Finally. Even an offseason shortened by a month of playoff baseball seems entirely too long. Finally, peanut vendors have something to do. Finally umpires can get back to annoying us. Finally we can get back to second guessing baseball managers (instead of everybody else). And, finally, Craig Biggio can get back to the quest to become the most plunked batter in major league history. The modern record fell in 2005. The all-time record and the unification of the records is just 15 plunks away.
The Astros seemed to have this goal in mind in the offseason. Knowing how important it was to keep Craig Biggio healthy and on the field in 2006, Houston went out and acquired the only person ever to put him on the disabled list and signed him to play left field. 273 times being hit by pitches never put Craig Biggio on the disabled list, but Preston Wilson did, with a takeout slide in the 2000 season. Biggio played in a career low 101 games that year. With Wilson now playing left field for the Astros, the path is clear for Biggio to play a full season and break some records. If Biggio plays in over 100 games at 2nd base this year he will become just the 4th player ever to do so after his 40th birthday. The other three are Napolean Lajoie, Rabbit Marranville, and Joe Morgan. You might see a connection with that group.
Craig Biggio has never been hit by a pitch on opening day, but today's starter for the visiting Marlins will be Dontrelle Willis. Willis is the last person to hit Biggio with a pitch, on September 12, 2005 in Florida. Willis also plunked Biggio on May 18, 2004. Biggio has been hit twice on April 3rd - in 1996 by Chan Ho Park, and in 2003 by Steve Reed.