BGO Hits 3,000

Congratulations to Craig Biggio, my first baseball boyfriend and the hardest plunking guy in baseball, on his 3,000th career hit tonight.

My love for Biggio started way back in the days when he was a catcher (remember that?). Back in the rainbow-hued Astros times. Back when the games used to be played in the cavernous Astrodome. Back when Mike Scott and Jim Deshaies were on the mound, Ken Caminiti and Glenn Davis and Billy Doran were on the diamond, and Kevin Bass, Billy Hatcher and Eric Anthony roamed the outfield. Back when he got called up to The Show as a fresh-faced kid playing for the Tucson Toros. He is an institution in Houston- he’s played his entire career here (not many ballplayers like that anymore)- revered as a hero, and a guy who tirelessly gives back to the community. For almost my entire life as a baseball fan, he’s been a fixture of baseball in Houston… and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a single person, major leaguer or otherwise, with a bad word to say about him.

Craig and his son Conor (son Cavan in the foreground)

And if you’ll indulge me in a little sentiment…

Like any good fan, I saw more than my share of Astros games with Craig in the lineup- and had the good fortune to meet him on one occasion. I must have been 15 or 16 years old, and went with my little brother to a baseball card show. Craig was one of the featured autograph signers, and people were paying some nice bucks to meet him and get his signature. I didn’t really have the money to do that, so I sort of stood at a distance for a little bit, behind the velvet ropes and enjoyed just getting to see him in a non-game environment. It’s always a little awkward to see your baseball heroes in street clothes, like normal folks. The security guard in the area noticed me moping about, and came over to chat for a bit- we talked about Craig and his hitting and the game. As the last autograph seeker left, the guard went walking up to Craig. I saw them talking for a second, and Craig looked up and smiled and waved me over. I looked at the guard, and said, “But I didn’t pay!” and he said, “Craig doesn’t care- just get under that rope before the card convention people see you!” And of course, I was dumbstruck, and barely able to speak- and Craig was sweet and asked me about school, and talked with me about the game later that today and his plans to golf the day after that, and signed every card I had in my pocket.

After that? The man could do no wrong with me. He took the time to talk to a silly, starry-eyed kid, and made a fan for life.

Biggio, standing on 2,997 this morning, got 3 runs off of the Colorado Rockies at home in Houston. In typical Biggio fashion, he tried to stretch that 3,000th hit into a double, and was tagged out at second. But who the hell cares about that- he got the 3,000! The game’s still in progress- tied at 4 apiece in the 11th- but the score is basically a footnote at this point. I’m just sad I wasn’t there to be a part of it- but he’ll always be that New Jersey kid with the big smile, the rainbow uni and the catcher’s gear to me.

Congrats, Craig… now let’s get going on that HBP record!

All that’s missing? The third member of the triumverate, Ken Caminiti.

This entry was posted in baseball boyfriend, Houston Astros, MLB, Texas Gal by Texas Gal. Bookmark the permalink.

About Texas Gal

Pitched four years for the Philadelphia Athletics, and then played shortstop for seven years for the Montreal Expos. Taught Rickey Henderson to steal a base. Taught Nolan Ryan to throw a punch. Taught Mickey Mantle to drink a beer. Threw one seven-hitter and seven no-hitters. Wonderboy was my creation, and first Jobu shrine was in my locker. Often called "the next Dustin Pedroia". Always wear high socks and eyeblack. Prefer to slide headfirst.

45 thoughts on “BGO Hits 3,000

  1. I was watching the game to see if the ‘Stros could get Oswalt a lead and saw him get the hit. When I saw his wife and daughter jump up and down, and when I saw everyone congratulate him, I couldn’t help it – I teared up. Seeing him pick up his daughter and hug his sons (who were batboys) was the final straw, and it got mighty dusty up in my kitchen.
    And I’d like to think Ken’s holding Biggio’s left hand…

    ETA: and awww at seeing BGO cry in the dugout.

  2. Yeah, I have to admit I got a little teary too at the highlight, even though I was more of a Bagwell fan than a Biggio out of the Killer B’s.

    (BTW, I love just saying “Ken Caminiti”. It is such a musical name, and I used to just baby-talk it to my one boyfriend back in the day.)

