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For Biggio, it's 3,000 and counting

Astros' second baseman ties career high with five hits, putting him at 3,002. Lee's grand slam in 11th wins it.

June 29, 2007|From the Associated Press

HOUSTON — Craig Biggio kissed his wife, hugged everyone in sight and dragged retired teammate Jeff Bagwell onto the field for the celebration.

It was the perfect place for the Houston Astros' second baseman to get his 3,000th career hit.

"I couldn't have scripted it any better," said Biggio, who tied a career high Thursday with five hits. "There are a lot of things that have happened over the past 20 years but tonight is the best."

Biggio reached the milestone number with a single to center field in the seventh inning and then passed Roberto Clemente for 26th on the career list with his fourth hit.

He was thrown out trying to stretch the 3,000th hit into a double. He singled to right in the ninth and singled again in the 11th in Houston's 8-5 victory over the Colorado Rockies. Carlos Lee won the game with a grand slam.

Biggio is the first player to reach 3,000 hits since Rafael Palmeiro on July 15, 2005, with Baltimore.

The 41-year-old Biggio, who entered the season needing 70 hits to reach the milestone, has played his entire 20-year career with Houston, making him the longest tenured player in franchise history.

"I'm relieved," he said. "Seventy is a big number. I can downplay it as much as I want but 70 hits is a lot of hits, especially at my age."

The sellout crowd stood and chanted "Bi-ggi-o" at each bat and cameras twinkled with each pitch. Fans held signs that read "Mr. 3,000" and "Biggio's Hit Parade." One woman wore an orange shirt that featured block letters that read "Biggio" and "3,000."

His 3,000th hit came one day shy of the 19th anniversary of his first career hit, a single off the Dodgers' Orel Hershiser on June 29, 1988.

Everyone on the team, including those in the bullpen, stormed the field to congratulate Biggio. His wife Patty, sons Conor and Cavan, and daughter Quinn also joined in the celebration. His sons were in the dugout acting as bat boys.

"Houston has always been very special to him," Patty Biggio said. "He's always wanted to stay here, this was where he wanted to be and to have this happen here couldn't have been more perfect."

Biggio then pulled Bagwell out of the dugout and returned with him to the field, where they stood arm and arm. Biggio and Bagwell played together for 15 seasons.

"I've been very grateful and blessed to be in the situation where I'm at now and to play one of the greatest games in the world for 20 years," he said. "This is very, very special."

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3,000-hit club

Houston's Craig Biggio on Thursday became the 27th player to reach 3,000 hits:

*--* 1. Pete Rose 4,256 2. Ty Cobb 4,191 3. Hank Aaron 3,771 4. Stan Musial 3,630 5. Tris Speaker 3,514 6. Carl Yastrzemski 3,419 7. Cap Anson 3,418 8. Honus Wagner 3,415 9. Paul Molitor 3,319

*--*

*--* 10. Eddie Collins 3,315 11. Willie Mays 3,283 12. Eddie Murray 3,255 13. Napoleon Lajoie 3,242 14. Cal Ripken Jr. 3,184 15. George Brett 3,154 16. Paul Waner 3,152 17. Robin Yount 3,142 18. Tony Gwynn 3,141

*--*

*--* 19. Dave Winfield 3,110 20. Rickey Henderson 3,055 21. Rod Carew 3,053 22. Lou Brock 3,023 23. Rafael Palmeiro 3,020 24. Wade Boggs 3,010 25. Al Kaline 3,007 26. Craig Biggio 3,002 27. Roberto Clemente 3,000

*--*

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