In the continued spirit of Goose Joak’s custom card project, I thought I’d add another custom card. This one commemorates Craig Biggio’s 3000th hit. Remarkably, living as I have away from Houston for a few years now, I was at the game on June 28, 2007.
In town for a wedding, some family members nabbed tickets for the Thursday night game. Under normal circumstances there would’ve been the game we play with historic moments in sports: will the big hit come today, or tomorrow, or on the weekend? If I’ve got one shot, do I shade towards a cynical long view and wait until Sunday, or do I give this living legend near the end of his career the benefit of the doubt and head out there tonight? I had no choice given my schedule, so I had a wholistic approach: if it isn’t tonight, I’m still glad for the second sacker. The journey is more important than the final step. My patience was rewarded with an overabundance of baseball ecstasy.
Bidge needed three hits to reach 3,000 before the game. He singled in the third inning and the fifth. The collective frenzy of the crowd built and built, to the point that there was a constant buzz, literally a humming at Minute Maid Park, the chatty chorus of anticipation and unbelievable good fortune, that we’d all be here and it could happen in the right now. It did, in the seventh, an almost miraculous flurry of hits, more than any of us deserved, much less me the carpet-bagger in town for 48 hours with maybe five Astros games under my belt in the last whatever number of years.
On the fateful hit, Biggio was thrown out at second, but it gave us time to give him his due. One among 27 players in the sport’s history, more rare than the brain can process. He pulled Jeff Bagwell out onto the field.
Bidge would collect two more hits, the final one when he beat out a high chopper to shortstop. It was almost as sweet as the 3,000th.