NEW YORK (AP) — Craig Biggio barely came up short, so he'll be back next year. Jack Morris' outing is over, and he went the distance again.
Mike Piazza, Jeff Bagwell, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens also were kept out of Cooperstown when Hall of Fame election results were announced Wednesday. And while first-time eligibles Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas sailed right in, the big stars still waiting remained a significant part of the story.
"Obviously, I'm disappointed to come that close," Biggio said in a statement. "I feel for my family, the organization and the fans. Hopefully, next year."
The seven-time All-Star, who spent his entire 20-year career with the Houston Astros, was selected on 74.8 percent of ballots with a total of 427 votes — two shy of the 75 percent required for enshrinement.
That tied Nellie Fox in 1985 and Pie Traynor in 1947 for the nearest miss. Traynor made it the following year, and Fox was put in by the old Veterans Committee in 1997.
"I was, like, shocked," Thomas said. "To hear that he didn't get in by two votes, man, I don't want to use the word 'tragic,' but it's got to be a tragic moment for him right now. He was one heck of a player. It looks like he's going to get into the Hall of Fame in the future, but yeah, it's got to be a devastating day for him."
Biggio topped voting at 68 percent last year in his first appearance, when members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America failed to elect anyone for only the second time in four decades.
He finished with 3,060 hits, 1,844 runs, 668 doubles and 414 steals. He set a big league record by getting hit with pitches 285 times.
Biggio broke into the big leagues as a catcher but won four straight Gold Gloves at second base. He also patrolled center field and left.
"As surprised as I was for Craig last year having not gotten in, you almost feel heartbroken for him this year, given as close as he was," Glavine said. "Craig was a tremendous competitor. ... It's remarkable that he bounced around to as many positions as he did and played them all as well as he did. So I think it's just a matter of time before he's in the Hall of Fame."
Biggio has plenty of chances left, but Morris does not.
Best-known as a big-game pitcher who won World Series rings with three different teams, the right-hander received 351 votes (61.5 percent) and fell 78 short in his 15th and final appearance on the writers' ballot.