Astros legends Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio will be featured once again on the 2014 Major League Baseball Hall of Fame ballot, which will be officially announced tomorrow by the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA). This year will mark Bagwell's fourth appearance on the ballot and Biggio's second.
Biggio debuted on the Hall of Fame ballot last year and received 68.2 percent of the vote, the most votes of any eligible player in 2013. A player needs 75 percent of the votes for election. Bagwell has made significant strides in his three previous years on the ballot, registering 41.7 percent of the votes in 2011, 56.0 percent in 2012 and 59.6 percent last year, which ranked third among all players.
If elected, Bagwell and Biggio would be the first set of teammates to go into the Hall of Fame in the same year representing the same club since the Yankees Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford were inducted in 1974.
Other notable former Astros that will be on this year's ballot include Roger Clemens, who pitched for the Astros from 2004-06, Moises Alou (1998, 2000-01) and Jeff Kent (2003-04).
Results of this year's vote will be announced on January 8, 2014, at 1 p.m. CT, with the induction ceremony in Cooperstown scheduled for Sunday, July 27, 2014.
"There is no question that both Craig and Jeff deserve to be in the Hall of Fame," said Astros President of Business Operations Reid Ryan. "They were in the elite class of players of their era. Their numbers speak for themselves, but their many other attributes make them even more deserving. Both were team leaders that played the game the right way.
"And, most importantly, both played a significant role in the most successful run in franchise history that saw the Astros qualify for the playoffs six times in nine years, which included winning the pennant in 2005. We are extremely proud of Craig and Jeff and can't think of two better candidates to represent the Astros in the Hall of Fame."
THE CASE FOR BAGWELL
During his illustrious career, all spent with the Astros, Bagwell compiled a .297 batting average with 449 home runs and 1,529 RBI while posting a .408 on-base percentage and a .540 slugging percentage. He is the Houston franchise leader in career home runs, RBI, batting average and walks and ranks second in club history in
games, runs, hits, doubles, total bases, on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
During his 15 seasons, the Astros had their most successful run in franchise history, qualifying for the postseason six times while finishing at .500 or above 13 times. The Astros had the third-best winning percentage (.531) in the NL from 1991-2005.
In 1994, Bagwell became just the third player in history to win the NL Most Valuable Player Award by a unanimous vote after hitting .368 with 39 home runs, 116 RBI, a .750 slugging percentage, .451 on-base percentage and a career-high 1.201 OPS. Bagwell was a four-time All-Star, earned three Silver Slugger Awards, a Rawlings Gold Glove Award and was the NL Rookie of the Year in 1991.
He remains the only first baseman in NL history to reach the 30-30 club in home runs and stolen bases in a single season, which he did twice in his career. Also, notably, Bagwell played nine of his 15 seasons in the pitcher-friendly Astrodome.
BAGWELL BY THE NUMBERS
**.948 career OPS ranks 22nd in Major League history and 10th among right-handed hitters. Four of the nine right-handed hitters ranked ahead of him are in the Hall of Fame, while two others are not yet eligible for induction.
**.408 career on-base percentage ranks T-14th all-time among right-handed hitters and 10th all-time among first basemen (4th among RHH first basemen).
**is one of just 12 players in baseball history to hit at least 400 home runs while compiling a .408-or-higher on-base percentage.
**is the only first baseman in NL history to reach the 30-30 club in home runs and stolen bases, and the only first baseman in ML history to reach this milestone twice in a career.
**is one of 20 players in Major League history to win both the Rookie of the Year (1991) and Most Valuable Player (1994) awards.
**is the only first baseman in ML history and one of 13 players all-time to reach 400 home runs and 200 stolen bases.
**is one of six players in history to collect 30 home runs, 100 RBI and 100 runs scored in six consecutive seasons (1996-2001). Jimmie Foxx, Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, Alex Rodriguez and Albert Pujols are the others.
**is the only player in history to record 30 home runs, 100 RBI, 100 runs scored and 100 walks in six consecutive seasons (1996-2001).
**.297 career average ranks 18th all-time among players with 400 home runs, and 10th all-time among right-handed hitters with 400 home runs.
BAGWELL AMONGST HIS PEERS (1991-2005)
**1,529 RBI ranked second in the Majors and first among right-handed hitters.
**1,517 runs scored ranked third in the Majors.
**ranked third in the Majors in hits (2,314), walks (1,401) and extra-base hits (969).
**ranked fifth in the Majors in home runs (449) and games played (2,150).
**reached 100 RBI eight times, 100 runs scored nine times, 30 home runs eight times, 100 walks seven times, 1.000 OPS four times, .300 batting average six times.
