Former Houston Astros star Jeff Bagwell elected to National Baseball Hall of Fame

- Former Houston Astros star Jeff Bagwell has been elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.

He becomes the second member of the Astros organization to receive baseball's ultimate honor.

Bagwell's long-time teammate, Craig Biggio, was inducted into the Hall of Fame two years ago.

This was Bagwell's seventh time on the Hall of Fame ballot.

His former teammates all agree, Bagwell should have been a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

"He's been a Hall of Famer since the day he retired," Biggio said. "You look at his numbers, and you look at what he did, on and off the field, and you look at what he did defensively. He won a Gold Glove. He won an MVP. He's checked all the boxes. So yeah, he's been a Hall of Famer since the first day he retired."

Seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens agrees.

"I don't know how many years that Jeff's been eligible, but he's a first-ballot guy. He should have been in the first time, and I don't know why there's any reason to think differently."

Clemens went so far as to as Bagwell was "probably the sole reason" he came out of retirement to pitch for his hometown team.

Detroit Tigers manager and former Astros catcher Brad Ausmus, a close friend of Bagwell's, said he is more than worthy of holding down a spot in Cooperstown.

"There's no question he's a Hall of Famer," Ausmus said. "There was a stretch of 10 or so years where he was one of the most dominating hitters in the game, and really one of the most complete players in the game."

A four-time National League All-Star, Bagwell was the NL Most Valuable Player in 1994, three years after he won Rookie of the Year.

His numbers speak for themselves.

In 15 seasons, Bagwell hit 449 home runs, with 1529 RBIs and a career batting average of .297.

Beyond the career numbers, Bagwell is only the sixth player in Major League history to hit at least 30 home runs, have 100 RBIs and 100 runs scored in six consecutive seasons (1996-2001).

The other five are Babe Ruth, Jimmy Foxx, Lou Gehrig, Alex Rodriguez and Albert Pujols.

However, Bagwell did a great deal more than just wreak havoc at the plate.

He had 202 steals, 1401 walks and played terrific defense, winning the Gold Glove at first base in 1994.

Bagwell's career numbers would have been even larger had he not broken his hand three consecutive years, and had his career cut short by a shoulder injury.

He will now be referred to as Hall of Fame first baseman Jeff Bagwell.

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