Tommy still out of the hall, not to mention Ron Guidry and Jim Kaat.

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