A Houston icon is calling it quits. Long-time Astros player Craig Biggio is retiring after twenty years with the team. Houston Public Radio’s Laurie Johnson has more on the announcement from one of Houston’s favorite baseball players.
Astros Second Baseman Craig Biggio is one of the most loved and revered sports players in the city. He’s seen a lot in his 20-year career with the Astros. He’s a potential Hall of Famer, with more than 3,000 hits, nearly 300 homeruns, more doubles than any other righthanded player in history and six postseason appearances, including the 2005 World Series. To put things in perspective, Craig Biggio has been playing major league baseball since 1988, when Ronald Reagan was still president. He says this year was about his family and the fans.
“I was reading the — I think I read them all last night — I didn’t get much sleep just thinking about different things and I read just about every one of those little notes the fans wrote on the 3,000-hit thing. It makes you feel great. It really does. What do I say to them? Thank you. Just thank you for opening up your living rooms and letting me in your lives for 20 years. I love you guys.”
A number of fans were outside Minute Maid Park, purchasing tickets and touring the park. Most were sad to hear the news of Biggio’s retirement.
“My name is Tom Zakes. I’ve been an Astros fan since the 70s. I probably go to about 50-60 games a year. I’m very surprised about Biggio retiring. I figured he’d still be out there plugging away when he was in his 50s, you know. More power to him, I know that he’s got kids that we wants to spend more time with. He’s definitely done a great job, I think he’s got three or four more good years left in him, but you know more power to him.”
“This is Debbie Holt. We were driving in and we just heard that Biggio retired and very sad, but understandable. I’ve been watching him since I was a little kid, so I know it’s been a while for him and we’ve enjoyed watching him play and it’s sad that he’s leaving the field.”
Biggio’s reputation as a player to be reckoned with reached its height in the 1990s, when he was at the top of the batting lineup and was nicknamed one of the Killer B’s, along with teammates Jeff Bagwell and Derek Bell. More recently, Biggio made history when he became the first Astro and only the 27th player ever to reach 3,000 hits. The 41-year-old says he wanted to wait to make the announcement until after the 3,000 hit milestone.
“I didn’t want to stick around the game too long where — stick around for another couple years and I could play the game for a couple more years and I know I could. But I get to go out on top. I mean, the World Series was unbelieveable, but the 3,000-hit night was the best. I’m never going to forget that, I don’t think the fans are going to forget it.”
Biggio will play his last game on September 30th against the Atlanta Braves. He hopes to end the game playing one inning as catcher, the position he started in two decades ago. After that, he’ll head off the field and take off the Astros uniform for the last time. Laurie Johnson, Houston Public Radio News.