In front of a crowd in Cooperstown, N.Y., Bagwell started his speech by thanking his family, singling out his parents and wife.
"Mom, you are just the most amazing person in the world," he said. "You've been a pillar for me. I can't tell you how much I love you and what you mean to me. My father, Bob. There's something about a dad. You brought me to love this game of baseball. Something my father instilled in me was to never quit. Deep inside, I just never gave up. That drive got me a long way."
Over the course of his 15-year career with the Astros, he had 449 home runs, 1,529 RBI's, 969 extra-base hits and a lifetime batting average of .297. He was selected Rookie of the Year in 1991, awarded a Gold Glove and Most Valuable Player in 1994, and named a Silver Slugger in 1994, 1997 and 1999.
"I tried to do everything well," Bagwell said. "I wanted to score for my team and for my other players. I enjoy the stolen bases more than anything else. For a little guy with not much speed, I truly appreciate that. I could help us win in different ways."
Statement from Astros owner and Chairman Jim Crane:
"On behalf of the Astros organization, I'd like to congratulate Jeff Bagwell. When Jeff played here, a sign was posted in the weight room that read 'Bagwell's Gym, Work Hard, Play Hard or Leave.' That reveals a great deal about what he was all about. Throughout his career, Jeff worked extremely hard to become a great player. He was a winner and an outstanding representative of the Houston Astros and of the City of Houston. We were thrilled when Craig Biggio was voted into the Hall two years ago, and now we are ecstatic that Jeff will be joining him."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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