By: Jordan Smith
Jose Altuve is about to do something that hasn't ever happened before in Astros history: Break Craig Biggio's single-season hits record. With 2 hits tonight at Minute Maid Park against the Cleveland Indians, Jose Altuve will break Biggio's single season Astros' Franchise record for hits by one player. The record was set in 1998 when Biggio grabbed 210 hits in one season, becoming the record holder for the Franchise in single season hits. He was also the first ever Astro to get to 200 hits in one season that year. Keyword: WAS. Now, not only has Altuve reached 200 hits in less time than Biggio took to get to that mark, but is now about to completely obliterate #7's record which has been standing unchallenged for the past 16 years.
Here's what Altuve had to say. "I feel happy for that (third-inning) hit because it tied the game and it got the lead," Altuve said. "(Collin) McHugh was throwing an outstanding game and, at that moment, I felt like, 'That's all we need.'" Tom Lawless, the Astro's interim manager, had some words about Altuve's year. "He's a magician with the wand," interim manager Tom Lawless said. "I've seen it a long time, but seeing it up close and personal again, it's amazing what he can do with the bat in his hand. He hits breaking balls. He hits fastballs. He hits fastballs in. He hits fastballs up and away. I mean, the last pitch was a fastball up and away and he hits it into the right field corner. So, it's a magical year for him, there's no doubt. "I've played with some good players in St. Louis," Lawless continued. "Willie McGee and Ozzie Smith and Tommy Herr that did some things, special years, but I don't think I've seen anybody have a special year like this guy. You probably could say that he is the MVP of the league. If people watched him day in, day out, I mean, he would get my vote."
For the season, Altuve leads the major leagues in hits, batting average, and multi-hit games. He leads the American League in stolen bases. And the Astros are well on their way to a much improved season, now just three games away from the 70-win mark with 12 games left in the season. This, after three straight seasons with 100 or more losses. "We are close to being the winning team that everyone wants us to be," Altuve said. "The way that we've been playing is amazing. I feel like we can go out and beat every team right now."
As for the greatest Astro ever, Craig Biggio gets a firsthand look at Jose Altuve's historic season. He also has a unique perspective, having been the only other Astro to deliver a 200-hit season. Biggio set the Astros' record with 210 hits in 1998. Altuve sits at 209 with 12 games remaining.
Here's what the soon-to-be Hall Of Famer had to say about Altuve's magical season before Monday night's game. "For me, it's been pretty easy," Biggio joked. "For him, he's been working hard. "He's had a great year," the Astros legend said. "He's gone out there and played every day. He's become the second guy in Astros' history to have 200 hits and he has a lot to be proud of. I'm happy for him. He's a good kid, a hard-working kid and I believe that good things happen to good people. So all the success that he's had this year, he deserves it."
1998 was a special season for Biggio, but not because of any individual accomplishments. That year, the Astros won 102 games on their way to the NL Central title. "'98 was a pretty special year," Biggio said. "We were playing for the playoffs. You're not really into the number of hits you're getting. It's all about the wins and losses. We're talking about playing for the playoffs. I mean, that was our mindset coming in every year. We were just playing every game, living every day, not really for every personal moment."
That said, years later, the individual accomplishments can now be appreciated along with the team glory from that magical season. "If you think about it, it had never been done before," Biggio said. "It's hard to do. Depending how many walks you get, how many strikeouts you have, your walk-to-strikeout ratio, it's hard. Like for Jeff Bagwell, it'd be hard because he'd walk over a hundred times a year. So to get more hits, he'd have to give away some walks. So it's who you are, but in general, to be able to get 200 hits is a lot to be proud of."
Do you think Altuve should win the MVP award this season with the production he has given this season to the Astros? Will Jose Altuve pass up Biggio's career hits amount at 3,060 by the time #27 calls it a career in your opinion? Leave a comment with your responses below and don't forget to follow the blog. Go to the top right corner of the web page and click the word "Follow". You can put in your e-mail there or follow by your account on Sportsblog.com. Don't have one? Create one and join the best and fastest growing Sports Blog website in the world!!!!! You can also click the link below to start your account. I would highly recommend clicking the link below. It's an easier process by doing so. Thank You for reading.