**finished in the top 10 of the MVP voting five times.
SOLID DECADE (1994-2003)
**from 1994-2003, led all first basemen in hits, runs, walks, extra-base hits, doubles and stolen bases, ranked second in games and RBI and third in home runs.
**Using Baseball Reference's Wins Above Replacement metric, Bagwell ranks ahead of many Hall of Famers with his 79.5 Wins Above Replacement for his career (ranks 37th all-time).
**Bagwell rates as a 59 on Bill James' Hall of Fame Standards Score, which determines how well a player's career statistics match up to the typical standards of a Hall of Famer. A score of 50 represents the career of an average Hall of Famer.
THE CASE FOR BIGGIO
In his 20 Major League seasons (1988-2007), all in an Astros uniform, Biggio was one of the top players of his era, excelling at catcher, second base and in the outfield. The seven-time All-Star played a vital role in the most successful run in franchise history, which included six postseason appearances and a National League pennant.
In his career, Biggio tallied 3,060 hits, which rank 21st all-time in Major League history, and 11th all-time among right-handed hitters. Additionally, his 3,060 hits rank fifth all-time in National League history among RHH. Twenty-four of the 28 players to reach 3,000 hits are in the Hall of Fame. In addition to Biggio, the three players in the 3,000-hit club currently not in the Hall of Fame are Derek Jeter, Rafael Palmeiro and Pete Rose.
In 2,850 career games, Biggio hit .281 with 668 doubles, 291 home runs, 1,175 RBI, 1,161 walks, 414 stolen bases and 1,844 runs scored, the latter ranking 14th all-time and seventh in NL history. His 668 doubles are the most in Major League history by a right-handed hitter and rank fifth all-time among all hitters. Biggio also holds the NL record for career leadoff home runs with 53 and the modern Major League record for being hit by a pitch with 285.
Biggio is also one of just 10 players in the modern era to reach the 3,000 hit plateau while playing for the same team. His 3,060 hits are more than 138 current Hall of Famers, including Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, Reggie Jackson, Ryne Sandberg, Yogi Berra, Roberto Clemente, Brooks Robinson and Frank Robinson. Biggio is also one of just 13 players in Major League history to reach both 1,000 extra-base hits and 3,000 total hits, a list that includes Hank Aaron, Stan Musial, Willie Mays, Carl Yastrzemski, Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, George Brett, Cal Ripken Jr. and Pete Rose (Biggio is only the second player that was primarily a middle infielder to accomplish this feat, joining Ripken).
Additionally, Biggio is the only player in MLB history to reach all four of the following milestones: 600 doubles, 250 homers, 3,000 hits and 400 stolen bases, and is one of just three players all-time to reach 3,000 hits, 200 homers and 400 steals, joining Hall of Famers Paul Molitor and Rickey Henderson.
On the Astros all-time lists, Biggio is tops in games, at-bats, hits, runs, doubles, extra-base hits and total bases, ranks second in RBI and stolen bases and third in home runs.
Biggio remains a part of the Astros organization, currently serving as a special assistant to General Manager Jeff Luhnow, which includes working with young players in Spring Training and beyond.
BIGGIO BY THE NUMBERS
*3,060 career hits rank 21st all-time in MLB history, 11th among RHH in ML history and 5th all-time in NL history among RHH.
*Is one of just 28 players in the history of MLB to record 3,000 hits (24 of the other 27 players are in the Hall of Fame - Derek Jeter, Rafael Palmeiro and Pete Rose are the others not in the HOF).
*Is one of just 10 players in the modern era to reach the 3,000 hit plateau while playing all of his games with the same team.
*Has more hits than 138 Hall of Famers, including: Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, Reggie Jackson, Ryne Sandberg, Yogi Berra, Roberto Clemente, Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson
*His 668 doubles are a MLB record for a RHH and rank 5th all-time among all hitters.
*His 285 HBPs rank 1st all-time in modern MLB history.
*Is one of just 35 players with 1,000 career extra base hits.
*Is one of just 13 players with both 1,000 extra base hits and 3,000 total hits, joining a select list: Hank Aaron, Stan Musial, Willie Mays, Rafael Palmeiro, Carl Yastrzemski, Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, George Brett, Eddie Murray, Dave Winfield, Cal Ripken Jr. and Pete Rose (Biggio is just the second player who was primarily a middle infielder to accomplish this feat, joining Ripken).
*His 53 leadoff home runs are a NL record and rank third all-time in MLB history.
