HOUSTON, TX Former Astros All-Star Craig Biggio will be among several new candidates eligible for election into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2013. The Baseball Writers Association of America will officially announce the ballot for the 2013 class on Wednesday, November 28 at 11:00 a.m. CT.

Biggio will join longtime teammate Jeff Bagwell, who will be on the Hall of Fame ballot for the third year. Bagwell received 41.7 percent of the vote in his first season before jumping to 56.0 percent last season (75 percent of the vote is needed for induction). The last time a set of teammates went into the Hall of Fame in the same year representing the same club was when the Yankees Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford were inducted in 1974.

Results of this year s vote will be announced on January 9, 2013, with the induction ceremony in Cooperstown scheduled for Sunday, July 28, 2013. 

Craig Biggio is an iconic player who is deserving of being a first-ballot Hall of Famer, said Astros Owner and Chairman Jim Crane. He is a superb representative of the organization, the city, the fans and the game of baseball.

With Craig now joining his long-time teammate, Jeff, on the Hall of Fame ballot, next year s induction ceremony has a chance to be an historic occasion for our city and its fans. Both players are Hall of Famers in our eyes, and we hope the voters agree.

Biggio currently serves as a special assistant to Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow.

In his 20 Major League seasons (1988-2007), all in an Astros uniform, Biggio was one of the top players of his era, excelling at catcher, second base and in the outfield. The seven-time All-Star played a vital role in the most successful run in franchise history, which included six postseason appearances and a National League pennant.

In his career, Biggio tallied 3,060 hits, which ranks 21st all-time in Major League history and fifth in National League history among right-handed hitters. Twenty-four of the 28 players to reach 3,000 hits are in the Hall of Fame. In addition to Biggio, the three players in the 3,000-hit club currently not in the Hall of Fame are Derek Jeter, Rafael Palmeiro and Pete Rose.

On being included on the ballot for the first time, Biggio commented, I really can t believe it has been five years (since retiring). To be included on the ballot is an incredible feeling. It is hard to put into words. I would of played the game for free if I had to. I just enjoyed the game for what it was and the opportunity to go out there and compete day in and day out.  

In 2,850 career games, Biggio hit .281 with 668 doubles, 291 home runs, 1,175 RBI, 1,161 walks,  414 stolen bases and 1,844 runs scored, the latter ranking 14th all-time. His 668 doubles are the most in Major League history by a right-handed hitter and rank fifth all-time among all hitters. Biggio also holds the NL record for career leadoff home runs with 53 and the Major League record for being hit by a pitch with 285.

Biggio is also one of just 10 players in the modern era to reach the 3,000 hit plateau while playing for the same team.  His 3,060 hits are more than 138 current Hall of Famers, including Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, Reggie Jackson, Ryne Sandberg, Yogi Berra, Roberto Clemente, Brooks Robinson and Frank Robinson.

Biggio is also one of just 13 players in Major League history to reach both 1,000 extra-base hits and 3,000 total hits, a list that includes Hank Aaron, Stan Musial, Willie Mays, Carl Yastrzemski, Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, George Brett, Cal Ripken Jr. and Pete Rose (Biggio is only the second player that was primarily a middle infielder to accomplish this feat, joining Ripken).

Additionally, Biggio is the only player in MLB history to reach all four of the following milestones: 600 doubles, 250 homers, 3,000 hits and 400 stolen bases, and is one of just three players all-time to reach 3,000 hits, 200 homers and 400 steals, joining Hall of Famers Paul Molitor and Rickey Henderson.

On the Astros all-time lists, Biggio is tops in games, at-bats, hits, runs, doubles, extra-base hits and total bases, ranks second in RBI and stolen bases and third in home runs.

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