An evening with “Mr. Astro” Craig Biggio

Biggio_smiling_8 Milo Hamilton started the show with an update on the Nolan Ryan/Jeff Bagwell Elite Camp held at Minute Maid Park from 29 January to 2 February 2007.  Chris Burke, Chris Sampson, Woody Williams and The Rocket, Roger Clemens all were there to give tips to the young hitters and pitchers in addition to Ryan and Bagwell.  Roger Clemens, though only there for 2 days, threw an impressive 50 minutes of batting practice each day to the minor leaguers who included his son Koby.

According to General Manager Tim Purpura, Jeff Bagwell has turned out to be a heck of a coach and Bagwell instructed the young hitters to ignore his batting stance, but listen to his advice nonetheless.

Then, Milo turned the conversation towards the featured guest, Craig Biggio, who admitted the last two decades have gone by fast, especially the last 10 years, which have just flown by.  When asked by Hamilton about getting close to 3000 hits this year, Biggio said that obviously he wants it for himself and his family, but most of all, he wants to get to that magical number for the City of Houston and the Astros fans all over the world who have been so great to him over the years because he feels Astros fans deserve to be able to say that their team also has a guy who is on that short list of players who have had 3000 hits in their career–and in Biggio’s case, all 3000 will be wearing only the Houston Astros uniform. 

When asked about his FanFest attendance, Craig said he will be there on Saturday, 11 February from 10 AM to approximately Noon–he likes to be the first one there and as an aside, it is one way of making sure his kids aren’t upset with him.

Bidgesigning In response to a caller, Craig said he has always strived to play the game the right way with a healthy respect for the game and all the players.  He always tries to hustle every time he goes down the line to first base, be it a hit or groundout to short, because he truly believes athletes are role models and as a role model he tries to lead by example.  Milo added that as a result of the example set by Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell and others like them, the Astros locker-room has been mainly free of controversy.  Even players who had problems with other clubs don’t have issues in the Houston locker-room due largely to the leadership of Biggio and Bagwell.

When a caller asked about his favorite Astrodome moment, Biggio thought for a second and then with a smile reminisced about the last game of the 1997 regular season–it was the first time in 11 years the Astros had gone to the post season and the very first time for Craig and Jeff.  It was also the first of four NL Central Division Championships the Astros have won so far.  Craig talked about how cool it was when he and Mike Hampton rode their motorcycles up the ramp to the field and around the field in celebration, and the difficulties encountered while going off the field as there were a lot of horses there (HPD Mounted Patrol) and he ended up driving through some manure that he had to wash off later.

When Milo asked him how he felt to have finally played at Yankee Stadium as a major leaguer in 2003, he replied that going back to Yankee Stadium was great because he had grown up in the area and he took his two sons on a tour of "The House That Ruth Built".  He added that Yankee Stadium and other old stadiums have a great tradition that goes back many years, but not many cities can say their team has finished 1st or 2nd for the last 13-14 years like Houston can and with the additions of Jennings, Lee, Loretta and Williams this year, it will be a very competitive team that will keep the Houston fans excited all year long.

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2 comments

  1. Thomas

    Nice recap.. Once again I completely forgot about it. This year’s going to be one to remember.. possibly the last year of Biggio. The last year of Bagwell was weird because nobody knew really what was going to happen.. more than likely this is the last year of Biggio, so it has a good chance to be emotional… well for those who get emotional… 😉

    -Stros Bro

    http://www.crawfishboxes.com

  2. Rita

    Thanks Thomas. I was at the Live Sports Cafe for this one and last week for the Bagwell one. It is definitely an experience. As with Berkman and Bagwell interviews, there were quite a few “gushing fans” who called in mainly to say how happy they were to just talk to him on the radio…next week it’s the college coaches and possibly Jason Lane and after that the show moves to Kissimmee.

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