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Monday, October 1, 2007

Card of the Week 10/01

When someone mentions Craig Biggio, there's a lot of things that can pop into your mind. Houston Astro. All Star. Gold Glove second baseman. Killer B. 3000 hits. Hit by pitch. Filthy batting helmet. Sunshine Kids. Hustle. Hall of Fame. For me, the first thing that pops into my head when I think of Biggio is his 1991 Donruss Diamond King card.

I saw a lot of Biggio watching the Braves. Back in the early 90's his Astros were constantly pestering the Braves in the Western Division. Once the divisions were realigned, The Astros and Braves seemed to meet in the playoffs every year. Every time he played, you know he would play hard and with class.

Although he played almost 2000 games at second base, I still remember him as a good young catcher coming up with the 'Stros in the late 80's. This card indelibly burns that association in my mind. The catcher's mask perched on his presumably filthy helmet, the focused gaze, the eye black and the classic Astros rainbow stripes on the uniform make this card one of my favorites. Dick Perez switched to a more realistic portrait style with this set, and it really works on Biggio's card. 1991 was the last year Biggio caught games in the majors, save his start at catcher on the second to last game of this season. The back of his card foreshadows his switch the next year to second base when it states "His prowess is such that he could play virtually any of the regular eight positions". He also spent a couple of years in the outfield when he switched to center to make room for Jeff Kent. Craig's last at bat in the majors was a grounder to Chipper Jones where he hustled all the way down the line and was thrown out by half a step. Hustling to the end.


--David said...

And the last line on the card says it all... "We salute him as a Diamond King."

Joey said...

Nice choice for the card of the week. I alway liked this card too.