From SABR member Zachary Levine at Baseball Prospectus on January 7, 2015:
Fifty-three years into a lifespan that’s included—to various degrees of infuriation—one decade of infantile ineptitude, two more of talent and teases, another of almost-excellence and a most recent of putridity, the Houston Astros have their first Hall-of-Famer.
Other Hall of Famers have played for the Astros – Nolan Ryan and Joe Morgan, who had significant time in Houston, did, as did some forgotten Astros and Colt .45s like Robin Roberts, Nellie Fox and now Randy Johnson—he of two months service.
But Craig Biggio, whose cap controversy only comes down to which of the Astros’ many redesigns he’ll sport for eternity, will be the first to represent the Astros in sculpted headgear.
He’s a deserving Hall of Famer, cruising in at 82.7 percent, which would make you wonder why it wasn’t sooner had Roberto Alomar not garnered 90.0(!) percent on his second try a few years back. He fits the standard by new metrics, and he more than fits it if you’re a hits fetishist, which is probably the contingent that ultimately carried him in.
It’s fitting that he’s the first Hall of Famer in team history, a title he’ll wear very well forever. No player in Houston baseball history is more beloved than Biggio. He never wore another uniform, got the one that he was given dirty, gave 20 years of well above-average play, retired on his own terms, and then rejoined the front office. There is no better ambassador for Houston baseball who could be standing up there in July.
Read the full article here (subscription required): http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=25310
Originally published: January 8, 2015. Last Updated: January 8, 2015.