Craig Biggio will have to wait at least another year for the coveted call to Cooperstown. The longtime Houston Astros standout missed out on being elected into the National Baseball Hall Of Fame as part of the Class of 2014 by just two votes.
Biggio was named on 427 of the 571 ballots submitted by senior members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America. That total meant he had appeared on 74.8% of ballots and was two votes shy of the 75% required for election. According to the Hall of Fame, Biggio's near miss tied Pie Traynor and Nellie Fox for the narrowest margin ever.
"Congratulations to Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas," Biggio said in a statement released by the Astros. "Obviously, I'm disappointed to come that close. I feel for my family, the organization and the fans. Hopefully next year."
The only three players to appear on more than 75% of the ballots were Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas. Each was appearing on the ballot for the first time while Biggio was in his second year of eligibility. When the BBWAA shut out all 37 candidates on the ballot in 2013, Biggio garnered the most votes (388). In the ensuing year, he picked up 38 more votes despite the eligibility of even more superstar candidates.
He's got two more votes to go.
A seven-time All-Star, Biggio racked up 3,060 career hits over 20 seasons in Houston. An exceptionally versatile defender, Biggio played catcher, second base and outfield. Biggio earned 4 Gold Glove Awards while playing second base to go along with five Silver Slugger Awards, one earned as a catcher and the remainder as a second baseman.
Count Larry Dierker, one of Biggio's former managers, among those shocked he didn't earn election this year. While Dierker rated Maddux above the current crop of contenders, he believed Biggio was the equal of Glavine and deserved enshrinement ahead of Thomas.
"I'm not familiar with who votes and how it's structured, but I would guess the quality of players that were in this year's class probably hurt Biggio and Bagwell both, and probably some other guys as well," Dierker told MLB.com. "Maddux was a slam dunk. Glavine had 300 wins, which is about the same as 3,000 hits in my mind. I don't see Glavine being a better candidate than Biggio. To me, Maddux was above them all, but Biggio should be ranked along with Glavine and ranked more highly than Frank Thomas."