Dear Dad

By Quinn Biggio

Quinn Biggio is a rising sophomore on the Notre Dame softball team, hailing from Houston, Texas. She is the third member of the Biggio family to attend Notre Dame after brothers Conor and Cavan were members of the baseball team. Cavan made his Major League Baseball debut this season for the Toronto Blue Jays after rising up the ranks of their organization in the previous few seasons. This is the story of her and her dad …

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When people hear the name Craig Biggio, they think of many things. They think of the Houston Astros, a Hall of Famer, a “gritty spark plug,” dirty helmets, 3,060 hits, a man who was both an All-Star catcher and second baseman, and a man who did it all for one team. A player who selflessly did whatever his team asked of him. My favorite position he played, however, was Dad.

For the first seven years of my life, my dad was Major Leaguer who played a grueling schedule of 162 games a year with 81 being on the road — not including the postseason — and a 2005 World Series appearance when I was 5 years old. At home, my mom, Patty, provided us with an outstanding childhood that included going to school during the week, mass every Sunday and constant support throughout the million sporting events between my brothers and me. The best part of my father’s career was attending as many Astros games as we could — which was a lot — and reppin’ my dad’s number on my back. Although my memory of my dad playing is fuzzy, I can vividly remember the chanting of “B-G-O” whenever my dad would come up to bat. When he retired in 2007, I was only 7 years old. At that age, I was not concerned about the outcomes of his at-bats; instead, I wore my Biggio jersey with pride, ate Minute Maid Lemonade Icees and DiGiorno’s pizza and happily danced along to the sounds of the ballpark.

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People always ask me, "What is it like to be the daughter of a Hall of Famer?" or "You're so lucky to have an MLB star as your dad.' And while they are definitely right, it's a life that I wouldn't trade for anything on earth, it is also a challenging life for a 7-year-old girl.

With a busy game schedule where my dad had to be at the field by the time I got out of school at 3 p.m., you don’t see your dad very much. And as a young girl, all you want to do is be with your dad. Every year I would look forward to the opportunities to travel with him, not because we got to travel with a Major League team, but because it meant more time with my father. But no matter how long the road trip was or how tired he was, my Dad always made his family his No. 1 priority. Even when he was on the road, my dad made sure to put his family first. For example, every year on my birthday I would look forward to the email he would send with a picture of him in uniform holding a plate in the visiting locker room. On the plate, it would read “Happy Birthday Quinn!”

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The best parts of my dad were not the ones with him in his Astros uniform. He truly was his most authentic self when he was with the Sunshine Kid organization. This nonprofit group gives children with cancer the opportunity to dream big and to take part in fun trips and activities all while going through things I cannot even begin to imagine.

It is amazing to watch him hug and love each child as if they were his own. The inspiration to fight and the joy he would bring to the kids, their parents, and even himself is something I try to emulate every single day. These interactions are when I am most proud of my dad because he represents how the game was an opportunity to use his platform to help others.

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When I hear Craig Biggio I think of the selfless, kind-hearted, tough, funny, family man, and the best father I could have ever asked for.

Although my dad was a great player, to me he was just a regular dad. He taught me how to drive, hunt, shoot a gun, and that I deserve the absolute best that life has to offer. My dad was like an everyday dad with three kids whose sports game schedules were almost just as crazy his. He would try to attend every game he could and gave us constant support and coaching, From hitting line drives at me in the back yard from 10 feet away, to shagging balls. He keeps me on my toes on where he stands during games.

When it comes to us kids and playing, my dad is very superstitious. He’ll note what bucket hat he wore and where he stood when we had hits. Even though baseball is different from softball, my dad taught me a lot growing up and continues to teach me while I play now. He taught me to respect the game by giving it my all and running every ball out — and to play the sport with grit and determination.

My dad is Houston proud, a sass master, my biggest fan and my protector. He loves my mother and his three children more than anything in his life and always made sure we knew it. He was an amazing baseball player but he was an even better dad.