Larry Spasic, President of the San Jacinto Museum of History Association, presents the award to Biggio.
The San Jacinto Museum of History Association’s ninth “Special Evening with Texas History” celebration took place Thursday (Nov. 5). The recipient of the Star of San Jacinto Award for 2015 was National Baseball Hall of Famer Craig Biggio.
Biggio played his entire baseball career with the Houston Astros from 1988 – 2007, playing second base and catcher positions, which he also played as an All Star.
By the end of his career, Biggio ranked sixth in National League history in games played (2,850), fifth in at bats (10,876), eighth in hits (3,060) and seventh in runs scored (1,844). He was ranked fifth in career doubles (getting a hit that allows the batter to make it to second base) with 668, which makes him the most achieved by a right-handed hitter.
Biggio was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame this year, and is the first Hall of Famer to be depicted in an Astros uniform.
The annual fundraising event included a cocktail reception, a seated gourmet dinner, music by the San Jacinto Central Chorale, a tour of current exhibits, “A Destined Conflict: The U.S. – Mexican War” and “Riding the Rails,” and rides to the Monument’s Observation Floor.
“We are honoring Craig Biggio with our special San Jacinto Star Award because of his long professional commitment to Houston through his 20-year career with the Houston Astros, which is a rarity in all sports,” says Larry Spasic, President of the San Jacinto Museum of History Association. “His accomplishments and the mutual pride, respect and genuine admiration between Craig and all Houstonians and Texans have permanently established his legacy in the history and culture of our state.”
Biggio signs props from the film.
The Museum presented a six-minute film depicting a Biggio-hit baseball flying out of Minute Maid Park, over Downtown Houston, out of the atmosphere and nudging the International Space Station. Afterward, Biggio signed props used in the film for a silent auction, with the proceeds going to children’s cancer charity Sunshine Kids, which Biggio has supported for over two decades.
Biggio was presented with a coin made from the same metal that the 1969 Lunar Lander was made of, along with the Star of San Jacinto Award.
Congressional Medal of Honor winner Audie Murphy was honored posthumously as well. Murphy was one of the most decorated American combat soldiers of World War II, receiving every military combat award for valor available from the U.S. Army, as well as French and Belgian awards for heroism.
Murphy received the Medal of Honor at age 19 after single-handedly holding off an entire company of German soldiers for an hour at the Colmar Pocket in France in January 1945, then leading a successful counterattack while wounded and out of ammunition.
Murphy died in a plane crash in Virginia in 1971 right before his 46th birthday, and was interred with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery.
The San Jacinto Museum of History Association is in the initial phase of an expansion plan that will revitalize and reinvigorate the San Jacinto Museum and park to a degree not seen since the Monument was built and opened in the late 1930s. The centerpiece of the plan is the construction of the “San Jacinto Museum of History Association Annex and Visitors Center,” to improve the environment for the permanent collection of historical artifacts; additional space to promote the study and research of the region’s history; and a visitor’s center to convey an accurate interpretation of the significance of the park.
The Museum was established not only to honor those who fought at the site in 1836, but also to re-visualize the history of Texas and the Spanish Southwest. It was created as a steward of history and to promote friendship between Texas, Mexico, Spain, France and Latin America.
Special treasures can be found from Mexican Texas, the Texas revolution, and the Republic of Texas. The museum also holds art and artifacts from the Spanish conquest, French Texas (a small collection), Spanish colonial life, the Mexican Revolution and the Anglo colonization of Mexican Texas. Texas’s early statehood and the Civil War are also featured.
The San Jacinto Museum of History is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, the purpose of which is to collect and preserve significant materials relating to the early history and culture of Texas, its constituent ethnic groups, and the region, and to promote the study of and appreciation for the role of Texas within American and world history through exhibits, publications and educational programs.
The Museum places special significance on interpreting the Texas Revolution and the Battle of San Jacinto, the period of the Republic of Texas and the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Park and associated sites.
The base of the monument was lit up for the occasion.
The San Jacinto Museum is housed in the base of the San Jacinto Monument. Its exhibits provide an overview of 400 years of Texas history, from the Spanish conquest through the 19th century. Driven by its mission, the Museum has acquired over 18,000 objects, 26,000 volumes and 160 linear feet of manuscript materials from Texas and New Spain, the United States and Mexico.
The San Jacinto Museum and Monument are located on the 1,200-acre San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site near Houston in the Pasadena/Deer Park/La Porte area. For more information, visit www.sanjacinto-museum.org.
To learn more about Sunshine Kids, visit SunshineKids.org.