When an athlete says he's retiring to spend time with his family, it's often greeted with a wink and a smile from the public at large. Then that reception is usually followed by said athlete returning to the sport as a coach or broadcaster and their nomadic lifestyle in the spotlight away from home continues.
It's nice, then, to see a superstar actually back up his claim. Since retiring from the Astros after 2007, Craig Biggio is not only logging time with his family but with other families as well. Last year, he served as the assistant football and baseball coach at St. Thomas High in Houston and now he's the school's head skip, riding buses and hitting fungoes to fresh-faced Catholic schoolchildren. Biggio's son Conor is a sophomore on the team and plays — what else? — second base.
(Insert joke about Conor starting off as a catcher here.)
Biggio lost his managerial debut to the Texas City Stingarees (Stingarees?) earlier this week, but we can all rest easy because Mr. Astro still feels comfortable issuing his non-comment postgame comments at the high school level.
"Well, it's good. It's nice," Biggio said before turning the attention away from him. "We played well. We never gave up, and you know, we got some work to do obviously, and we will be back at it again on Thursday."
It was vintage Biggio, who was known to be quick to the standby clichés and focus on team quotes when conducting post-game interviews as a ballplayer. For him, it was just another ballgame.
It showed during the 61/2 innings at Robinson Stadium, too. He looked and acted every bit a seasoned high school coach, not a lot of yelling, except to gripe at the umpires about calls when his son, Conor, was at the plate in the final inning.
It's been reported that Biggio works for free. No word on if he brought along some of his pine-tarred helmets to help the school save money on equipment costs, though.