I must confess you, it wasn’t easy at all for me to watch the press conference in which Craig Biggio announced his retirement. It wasn’t because of the fact itself, fairly predictable. I guess it was a general thought that the second baseman would call it quits as soon as he reached 3.000 hits.
The hard part was because of the huge amount of sentiments found in this event. Looking at the Great Biggio with tears in his eyes, finding it very hard to express his words, alongside his sons thanking the organization and its fans for so many years of great memories.
The sentiments expressed by Drayton McLane and Tim Purpura were sincere and totally honest. I have no doubts about that at all. McLane and Purpura might have their virtues and flaws, but no one can accuse them of not loving their team.
When we wrote a piece for astrosdehouston.com on Biggio and his 3.000 hits, we tried to sum up his career; and beyond his numbers, and trust me, there are plenty of them, and quite remarkable, we find the intangibles, those things which made Biggio unique. His class on and off the field, his dedication to worthy causes, the respect he always showed for everyone.
I remember the first time I had to interview him, 3 years ago. I must tell you, I think I showed myself as professional as I can be, but it was extremely difficult for me to calm my nerves and making questions for someone who at a time I found unreachable for me, I won’t be embarrassed and tell you he was a childhood hero to me. Despite the fact I had to rephrase my questions several times, it was a pleasure for me, and he was always a gentleman and understood the fact I was a rookie reporter.
Craig Biggio will always be remembered as a baseball gentleman, and alongside that other great example named Jeff Bagwell, gave the Astros the unique identity they have today.
Now there will be a day in 2008 in which we won’t find Biggio and Bagwell on the field anymore. A fact of life, inevitable as it can be, but no less sad.