    (Yes, I am a dork.)

  3. Aww, I like the idea that Ken is holding Biggio’s left hand. And yes, I definitely cried too when he got the hit. I’ve been an Astros fan all of my life and it was good to see him get the hit. The game also turned out really good with Lee’s walk off grand slam. Go Stros!

  4. I tend agree that we’re confined in Beckett novel, although the end of this game looked more like a Jonathan Swift creation – comical, rife with human error and a definitive display that horses are greater that human beings (Houyhnhnm > Yahoos).

  5. Last night was great. I have been an Astros fan my entire life and Biggio has always been a fixture in my world. The first card from the first pack of baseball cards I ever got was Craig Biggio in catchers gear. Still have it. Back in those days he and Glenn Davis were my favorite players.

    Craig is such a class act. He visits the kids wing of M.D, Anderson quite often and the waiting room is filled with Astros gear. Most of it has his signature on it. There won’t be another one like him for a long time. He played the game the way it was meant to be played. He is proof that hard work, dedication, and good living pay off in this world full of flashy get attention/get paid sports leagues.

    The sad part is I’m only 24 and he looks younger than I do. Totally sucks. An era has surely ended. I doubt he will play much longer. Losing Ken and seeing Bagwell retire was hard enough, but seeing him go means that a large part of my childhood has gone as well. Damn I feel old now. The Astros better offer him a good job in the front office. He is good for the city and good for the game.

  6. I’ve been reading all the appreciative articles about Bidge this morning, and this is the one that put me over the top and got me all teary. Thanks, TG. Couldn’t have said it better.

  7. i used to be so hard in love with biggio

    but nobody, i repeat, NOBODY could ever top my love for mickey tettleton in this picture

    i must have been blind as a 5 year old….or was i?

  8. Biggio’s is one of my favorites, though I had to laugh when he got thrown out. A little too much adrenaline after that hit.

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  10. As a baseball fan I’m really happy for Biggio. He was always a guy you could admire, seemingly a throwback to when times were simpler, the all out hustle, the dirty uniform, the little boy enthsiasm for the game. It’s so sad when other players who have more talent do so little with it, when this guy has maximized every once of what he was given.

  11. Craig is a true class act. A sports figure we can all be proud of. I don’t anticipate in my life time that anyone will come close to filling his shoes. Even in his time of glory he did not forget his friend, Jeff Bagwell. Watching him urge Jeff onto the field showed how much he wanted to share his shining hour with his friend.

  12. It was awesome to watch you going 5 for 6 while collecting ur 3000th hit. It was and is still an honor to watch u play during your hall of fame career. Even you aren’t inducted. You became hall of famer player from a great player on thursday night. I know you still have some gas left in u to continue your hall of fame career. When you hang up ur cleats and retire, your bust awaits you in cooperstown.

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  14. (BTW, I love just saying “Ken Caminiti”. It is such a musical name, and I used to just baby-talk it to my one boyfriend back in the day.)

    TSW – I love names. They’re one of my top favorite things about sports. That’s why I reserved Name Quality as my province on Voodoo Sabermetrics.

  15. Congrats to BGO on a great milestone. Even this Cards fan has to tip her cap on this one. TG, great story about meeting him. I love it when you meet your idols and they don’t disappoint. Not ony a great player, but a stand up guy. This post got me thinking about my first baseball boyfriends, ahh, first love it is so sweet.

  16. A word of hello and thanks to everyone who has posted their own BGO thoughts… I got home to Houston to find a pile of newspapers my mom had saved for me about him, and I confess that I got teary eyed reading through them.

    And I can also report that when he walked out to take his first at-bat on Saturday night, the whole park went ballistic. Everyone stood up and gave him a huge standing ovation, and there were several rounds of “B! G! O!” cheers. I confess I teared up then, too- and then quickly hid it behind sunglasses (even though the roof was closed). He doffed his cap (err, batter’s helmet)… and went right about his business hitting #3,003 and #3,004.

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  30. i wanted to say hi and my uncel knows you when you went to get your driver liscen you picked wendell scott taylor and he said can you sign these paper and their was posters of you and if you remeber please tell me ok bye you biggest fan victoria m

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