COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. - Seton Hall baseball alum Craig Biggio was one of 24 newcomers named to the 2013 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot announced today by the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA).
Biggio would seem to be a favorite for induction because 3,000 hits is almost a certain ticket to the hallowed Hall. Of the 26 other retired players who amassed 3,000 or more hits, only two are not in the Hall and both have extenuating circumstances, Pete Rose and Rafael Palmeiro.
In Biggio's 20 professional seasons, all for the Astros, he batted .281 as a catcher, outfielder and second baseman, and collected 3,060 career hits.
"It would be a very, very rewarding feeling if it was to happen," said Biggio to mlb.com. "I'll just cross my fingers and hopefully next year, come Jan. 9, I'll get a phone call."
A two-time First Team All-BIG EAST selection, Biggio dominated as Seton Hall's catcher from 1985-1987. Named NJBCA Player of the Year in 1986 and First Team All-America by Baseball America in 1987, he led the Pirates to a three-year record of 121-55-1 and their first BIG EAST Championship in 1987.
Biggio is Seton Hall's career leader in triples, is second in runs scored and ranks in the Pirates' top-10 in 18 other single-season and career statistical categories. A career .342 better with 27 home runs, 148 RBIs and 90 steals, he was inducted into the Seton Hall Athletics Hall of Fame in 1996 and saw his #44 retired last spring.
The BBWAA released the 37-man ballot on Wednesday, and the 600-plus eligible voters have until Dec. 31 to return their ballots. The ballot consists of 24 newcomers plus 13 returning candidates. A candidate needs to be named on at least 75 percent of the ballots to be elected. BBWAA members with 10 consecutive years or more of covering the sport are eligible to vote and they can name as many as 10 players on their ballots. The results of the voting will be announced on Jan. 9.
Those elected will be inducted into the Hall during the annual ceremony in Cooperstown, N.Y., on July 28.