HOUSTON -- Craig Biggio, Houston Astros legend and a likely soon-to-be member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, probably doesn’t need much help getting his moment in the sun.
But a diehard fan in Baytown thought the legend of Biggio could use a public relations upgrade – perhaps to mythological status.
Lloyd Richey, 30, a husband and father in Baytown was upset last year when Biggio failed to get the votes needed to put him in the Hall on his first ballot.
“He didn't get in, knowing his stats and everything,” Richey asked incredulously. “I got to do something,” he remembers he thought at the time.
That “something” was to round up his family, friends, and a few willing strangers at his local fitness club to take part in a video salute to Biggio that he would call his “Craig Biggio for the Baseball Hall of Fame Awareness Video.”
In a satirical re-imagination of the Biggio mystique he has his hero rescuing tornado victims (played by Richey’s mom) and shielding young children from nightmares by standing watch with his bat outside their bedroom windows. In a fictitious scene from a convenience store, Biggio’s life-size cardboard cutout is enough to send a would-be robber running away in fear. And in another vignette in the 7-minute video Richey’s sister plays a zombie who finally meets her demise at the end of Biggio’s bat.
"If he responds, I hope his sense of humor is similar to mine,” said Richey at his Baytown home the day before the Hall of Fame ballots would be announced. "I hope he appreciates it,” Richey said of the video now nearing 25,000 views on YouTube. “I mean I'm just a fan.”
Richey says he just wanted to draw attention to a man he already considers a legend: the three-position 7-time all star with more than 3,000 hits. The man whose baseball cards Richey has been collecting since grade school.
"The earliest memory I do have of being like ‘Biggio, Biggio Biggio’ is on the bus in third grade,” he said while thumbing through the baseball card collection binder he still keeps.
He also hopes his satirical and mythological take on his hero will re-introduce the real Biggio to a legion of younger Astros fans who might have never seen him play.
"If any of them now know who Biggio is, it’s a victory...you know,” he said of the video.
In the closing scene of the video Richey himself makes a cameo, falling to his knees in despair. But Biggio, played by a friend in a big league number 7 uniform, reaches down with a gloved hand to rescue him. They both float off the ground together, hand in hand.
Richey says he can only hope his video might also help Biggio ascend to his rightful place in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
“If it had any effect I hope it is a positive one,” he said. “When you are that good and you’ve played three totally different positions…you’re in (the HOF) as far as I’m concerned.”