THE ASTROS ALL-TIME TEAM - SECOND BASE

Starter: Craig Biggio

(c) Houston Astros
Seasons: 1988-2002
1401 runs, .377 OBP, 381 SB

Key comments:
"Biggio should end up in the Hall of Fame"

"Simply outstanding in so many areas"

"Biggio is the closest thing the Astros have ever had to the iron-tough, dirt-scarred, often-controversial players of the 1920s"

Runner-up: Joe Morgan

(c) Houston Astros
Seasons: 1963-71,1980
597 runs, .374 OBP, 219 SB

Key comments:
"Morgan had many great years in Houston"

"Morgan was as excellent offensively in Houston as Biggio has been"

Other mentions : Bill Doran, Art Howe

Full comments:

Gene Elston: Joe Morgan & Art Howe.

Greg Lucas:
Craig Biggio is a solid pick over Bill Doran as #2. Joe Morgan misses because his greatest years with with Cincinnati and not Houston.

Michael Nash:
Craig Biggio & Joe Morgan. A very nice duo. Biggio could well join Morgan in the Hall and gets the nod here for having spent all of his career in Houston. Too many people forget Morgan spent more years in Houston than in Cincinnati.

Bill McCurdy:
Starter: Craig Biggio is the 2nd greatest position player in Astros history. Backup: Joe Morgan was a Hall of Famer, but his really great years were all sadly spent with the Reds. For that reason, I couldn’t take “Little Joe” over Mr. Biggio.

Bob Hulsey:
Starter - Craig Biggio (R): Simply outstanding in so many areas and covers the "emergency catcher" role as well. Backup - Joe Morgan (L): I know his Houston stats don't match his years in Cincy. Had he not come back to lead the 1980 squad, I would have chosen Doran.

Ray Kerby:
Craig Biggio has had a phenomenal career, and Astros fans have been fortunate to witness it first-hand. Biggio's not a lock for the Hall of Fame, but I believe he is deserving. Morgan had many great years in Houston, enough to give him a decisive edge of Bill Doran for the backup spot on this team.

Jeff Burk:
Craig Biggio & Joe Morgan. The popular notion is that Morgan was pretty good as an Astro but blossomed only after joining the Reds. In fact, Morgan was as excellent offensively in Houston as Biggio has been (both OPS+ 130). Biggio has played many more games than Morgan as the Astros second baseman, which is why Biggio is the all-time starter.

Andy Tomczeszyn:
Craig Biggio & Bill Doran. Biggio should end up in the Hall of Fame. For a 3 year period 1997-1999, Biggio was arguably the best player in the game of baseball. Injury and age have diminished his skills, but that shouldn't count against him here. Doran ranks over Joe Morgan for me for sentimental reasons, and for the fact that Morgan's best season were spent in Cincinnati. When we played baseball in the neighborhood, I was always Billy D.

Darrell Pittman:
Craig Biggio & Joe Morgan. While Morgan's already in the Hall of Fame, for the Astros All-Time Team one has to tilt to Biggio at second due to his length of service and obviously, his consistent impact on the "Killer B" offenses of the 1990s in his prime, and his contributions on defense. Morgan, to date, is still the better second baseman overall, but Biggio's contributions to the Astros weigh heavier. If only Little Joe could have stayed in Houston.

John Lauck:
Craig Biggio & Bill Doran. Many people might be expecting to see Joe Morgan’s name in one of the two places above, but Morgan, as memorable as he is in his two tours of duty with the Astros, and as identified with Houston as he was from 1965 through 1971, achieved a career of such distinction as a Cincinnati Red that, for me, and I daresay for others, he is a Red, and always will be.

Not to worry. Biggio, in playing his entire career with the Astros, has put up numbers that stand up well next to Morgan’s and that will merit Hall Of Fame consideration when he’s done. Other Houston players have been faster and have hit the baseball more powerfully than Biggio, but few have brought his combination of power and speed to the game and sustained it for so long. He is, as exemplified by his all-star play at both catcher and second base, one of the finest pure athletes the Astros have ever put on the field. His 1997 season-- .309/22/81, 146 RS-- was one of the great years of all time for any second baseman, and it was nearly matched by what Biggio did in the two following seasons in the power categories. Like Bagwell, the way Biggio plays the game is as striking as the results he has achieved. Biggio is the closest thing the Astros have ever had to the iron-tough, dirt-scarred, often-controversial players of the 1920s (including, as part of that controversy, the yearly debate over the arm padding Biggio wears.) To his credit, however, Biggio leaves his tough play between the lines, and off the field represents himself and the ball club very well.

His backup on this team, Bill Doran, doesn’t rank nearly as high as Biggio in Total Baseball’s Total Player Rating stat (Biggio’s is 35.6; Doran’s is 1.9) mostly because of his lack of power, but anyone who ever saw Doran play during the peak of his long career as an Astro knows why he’s here. In many ways, he was similar to Biggio. His toughness, his ability to get on base, and his range defensively were all comparable to Biggio’s. It’s hard to imagine the Astros winning the NL West in 1986 without him.