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A Real Life Hero

Discussion in 'Other Sports' started by BobFinn*, Dec 2, 2002.

  1. BobFinn*

    BobFinn* Contributing Member

    Feb 10, 2000
    Likes Received:
    I know this is the wrong forum, so sue me. Just thought some non-baseball fans would enjoy reading this.

    Biggios spread sunshine to kids
    Astros star shines when Sunshine Kids are around
    By Alyson Footer / MLB.com


    HOUSTON -- Craig and Patty Biggio's partnership with The Sunshine Kids, a support group for kids with cancer and their families, has lasted almost as long as they've been a part of the Houston Astros family, which at the end of the 2002 season added up to 15 years.
    For more than a decade, the Biggios have devoted their time to the Sunshine Kids in a variety of ways, including parties and visits, in addition to just spending time with these brave kids who have to deal with issues on an everyday basis that most of us couldn't imagine facing in our lifetimes.

    And Biggio's affiliation with the Sunshine Kids is not limited to just the baseball season. The Biggios, who live in Houston year-round, attend offseason events as well and hope to be in town for The Sunshine Kids holiday party Dec. 7, a function that many Astros front office members will also attend.

    To watch Biggio mingle with the Kids, it's obvious that he's used to being around young people. As the dad of three children, ages 3 to 10, Biggio has a knack for being able to relate to kids in a special way, saving his signature competitive intensity for matters on the baseball diamond.

    Biggio has often said that he credits his affilition with The Sunshine Kids as one of the reasons he never took the free agent route when the Colorado Rockies were courting him many moons ago.

    "I love these kids," Biggio said during the annual Sunshine Kids party at Minute Maid Park in August. "They're one of the reasons why I stayed an Astro. I love these kids as if they were my own. As much as I've affected their lives, they've affected my life even more. It's a lot of fun being around them and to be able to put a couple of smiles on their faces.

    "As long as they're having fun and smiling, that's all I care about."

    While Biggio's status as a baseball icon of sorts -- a seven-time All-Star, a four-time Gold Glover, the franchise's all-time leader in games played, at-bats, runs scored, hits and doubles -- The Sunshine Kids eventually get past Biggio's superstar status and simply appreciate him for just being a regular guy.

    "They are awe-struck by him at first," said Shannon Lillis, associate director of The Sunshine Kids. "They know he's a famous baseball player but once he starts talking to them and spending time with them, it just makes them feel very special. They know how busy he is with baseball, but he takes time out for them."

    Often when we think of kids with cancer, images of loss of life come to mind. Thankfully, many cases have happy endings. While the Biggios have been at the bedsides of many children in their final hours, many kids come through their experiences with clean bills of health.

    Take Frankie, for example. Having spent most of his life battling cancer, he can now look forward to beginning his teen years in complete remission. Over the years, Frankie grew attached to Biggio and vice versa, and the two have formed a special, unbreakable bond.

    "He lights up when he sees Craig and Craig lights up too," Lillis said. "He loves Craig."

    "He's been doing really well," Biggio said of Frankie, who doesn't leave his side at Sunshine Kids functions. "He had a hard time about four years ago but he's one of the lucky ones, thank God. He's a special kid. They're all special, but some you get to know better than others."

    Then there's Julian Zagars, a former Sunshine Kid who is now all grown up and living a healthy, full life in Houston. Biggio befriended Julian early in his career and even attended Julian's high school graduation more than a decade ago.

    "It was cool," Biggio said. "He's a good kid. Some of the greatest rewards are seeing the kids grow up and do well."

    While it may appear that the Kids are the ones who benefit most from the partnership, the Biggios tend to disagree.

    "I consider myself lucky just to be associated with them," Biggio said. "They give back to me so much more than I give back to them."

    Biggio may not be able to hit in the playoffs, but he hits a homerun in real life.
  2. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

    Sep 19, 1999
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    seems like a great guy! i freaking love craig biggio!!!

    thanks for posting this...
  3. Another Brother

    Another Brother Contributing Member

    Sep 28, 2001
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    As usual Bob, great post!
  4. Michael19P

    Michael19P Member

    Dec 6, 2001
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    yeah, Craig seriously is a great guy. In addition to the Sunshine Kids and playing for the Astros, he also manages to find the time to coach his son's little league (maybe still machine pitch) team at West U.

    Haha, maybe that is why one of my friends has an unhealthy obsession with him. He was telling me the other day that he had the best dream of his entire life when he dreamt that Biggio was his father. He then went on to say that the day when he woke up was maybe the most disappointing day of his life. :)
  5. LeGrouper

    LeGrouper Contributing Member

    May 24, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Yeah, Bidge is the S bomb.

    And Finn, I have always admired the fact that you have an asterix by your name:)

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