Let’s set the scene: After the 1995 season, Biggio had filed for free agency. He had at least four teams in consideration for the 1996 season: The San Diego Padres, the St. Louis Cardinals, the Houston Astros, and our Colorado Rockies. He was coming off back-to-back seasons of being an All-Star while also winning consecutive Gold Gloves and Silver Sluggers. He had put up 10.8 fWAR and 10.9 bWAR combined in those two years and a wRC+ of 144 and 145 consecutively (to help put things in perspective for today’s kids and all you other advanced statheads). He was a big fish in the free agency pool and the Rockies had a legit shot.
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The Rockies had just made the playoffs for the first time in their short existence as a franchise. Coors Field had just opened up. It made perfect sense for the Rockies to sign someone who would be a future Hall of Famer and catapult them into permanent baseball relevance.
Word is that Craig Biggio and his wife absolutely loved Denver, which should come as no shock to anyone. We always hear that free agents in all sports love the Mile High City and its surrounding areas and many stay here once their careers are done. They wanted to live in the Mile High City and Craig Biggio wanted to be a member of the Colorado Rockies.
There are also rumors that Biggio wanted out of the Astros organization for some time. However, he wanted a tangible reason to give the Astros for leaving and the only team he would leave them for was the Rockies.
HE WAS RIGHT THERE IN OUR HANDS! WE HAD HIM!
Jerry McMorris, the Rockies owner at the time, was big on Biggio and wanted him in purple pinstripes. Who wouldn’t?
The answer to that question is former Rockies General Manager Bob Gebhard.