Former Astro Jeff Bagwell finally elected to Hall of Fame
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Well, it’s official. After six years on the ballot – and missing induction by just 15 votes last year – Jeff Bagwell was voted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday, with 86.2 percent of the votes.
The former first baseman played for the Houston Astros his entire 15-year career, hitting .297 with 2,314 hits, 449 home runs, and 1,529 RBIs. He played in four all-star games and won National League Rookie of the Year in 1991 and NL MVP in 1994. He won a Gold Glove in 1994 and is a three-time Silver Slugger winner – and I could keep going. In short, he was a great player throughout his career.
“This is long overdue,” longtime Astro Lance Berkman said. “When I think of Baggy, I think of two things. The first is ‘professional.’ He came to play every day and never took an at-bat off. You can’t say that about everyone. The second thing I think of is what a complete player he was. He was an amazing fielder and baserunner and had an innate grasp of the fine nuances of the game. He was the total baseball player.”
Who could ask for higher praise than that?
Longtime teammate Craig Biggio was inducted into the Hall of Fame last year, while Bagwell missed by a mere 15 votes. He had this honor coming this year – even if it should have been awarded six years ago, when he first appeared on the ballot. For 15 years, Bagwell and Biggio were the backbone of the Astros franchise, lifting them from last place in the division in 1991 to their only World Series appearance in 2005.
You can’t say that one was more important than the other; they both worked tirelessly for the team they loved.
“It was very important to Craig and I. A lot of people don’t know it, but Craig and I made a lot of sacrifices … to make sure that we got to play together,” said Bagwell. Craig and I made a conscious effort to play with the Astros our entire career. And I’m very, very proud of that. And I know Craig is, too.”