Hans- Mount Rushmore of All-Time Houston Astros. Two players stand out the question is what order to put those two in? After that there are a number of good candidates and it was hard to chose those remaining two. I am leaving off some good ballplayers but there is only room for four on Mount Rushmore.
- CRAIG BIGGIO- For the top spot it came down to two players who played their entire careers with the Astros and who have both been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in recent years- Who is the GOAT Astro? Bagwell or Biggio? Due in large part to his longer career, durability and versatility- I will go with Craig Biggio at #1. He started out as a catcher- and was an all-star as a catcher- moved to second base and was an all-star and a gold glove winner four times and late in his career moved to center field- all without complaining. He’s the type of player I’d want on my team. A 7 time all-star. Was teammates with Bagwell from 1991-2005 when Bagwell retired. Both Biggio and Bagwell spent their entire careers with the Astros. Biggio hit with some power- 291 home runs, average .281 career average and stole 414 bases and finished his career with over 3000 hits at 3060. One of the most underrated players of his era. He should have been a first ballot Hall of Famer.
2. JEFF BAGWELL- The Astros over their history have made their share of bad trades- the king of them all trading Joe Morgan to the Reds. The best trade they ever made was sending a good relief pitcher Larry Anderson to the Boston Red Sox for a minor leaguer named Jeff Bagwell in 1990. As a rookie in 1991- Bagwell won the NL Rookie of the Year Award and in 1994 was the NL MVP. Also it must be remembered that he played a great portion of his career in the Astrodome- a pitchers paradise- and ended up with 449 career home runs. An injury ended his career a few years early or he would have topped 500 and he was a career .297 hitter.
3. LANCE BERKMAN: Berkman appeared on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time this year and received only 1.2% of the vote so he drops off future ballots- I am not saying he is a Hall of Fame player- but he certainly deserves more consideration than he received. Most of his career was spent with the Astros- his 6 all-star seasons were all as an Astro. He hit 366 home runs, .293 average and a .406 on base percentage. He was a monster offensively. Like Bagwell his career was shortened by injuries -after the age of 33 he started missing a lot of games due to injuries. Bagwell and Biggio were easy Mount Rushmore selections- after that it took some thinking- some good candidates.
4. ROY OSWALT: Before I looked at the numbers my thinking was Biggio- Bagwell- Ryan and who is #4. But in looking at the numbers it became clear that the best pitcher in Astros history without question is Roy Oswalt. Oswalt pitched 10 of his 14 seasons in a Houston uniform. His record was 143-82 with a 3.24 ERA with the Astros and that was pitching in the new ballpark not the spacious Astrodome. Ryan with the aid of pitching in the Astrodome was 106-94 with a 3.13 ERA as an Astro. Oswalt won 20 games twice and led the league in ERA one season. Another player whose career was cut short by injuries- his last year where he pitched without missing time was 2010 when he was 33.
A number of good Astros who just missed the cut- in addition to Nolan Ryan. Cesar Cedeno, Jose Cruz, in a couple of years Jose Altuve will probably be knocking someone off the list- or maybe Correa or Bregman will. The Astros of the past few years have the most talent of any teams in their history. I would say in a couple years if I re-did this list Berkman and Oswalt won’t be on it.