HOUSTON (AP) — Craig Biggio thinks he might have been bypassed for the Hall of Fame because he was on the ballot for the first time with several big stars linked to performance-enhancing drugs.
Biggio received the highest vote total in a year that produced no electees to Cooperstown on Wednesday. Biggio, 20th on the career list with 3,060 hits, appeared on 68.2 percent of the 569 ballots — 39 votes shy.
Steroids Era stars Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa were also on the ballot for the first time and all fell far short of the required 75 percent. Biggio thinks it's unfortunate if he was lumped in with others associated with performance-enhancing drugs
"I think it's kind of unfair, but it's the reality of the era that we played in," he said. "Obviously some guys are guilty and others aren't, and it's painful for the ones that weren't."
He wasn't completely sure whether feelings about the others played a role in his coming up short.
"I can't get in the minds of the writers, but it's a possibility that that could have definitely been part of the deal," he said.
Later, he seemed to tire of the incessant questions about whether being on the ballot with players linked to steroids kept him out of the Hall of Fame this year.
"All I know is that I went out there and played the game and I loved the game and I went out there to win, and we have a lot of flags on that wall out there that represent that, and that's really the most important thing to me," he said.
He thinks he probably also was hurt by the preference of some writers not to vote for first-time eligibles. Biggio, who played his entire 20-year career with the Astros, was disappointed but says the exclusivity of the Hall makes getting in mean that much more.