A lot of people had things to say about Craig Biggio's induction into the Hall of Fame. Here's a selection of reactions and quotes from his friends, teammates and co-workers through the years. You can tell that Biggio had an impact not just for his play on the field, but for his actions off it, too.
Jeff Bagwell on Biggio
"Craig Biggio belongs in the Hall of Fame. His numbers speak for themselves. Between the lines, he played as hard as anyone in the world. He was an amazing player and an amazing teammate that I appreciated a great deal. My career would not have been as successful if it were not for him. I'm very happy for him."
Yogi Berra on Biggio
"I'm so glad for him, he's one of my favorites, one of the best. He started as a catcher, but we changed him to second base and he worked his tail off. I'm just real proud of the kid."
The story on Berra and Biggio is pretty great. Berra was a coach in Houston when Biggio came up and had a pretty big impact on him in his formative years. The two are obviously still fond of each other.
Former U.S. President George H. W. Bush on Biggio
"The National Baseball Hall of Fame is about class, grit, determination, and exceptional performance -- and my friend Craig Biggio personifies all of these attributes, and so much more. He is a most deserving honoree, and Barbara and I congratulate him and his family."
Nolan Ryan on Biggio
"The first time I saw Craig, I was impressed with his athletic ability. He was a catcher at that time, and you don't normally expect to see that kind of speed and agility with a catcher. For his career, he ended up being a very unique player, playing with one club his entire career, which you don't see very often in this era. And, he had the ability to change positions, which added to his value, similar to what Robin Yount did in his career with the Brewers. Craig's accomplishments make him very deserving of a place in the Hall of Fame."
Brad Ausmus on Biggio. Ausmus played with Biggio for 10 seasons
"Nobody played the game with more grit and determination than Bidge. He was destined for the Hall of Fame from the first day he put on a baseball uniform. He was a throwback to the Golden Age of Major League Baseball. Congrats, buddy."
Former Astros radio play-by-play man Milo Hamilton on Biggio
"When Craig Biggio came on board, you knew he was something special. You just knew. He fits every criteria that you can imagine for a Hall of Famer. He played multiple positions, was an All-Star and never complained. Just a very special player. He's a great example that every young player should follow...a family man, a fabulous wife, Patty, and a wonderful family. I'll always appreciate how well he treated me and my wife, particularly when she was in the hospital. Hall of Famer? You bet, in every way!"
Former Astros announcer and manager Larry Dierker on Biggio
"Craig Biggio is the most competitive ballplayer I have ever seen. He never lost focus, never wanted a day off, even when he was hurt. His intensity set a standard for the teams I managed and the only season we didn't win the division was 2000, when he had knee surgery halfway through the year. He was not a natural at second base and yet he made himself a Gold Glove fielder. During my 50 years in the game, I have only seen one lead-off hitter who compares with him -- Rickey Henderson."
Former Astros coach Matt Galante on Biggio
"Craig had great talent, but the way he played the game made him a Hall of Famer. He made himself a great player. He was a terrific teammate and has been a great friend. He played three positions, all of them well, and nobody worked harder. I worked with him when he made the switch to second base. We went to Spring Training before the rest of the club, and worked one hour every morning at 7:00 a.m. I admired his attitude and willingness to make the switch, even though he had never played second base. I also admired that his goal from day one was not to be average, but to be great. To his credit, he accomplished that, winning four Gold Gloves. I'm very proud of him."
Former Astros manager Phil Garner on Biggio
"I saw Craig play in his first ML game and in his last ML game. He played hard in both of those games and all games in between. Not only was he a great player, but he was a leader by example on the field. With the way he played and
prepared, he set a standard for his teammates to live up to. He played with pain, that's leadership. He's a Hall of Famer in all categories. He could hit, learned to play three positions well and was a good baserunner. Late in the game, he could help you win in a lot of ways. Very well-deserved honor for Craig."
Former opponent John Rocker on Biggio
Also, congrats to Craig Biggio. It's about time. It was a bitch facing U, Bagwell and Berkman.— John Rocker (@johnrockerbook) January 6, 2015
Current Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel on Biggio
congrats to Astros great Craig Biggio and my idol growing up John Smoltz on their induction into the Hall of Fame!!!— Dallas Keuchel (@kidkeuchy) January 6, 2015
Former Astros pitcher and broadcaster Jim DeShaies on Biggio
Way to go Bidge! Well deserved. Too bad #5 didn't go in with you— Jim Deshaies (@JimDeshaies) January 6, 2015
Biggio's college head coach Ed Blankmeyer on his former player
It's just the way Biggio did it that left such an impression. He was fast. He was angry. He sprinted down the first-base line as if the entire game hung in the balance. Hey, maybe it did. Little things add up. He simply wasn't going to be beaten.
"It was kind of expected, but once it happened, it all hit us just at once," said youngest son, Cavan, a sophomore baseball player at Notre Dame. "It's really happening. My dad was on the phone and in tears. I felt that emotion."
Former Astros broadcaster Brett Dolan on Biggio
Two former Astros get elected to the Hall of Fame! But a special congrats to the career Astro Craig Biggio. Enjoy it 7. You've earned it.— Brett Dolan (@Brettdolan24) January 6, 2015