*Is the only player in MLB history to reach all four of the following milestones: 600 doubles, 250 homers, 3,000 hits and 400 stolen bases
*Is one of only three players to reach 3,000 hits, 200 homers and 400 steals, joining Hall of Famers Paul Molitor and Rickey Henderson.
*Was a vital member of six postseason teams and a NL Pennant winning club in 2005.
*One of eight players all-time with 100 career steals of third base (107)
*Led MLB in runs twice (1995, 1997)
*Led MLB in doubles three times (1994, 1998, 1999)
*Led MLB in steals once (1994)
*In 1998, joined Tris Speaker (HOF) as the only players to collect 50-or-more doubles and 50-or-more stolen bases in the same season
*Five Silver Slugger awards, one as a catcher, four as a second baseman, latter ranks T-3rd for the position.
*Is one of five players to win the Silver Slugger award at multiple positions, joining Albert Pujols, Gary Sheffield, Bobby Bonilla and Miguel Cabrera.
*Seven All-Star appearances (voted the starter at second base in four straight seasons from 1995-98).
*Became first player ever to be named an All-Star at both catcher (1991) and second base (1992).
*Four-time Gold Glove winner (ranks T-7th all-time among second basemen).
*1997 Branch Rickey Award winner - given to the player "who personifies service above self."
*Won MLB's 2007 Roberto Clemente Award - given to the player who "best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual's contribution to his team."
BIGGIO AMONGST HIS PEERS (1988-2007):
*First in hits (3,060).
*First in doubles (668).
*First in games played (2,850).
*Fourth in total bases with 4,711 (trailed Barry Bonds, Rafael Palmeiro and Ken Griffey Jr.).
*Fifth in extra base hits with 1,014 (trailed Bonds, Palmeiro, Griffey and Sammy Sosa).
*10th in steals (414).
SOLID DECADE (from 1992-2001):
*Led all second basemen in games played, at-bats, runs, doubles, walks, intentional walks, on-base percentage.
*Second among second basemen in hits and batting average.
*Fourth among second basemen in homers and fifth in stolen bases.
*Using Baseball Reference's Wins Above Replacement metric, Biggio ranks ahead of many Hall of Famers with his 62.1 Wins Above Replacement for his career.
*Tallied more Wins Above Replacement than Hall of Famers Andre Dawson, Billy Williams, Dave Winfield, Juan Marichal, Jackie Robinson, Dennis Eckersley, Bob Feller, Yogi Berra, Harmon Killebrew, Whitey Ford, Willie Stargell, Enos Slaughter, Kirby Puckett, Ralph Kiner, Sandy Koufax, Jim Rice and Lou Brock.
*Using Baseball Reference's similarity scores (created by Bill James), Biggio's career statistics rate the most similar to Robin Yount (HOF), Derek Jeter, Joe Morgan (HOF), Paul Molitor (HOF), Roberto Alomar (HOF), Cal Ripken Jr. (HOF), and George Brett (HOF).
*Biggio rates as a 57 on Bill James' Hall of Fame Standards Score, which determines how well a player's career statistics match up to the typical standards of a Hall of Famer. A score of 50 represents the career of an average Hall of Famer.
BIGGIO IN THE COMMUNITY:
*Biggio was and still is actively involved with The Sunshine Kids, a support organization for children with cancer and their families. As a player, he helped raise approximately $2.5 million for the organization.
ROCKET MAKES SECOND APPEARANCE ON BALLOT
Right-handed pitcher Roger Clemens, who made his debut on the Hall of Fame ballot last season, pitched three (2004-06) of his 24 illustrious Major League seasons with the Astros.
For his career, the 11-time All-Star won 354 games, which ranks ninth all-time in Major League history. His 4,7672 strikeouts are third all-time.
Clemens also won a record seven Cy Young Awards, including one with the Astros in 2004 after posting an 18-4 record with a 2.98 ERA. At 42, Clemens became the oldest pitcher to win the Cy Young that season. He also won the NL ERA title (1.87) while with Houston in 2005 en route to helping pitch the Astros to the World Series. Overall for the Astros, Clemens was 38-18 in 84 starts with a 2.40 ERA with 505 strikeouts in 539.0 innings pitched while posting a .210 opponents average.
According to Baseball Reference, his 139.4 total wins above replacement for his career are the third-most ever recorded by a Major League pitcher, trailing Cy Young (170.3) and Walter Johnson (152.3).
Clemens, a native of Houston, currently works for the Astros as a special assistant to General Manager Jeff Luhnow. In 2013, his duties included stints in Spring Training working with Astros Major League and minor league pitchers.