DENVER (AP) - Craig Biggio capped his sweat-stained career with one more cherished honor.
The longtime Houston Astros star won the 2007 Roberto Clemente Award, given annually to a major league player who combines community service with excellence on the field.
Biggio received the trophy Saturday in a ceremony at Coors Field before Game 3 of the World Series between the Boston Red Sox and Colorado Rockies. He was picked from among 30 nominees, one from each big league team, by a committee that included commissioner Bud Selig and Vera Clemente, Roberto's widow.
``I'm very humbled and grateful for this honor and to be part of his legacy,'' Biggio said. ``I think the biggest part about Roberto is, as great of a player as he was, he was a bigger man off the field in his generosity and his time and giving back to the community.''
The 41-year-old second baseman retired after this season, his 20th in the major leagues - all with Houston. He became the 27th player to reach 3,000 hits on June 28.
Asked about winning such a prestigious award in his final season, Biggio left the whole room laughing.
``I guess it was our last chance,'' he said. ``So thank you.''
Known for his gritty play at several positions, Biggio also is the national spokesman for the Sunshine Kids Foundation, which provides support and fun activities for young cancer patients. He visits the Sunshine Kids house regularly and often wore the organization's pin on his Astros cap.
``The Sunshine Kids are near and dear to my heart and they're one of the reasons that I stayed there and never left as a free agent,'' Biggio said. ``We're not about a cure. We're about families, we're about putting smiles on faces.''
Biggio has hosted a yearly baseball party at Minute Maid Park for more than 100 kids with cancer, along with a celebrity golf tournament that has raised more than $2.5 million for the Sunshine Kids Foundation the past 15 years. He's also participated in several other community service programs with the Astros.
Selig, Vera Clemente and everyone else sitting next to the podium wore a bright yellow Sunshine Kids pin on their lapel. Biggio's wife, Patty, and one of his sons, Conor, also were on hand for the presentation, along with Astros owner Drayton McLane and his wife, Elizabeth.
``This is a huge day for the Houston Astros family,'' Biggio said.
The seven-time All-Star began his career as a catcher before switching to second base, where he won four Gold Gloves from 1994-97. He later moved to the outfield, then finished his career back at second.
Biggio helped the Astros reach their only World Series in 2005, when they were swept by the Chicago White Sox. He finished his career with 3,060 hits, 1,844 runs scored and 291 homers. His 668 doubles rank fifth on the career list, numbers that seem likely to earn him a spot in the Hall of Fame.
``One of the game's most consistent and versatile players,'' Selig said. ``I hope all the young players in this sport will watch and follow this man's career because he is what a major league baseball player should be.''
Biggio joins a list of previous Roberto Clemente Award winners that includes 13 Hall of Famers, such as Tony Gwynn, Cal Ripken Jr. and Rod Carew. New York Mets first baseman Carlos Delgado won the award last year.
Clemente was a Hall of Fame right fielder with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He died in a plane crash on New Year's Eve 1972 while trying to deliver relief supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. He finished his career with exactly 3,000 hits.

Recent MLB Discussions

dod 1st 5 thats it on Thu, Oct 2016 by Timmy1961
dod/cubs on Thu, Oct 2016 by Michael Cash
mlb early play on Wed, Oct 2016 by sharkey11

Top MLB Public Bets

MLB Top Stories

Thumbnail North Siders' bats rise as NCLS progresses Anthony Rizzo is still batting well below .200 in the playoffs. Yet the Chicago first baseman seems to be heating up at precisely...
Thumbnail Hosts ask Urias to give them 3-1 NLCS edge Tonight, Julio Urias will make history in Game 4 of the NLCS. The Dodgers simply hope that it’s for all the right reasons.
Thumbnail Francona needs relief corps to thrive again The Blue Jays suddenly have life in the NLCS. Now, though, can they truly put fear in the Indians and send the festivities back to northern...
Thumbnail Arrieta tries to lift visitors at Chavez Ravine After getting punched in the mouth in Game 1 of the NLCS, the Dodgers struck back on Sunday night. Can they keep running with the Cubs as the action...
Thumbnail Donaldson, Toronto on brink of elimination In a close-out situation, Cleveland manager Terry Francona wants to leave as little to chance as possible. Which is why Corey Kluber, on short rest and all,...
More inMLB Articles  

MLB Team Pages