Will the Astros have someone in the hall of fame by the end of the next decade? Yes. Will the Astros have someone in the hall of fame before they next make the playoffs? Not an easy question to answer. Either way, Craig Biggio, as we all know, is a first ballot hall of famer. What isn't so clear, is whether his former soulmate teammate, Jeff Bagwell will beat him out and become the first Astro enshrined in the Hall.
Yes, that's right. Next winter we will get to join in on the endless debate and discussion about balloting, and make our impassioned pleas for Bags. As a Astros-blogger, I can tell you life will be sweet. I think it doesn't require hammering out Bagwell's credentials statistically. The dude was good. Also, I can't think of a single macro Hall of Fame barometer that doesn't have Bagwell Hall of Fame caliber player.
The stumbling block for a sultan of goatees awesome batting stances will be what the mainstream writers of America overly scrutinize about his career. There's his lack of a World Series ring, followed by his team's continual post-season angst. That's topped with a healthy dose of not reaching 500 HR like his buddy, Frank Thomas, did. Never mind that former eighth wonder of the world debacle, there will likely be doubts.
The doubts, however, are what makes our soon to be legitimized Hall of Fame watchdogness truly interesting. Say Bagwell doesn't make in as a first ballot. I can hear many a beat writer thinking to themselves, "Eh, he doesn't have 500 HR, he can't be a first ballot guy." That would push it another year and set up the following thought, "Well, Biggio's due up next year. How magical would that be?"
I'm sure I'm not revealing something you haven't already thought of on your own. The point of the previous four paragraphs wasn't to spell out the facts, but to allow me to prattle on drive the conversation away from where the above takes us. Suspend your rationality for a second and engage in a purely hypothetical situation where there's no practicality standing the way of idle wishing. I know this is something that as a front page author I have tried to do the opposite of...most of the time...I hope. But just do it, and then answer this question and explain yourself in the comments section (If you want to, you can opine of the relative feasibility of any of the below options coming to fruition...just don't vote that way):
If the voters had to follow only your wishes as an Astros fan: Would you rather see Bagwell precede Biggio? Or the two of them go in together?
Bagwell goes first, but only if it's on the first ballot (34 votes)
Bagwell goes first, and it can be on either ballot (22 votes)
Bagwell and Biggio go in like I'll always remember them—together (236 votes)
292 total votes