COOPERSTOWN - Having visited a few times and having been around here a lot this week, Craig Biggio is emphatic about the Hall of Fame. "If you're a baseball fan, it's a must-see," he said on Saturday afternoon. "And I'm not saying this because I'm going in now, I'm saying it in general.
"It's the history of the game, where it has come from and where it's going now," he said.
Of course it is not just where the game has come from. It is where Biggio and his fellow members of the Hall of Fame Class of 2015 all have come from. That is what is welling up in their stomachs and their hearts as they get themselves warmed up for where they are all going next-to a big stage for induction and then to their places among the immortals in the museum on Main Street in this little upstate town.
"My childhood growing up in Kings Park was great, man. I loved it," said Biggio who will become only the second Long Island native inducted into baseball's shrine, following Carl Yastrzemski of Bridgehampton. "I had great coaches. There were great people, great families. The reason why I got involved in the Sunshine Kids was my first introduction to a kid who had cancer when I was 14, 15 years old. I love where I grew up. It was very normal.
"It's part of the journey, when you say you did it together. You have the talent but you also have people who impacted your life along the way, in whatever means that was," he said.
Biggio will be joined in the ceremony by Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz, arguably the Hall's greatest pitching class since the inaugural year of 1936, when Christy Mathewson, Walter Johnson and (former pitcher) Babe Ruth got in.
All of them are humbled, and proud of how they got here.