The Houston Astros announced today that on Sunday afternoon, August 17, the organization will retire the No. 7 worn by seven-time All-Star Craig Biggio in a pre-game ceremony before the Astros-Diamondbacks game. The announcement was made by Astros Chairman and CEO Drayton McLane.
Biggio becomes the ninth Houston player to have his number retired, joining Jim Umbricht (32), Don Wilson (40), Jose Cruz (25), Mike Scott (33), Nolan Ryan (34), Larry Dierker (49), Jimmy Wynn (24), and Jeff Bagwell (5). Additionally, Jackie Robinson’s No. 42 has been retired by all 30 Major League clubs in honor of his contributions to the game, meaning Biggio’s No. 7 becomes the 10th number overall retired by the Astros franchise. The 42-year-old Biggio is currently in his first season as a special assistant to General Manager Ed Wade. The agreement between Craig and the Astros was announced on February 11, 2008. He was also named head baseball coach at St. Thomas High School in Houston on May 19.
Jersey retirement ceremonies will begin at 12:20 PM on Sunday, with Hall of Fame broadcaster Milo Hamilton serving as Master of Ceremonies. Bagwell, Cruz, Dierker, Scott, and Wynn are all scheduled to attend Sunday’s event. Other expected attendees include former Astros second baseman Bill Doran and current Astros Special Assistant to the General Manager Matt Galante, who is on the scheduled list of speakers for the event, along with McLane, Bagwell, and Craig and Patty Biggio’s oldest son, Conor Biggio. Craig’s mother Johnna and brother Terry will also be in attendance, along with the Biggio’s other two children, son Cavan and daughter Quinn.
Nancy Caminiti, wife of former Astro Ken Caminiti, is also scheduled to attend with her three daughters, Kendall, Lindsey, and Nicole. Additionally, Biggio and Bagwell’s longtime agent, Barry Axelrod, will attend the ceremony. Astros Director of Team Travel Barry Waters and Clubhouse Manager Dennis Liborio, both of whom are in their 29th season with the club, will also be on the field for the ceremony.
In addition to his jersey No. 7 being unveiled alongside the other former honorees on the display above the right field scoreboard, the Astros will present Biggio with a special gift. There will also be a tribute video shown on the SmartVision video board before the No. 7 is unveiled.
All fans in attendance on Sunday will receive a special Craig Biggio Jersey Retirement Pin, courtesy of AT&T. A commemorative Astros Magazine and other merchandise related to the event will also be available at the ballpark on Sunday.
Since the early 1990s, Biggio has served as the main spokesperson for The Sunshine Kids, a support organization for children with cancer and their families. Frankie Velazquez, a young man whom Biggio met through his work with The Sunshine Kids, is also expected to attend the ceremony on behalf of the organization.
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The franchise career leader in hits, games played, runs scored, and at-bats, Biggio retired following a stellar, 20-year career at the end of the 2007 season. He finished his career with 3,060 hits, 668 doubles, 291 home runs, 1,175 runs batted in, and a .281 career average in 2,850 games played. A first-round selection by Houston in the June 1987 draft, Biggio became the first Astro to reach the 3,000-hit plateau with a seventh-inning single against Colorado’s Aaron Cook on June 28, 2007. His 3,060 hits are the 20th-highest total in Major League history, and his 668 career doubles are the most of any right-handed hitter all-time and also rank fifth among all players.
Biggio’s 20 seasons with Houston are a franchise record, and he also made a club-best 19 consecutive Opening Day starts. He is the only player in Major League history to reach all of the following milestones: at least 600 doubles (668), 250 home runs (291), 3,000 hits (3,060), and 400 stolen bases (414). Biggio and Cal Ripken, Jr. are the only middle infielders (only 13 players all-time) to collect 3,000 hits and 1,000 extra-base hits. Biggio also holds the modern Major League record for most times hit by a pitch with 285, including a career-high 34 during the 1997 season.
A member of a franchise-record seven National League All-Star teams, Biggio also received five Silver Slugger Awards. He received four Rawlings Gold Glove Awards, and Biggio was also a member of six Astros playoff teams. He holds the National League records for leadoff home runs with 53 (ranks 2nd all-time) and for hits in Interleague play with 201, at the time of his retirement. Biggio also led all players during the 2005 postseason with 18 hits.
Additionally, Biggio was honored as the 2007 recipient of the Roberto Clemente Award, a prestigious honor bestowed upon one Major League player each season by Major League Baseball and the Clemente family. Throughout his career, he has been actively involved with the Sunshine Kids, a support organization for children with cancer and their families.
He has hosted an annual baseball party at Minute Maid Park for The Sunshine Kids, in which more than 100 children with cancer play baseball with Biggio serving as the pitcher. Biggio also hosts a holiday party at the Sunshine Kids house in Houston that the Biggio family helped restore and furnish.
Through his annual golf tournament, Biggio has raised more than $2.5 million for the organization. He joined a list of previous Roberto Clemente Award winners that includes 13 Hall of Famers, such as Tony Gwynn, Cal Ripken, Jr. and Rod Carew.
In his current role with the Astros, Craig assists in a variety of areas. He works with the baseball operations staff in its Major and minor league player development programs with special emphasis on instruction, the amateur draft and scouting, Major League and minor league talent evaluation, and also serves as an instructor during Spring Training and during the annual Elite Camp at Minute Maid Park.
Source: Houston Astros