HOUSTON — Pittsburgh Pirates icon and Hall of Fame second baseman Bill Mazeroski told modenook.com that he views Craig Biggio as a lock to be a first-ballot Hall of Fame inductee next year.
Mazeroski, a 10-time National League All-Star and eight-time Gold Glove Award winner, respects Biggio for his impressive résumé.
The 1960 World Series Game 7 hero pinpoints the skill Biggio displayed in the field as a starter at three different positions in his career.
Furthermore, Mazeroski views the legendary Astro as one of the greatest athletes to have ever played the game of Major League Baseball.
With Biggio being a seven-time NL All-Star, a four-time Gold Glove Award winner and a member of the prestigious 3,000 hit club, Mazeroski wants to see Biggio get rewarded for his services.
“I think he’s pretty much a lock to get into the Hall of Fame as a first-ballot guy,” Mazeroski said. “He had a real good career. He was such a great athlete. You look at what he was able to do with his bat, but then you realize the guy happened to play catcher, second base and center field, before going back to second.”
Biggio will officially join Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa, Mike Piazza and Curt Schilling on the ballot for the first time in 2013.
Although this group possesses Hall of Fame numbers, some are allegedly linked to performance-enhancing drugs, which will make the voting process more complicated than ever for the BBWAA.
For Biggio, he has never been linked to any wrongdoing and arguably makes the strongest case among next year’s group for induction.
His 3,060 career hits are more than Rickey Henderson, Rod Carew, Lou Brock, Al Kaline and Roberto Clemente — just to name a few.
Plus, Biggio ranks fifth on the all-time doubles list with 668, trailing only Tris Speaker, Pete Rose, Stan Musial and Ty Cobb.
Biggio is one of only five players in Major League Baseball history to have compiled more than 250 home runs and over 400 steals
He demonstrated tremendous leadership, unselfishness and the determination to win over the course of his Hall of Fame-caliber career.
According to Mazeroski, one of the things that impressed him most about Biggio was he played a large portion of his career in the pitcher-friendly Astrodome, yet evolved into one of the top hitters.
“I remember playing in the Astrodome for the very first time,” Mazeroski said. “It was really hard as a hitter to play in that stadium. There was no sky. A good connection off the bat often died in the outfield. I remember it being awful. It never was a hitter’s park. That makes Biggio look even better for what he did.”
Mazeroski played his entire 17-year career with the Pirates and truly respects Biggio for following a similar path with the Astros.
Biggio was an Astro for all 20 of his major league seasons.
“It was really unselfish for him to move to center field for the signing of Jeff Kent,” Mazeroski said. “He’s a team player. He has all the accomplishments and was a great example on how to play the game. I really respect him. It seemed like he could do anything.”
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