May 28, 2006


Battered Up!: He's Been Hit by Pitches 277 Times, but Houston Astro Craig Biggio Is Having a Ball (Peter Carlson, 5/24/06, Washington Post)

Craig Biggio is the king of pain. He has been beaned, plunked, dinged, smashed, whacked, zapped and clobbered, but he doesn't let it bother him. Last year, Biggio, who works as a second baseman for the Houston Astros, set the modern (post-1900) record for getting hit by the most pitches in a career: 268. This year, his total is up to 277 plunkings, which means he's zeroing in on Hughie "Ee-Yah" Jennings's all-time record, which is 287.

Sitting in the visitors' locker room at RFK Stadium on Monday, waiting to play the first of four games with the Washington Nationals, Biggio shrugged off these records with the calm of a Zen master.

"If it's meant to be, it's meant to be," he said. "And if it's not, it's not."

Biggio is a Stoic philosopher in a baseball cap. He knows life hurts, but he chooses to ignore that.

"It swells up and you move on," he says. "You give it enough time and it goes away."

Biggio lives by a code that seems old-fashioned in this Era of Shared Feelings: When some huge, hulking brute hits him with a hardball thrown at 95 mph, he just heads down to first base. He does not whimper, he does not curse, he does not yell or charge the mound with homicide blazing in his eyes. And he never, ever rubs the sore spot.

"Oh, no, I won't touch it," he says. "The pitcher knows he hit you and you know he hit you, and rubbing ain't gonna make it any better."

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 28, 2006 9:31 AM

How many of those balls hit him in his damned elbow pad?

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at May 28, 2006 10:30 AM

How many of those balls hit him in his damned elbow pad?

Some. Of course, if it's so easy, why isn't every player doing it?

Posted by: Gary at May 28, 2006 1:42 PM

Biggio is a tool. Just like Bonds he armors up and leans way over the plate so he'll get hit or the pitcher will lose the inside pitch.

Posted by: Pepys at May 28, 2006 3:13 PM

He's not wearing armor on his face. Pitchers can have the inside half of the plate back anytime they want.

Posted by: joe shropshire at May 28, 2006 3:32 PM


I'm betting it still hurts like a mofo.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at May 28, 2006 8:27 PM