The Houston Astros held a news conference Monday to celebrate the inclusion of Craig Biggio on the new Hall of Fame ballot. There were no such gatherings in San Francisco for Barry Bonds, or in Boston for Roger Clemens, or in New York for Mike Piazza, or in Chicago for Sammy Sosa.
The 2012 Hall of Fame ballot, which will be officially unveiled on Wednesday, includes all of those players, a collection of some of the most prominent performers in recent baseball history. A decade ago, all would have been locks for Cooperstown.
Now only Biggio is — or, at least, should be — after a 20-year career highlighted by 3,060 hits, four Gold Gloves and an extraordinary ability to reach base. He also has an important attribute that stands out among his peers on this ballot: he was never suspected of using steroids,