It will be a long time before another MLB teams has a nickname quite like the “Killer Bee” Houston Astros of the late 1990s and early 2000s. The odds of Jeff Bagwell, Lance Berkman and Craig Biggio all winding up on the same team and performing at a high level were really slim to none. However, the infamous trio managed to just do that. Unfortunately, the baseball careers of these three All Stars have all come to a close.
Berkman was the last domino to fall as the switch-hitter finally called it a quits on Thursday. Even though Berkman hasn’t played in Houston since 2010, the one they call “Big Puma” will always be remembered as an Astro. In fact, most MLB fans probably won’t even recall Berkman’s time with the New York Yankees, Texas Rangers or St. Louis Cardinals come 2018.
With that being said, Berkman will go down as an Astros icon from now until the end of time. Also, the numbers that Berkman put up as a switch-hitter put him in a class with the likes of Mickey Mantle and Chipper Jones — both of whom belong in Cooperstown, New York. And while Berkman doesn’t deserve a Hall of Fame nod he has earned himself a ceremony of sorts inside Minute Maid Park.
Without Berkman, the No. 17 for the Astros is nothing and that is exactly why the first basemen/outfielder deserves to have his name up in the rafters sometime very soon. Thankfully, Houston doesn’t have too many icons, which means each of the Killer Bee should be given a nice appreciation game or even week!