Comments on Craig Biggio

"The National Baseball Hall of Fame is about class, grit, determination, and exceptional performance -- and my friend Craig Biggio personifies all of these attributes, and so much more. He is a most deserving honoree, and Barbara and I congratulate him and his family."

-George H.W. Bush, former U.S. President, who, along with former First Lady Barbara, attended Astros games frequently during Craig Biggio's playing career.

"I'm so glad for him, he's one of my favorites, one of the best. He started as a catcher, but we changed him to second base and he worked his tail off. I'm just real proud of the kid."

-Hall of Fame catcher Yogi Berra, who, as an Astros coach, helped to mentor a young Biggio when he arrived in the big leagues in 1988.

"This is truly a proud day for the Houston Astros organization and for our great fans. Craig was not only a great player on the field, but was, and continues to be, an outstanding representative of the Astros organization off the field. He was a team leader, a winner and always played the game the right way. I can't think of a better representative to be the first Astros player ever inducted into the Hall of Fame. We send our congratulations to Craig, his wife, Patty, and their entire family, and look forward to celebrating this milestone with our fans this season."

-Astros Owner & Chairman Jim Crane.

"Craig Biggio belongs in the Hall of Fame. His numbers speak for themselves. Between the lines, he played as hard as anyone in the world. He was an amazing player and an amazing teammate that I appreciated a great deal. My career would not have been as successful if it were not for him. I'm very happy for him."
-Former teammate Jeff Bagwell, who played his entire career in Houston with Biggio.
"Craig Biggio exemplified a Hall of Famer since the day he put on an Astros jersey. He played the game the right way, always put the team first and he has worked to make Houston a better place. We are overjoyed that Craig will now be part of baseball immortality."

-Astros President of Business Operations Reid Ryan.

My congratulations to Craig for such a well-deserved honor. It was always a pleasure to play against Craig and the Astros. One of the most important things I will always remember about him is that he NEVER took anything for granted as a player. He worked hard all of the time, day in and day out. He was open to moving to different positions in order to make his teammates and the organization better. That said everything about him in my eyes. That is also something not many do in this era. He always put his teammates and the success of the organization before himself. He respected the game and played it hard each and every play. He was prepared, focused, and dedicated to the game of baseball. It is a tremendous testimony to his career to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

-Angels All-Star Albert Pujols, a frequent opponent of Biggio's when the two played in the NL Central Division, including in the 2004 and 2005 NLCS.

"Craig represents all the positive aspects of the Houston Astros organization from the past two-plus decades and will provide us a model going forward for the type of player we want to represent our city. Congratulations on this well-deserved honor."

-Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow, with whom Biggio currently works as a special assistant

"The first time I saw Craig, I was impressed with his athletic ability. He was a catcher at that time, and you don't normally expect to see that kind of speed and agility with a catcher. For his career, he ended up being a very unique player, playing with one club his entire career, which you don't see very often in this era. And, he had the ability to change positions, which added to his value, similar to what Robin Yount did in his career with the Brewers. Craig's accomplishments make him very deserving of a place in the Hall of Fame."

-Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan, who pitched to Biggio when the two were teammates in 1988.

"Bidge was one of the most hard-nosed, competitive baseball players that I ever played against. His tenacity and hustle set the tone for his Houston Astros teams."

-Hall of Fame shortstop Barry Larkin, a frequest opponent of Biggio's throughout their careers.

"Nobody played the game with more grit and determination than Bidge. He was destined for the Hall of Fame from the first day he put on a baseball uniform. He was a throwback to the Golden Age of Major League Baseball. Congrats, buddy."

-Detroit Tigers manager and former catcher Brad Ausmus, a teammate of Biggio's for 10 seasons.

"When Craig Biggio came on board, you knew he was something special. You just knew. He fits every criteria that you can imagine for a Hall of Famer. He played multiple positions, was an All-Star and never complained. Just a very special player. He's a great example that every young player should follow...a family man, a fabulous wife, Patty, and a wonderful family. I'll always appreciate how well he treated me and my wife, particularly when she was in the hospital. Hall of Famer? You bet, in every way!

-Hall of Fame broadcaster Milo Hamilton, who served as the Astros radio play-by-play announcer for Biggio's entire career.

"Craig Biggio is the most competitive ballplayer I have ever seen. He never lost focus, never wanted a day off, even when he was hurt. His intensity set a standard for the teams I managed and the only season we didn't win the division was 2000, when he had knee surgery halfway through the year. He was not a natural at second base and yet he made himself a Gold Glove fielder. During my 50 years in the game, I have only seen one lead-off hitter who compares with him -- Rickey Henderson."

-Larry Dierker, who served as Astros manager from 1997-2001.

"Craig had great talent, but the way he played the game made him a Hall of Famer. He made himself a great player. He was a terrific teammate and has been a great friend. He played three positions, all of them well, and nobody worked harder. I worked with him when he made the switch to second base. We went to Spring Training before the rest of the club, and worked one hour every morning at 7:00 a.m. I admired his attitude and willingness to make the switch, even though he had never played second base. I also admired that his goal from day one was not to be average, but to be great. To his credit, he accomplished that, winning four Gold Gloves. I'm very proud of him."

-Matt Galante, who served several seasons as an Astros coach, including for most of Biggio's career.

"I saw Craig play in his first ML game and in his last ML game. He played hard in both of those games and all games in between. Not only was he a great player, but he was a leader by example on the field. With the way he played and
prepared, he set a standard for his teammates to live up to. He played with pain, that's leadership. He's a Hall of Famer in all categories. He could hit, learned to play three positions well and was a good baserunner. Late in the game, he could help you win in a lot of ways. Very well-deserved honor for Craig."

-Phil Garner, who served as Astros manager during Biggio's final four seasons (2004-07).

"Statistically, Craig's as deserving as they come. Then, factor in the unmistakable intensity, integrity, hustle and class with which he played every game of his stellar career. Add it all up over 20 magical years and I am left to conclude that Craig Biggio has defined the criteria that grants one entry into baseball's shrine of greatness."

-Former Astros catcher and current TV broadcaster Alan Ashby, a former teammate of Biggio's.

"Craig Biggio is in some ways the most unique player in baseball history. No other player has played as many games at catcher and at other positions. His statistics are clearly Hall of Fame numbers. Beyond the numbers, he always did what was asked of him. When the Astros decided it would be more beneficial for Craig and for the team if he moved to second base, he and coach Matt Galante spent many hours with the transition, which was unprecedented in the history of the game. They worked long and hard on fielding grounders with a makeshift glove which was a piece of foam with a pad of fingers, made by Galante's wife, Mary. The work turned him into an All-Star second baseman after becoming an All-Star catcher. The move worked brilliantly. Throughout his 20-year career, he always ran hard to first base on routine grounders and he gave full effort regardless of the score or the team's record at the time. His work ethic provided baseball fans two decades of the very definition of a Hall of Famer in the making."

-Astros longtime TV broadcaster Bill Brown, who called Biggio's entire career.