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Roger Craig
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Roger Craig
Roger Craig
Ultimate Mets Database popularity ranking: 162 of 981 players
Craig
Roger Lee Craig
Born: February 17, 1930 at Durham, N.C.
Throws: Right Bats: Right
Height: 6.04 Weight: 196

Roger Craig was the most popular Ultimate Mets Database daily lookup on January 6, 2007, and February 17, 2013.

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First Mets game: April 11, 1962
Last Mets game: September 25, 1963





Share your memories of Roger Craig

HERE IS WHAT OTHER METS FANS HAVE TO SAY:

Won Doney
February 17, 2001
Come on!!!! No one has anything to say about Roger Craig? It's not every season when a guy leads the team in both wins and losses with a 10 and 24 record!

murphy
May 2, 2001
I have one thing to say. I absolutely hated Roger Craig in 1986 for having taught Mike Scott the split finger fastball. Scott was a horrible major league pither with the Mets, goes to the Astros, learns the splitter and became a stud. It was all Craig's fault.

David Mo
June 28, 2001
Craig pitched his heart out for a terrible Mets club in '62 & '63, but everywhere else he was a winner. He won a pivotal game in the Brooklyn Dodgers ONLY World Championship in '55 and helped the Cards to their first Championship in 18 years in '64 with an incredible 5 inning/9K win in relief. He led the pennant-winning '59 L.A. Dodgers in winning PCT and ERA, outpitching Koufax, Drysdale and Podres. He was the first San Diego Padres manager to post a winning record (1978), improving on his predecessor's record by 25 games(!), and in 1989 managed the Giants to only the second pennant in SF history thus far. And let's not forget his work as pitching coach for the juggernaut Tigers in '84. Roger...over and out!

harvey k
January 30, 2002
roger had one of the best pickoff moves in basball history

Jim Snedeker
March 11, 2002
Was born too late to know about his good years. The first thing that comes to mind is Lindsey Nelson's voice from my "Miracle Mets" record in which he's broadcasting the Mets' first game:

"Craig goes into the windup... and drops the ball! The ball is rolling away, and the umpire now has called a balk! The New York Mets have given up their first run in history on a balk!"

rich edwards
March 14, 2002
I remember him picking off Willie Mays twice on successive throws and Ed Bouchee dropped both throws. Mays then steals second and gets into a fight with Elio Chacon.

Andy
April 4, 2002
After the fight, he then walked Orlando Cepeda to put runners on 1st and 2nd. He promptly picked off Cepeda and Bouchee just as promptly dropped the throw again) and I believe Mays scored. Talk about frustration.

Larry Burns
June 5, 2002
Roger was before my time, but I remember he was the best pitcher on an awful set of teams. He was the leader in many pitching categories up to the likes of Seaver, Koosman, Gooden, etc.. I remember him as a pitching coach and manager. He was a great pitching coach who taught Mike Scott (who up to this time sucked) the splitter. He went on to have some great years. He was an AWFUL manager. He wrote the book on over-managing. I think he used to call all the pitches. Most pitchers hated playing for him for that. He also added years on to most games because of the time delay. He was universally voted the baseball player most likely to be confused with Karl Malden. But even with all his faults he actually had quality clubs, he probably could have done better if he loosened the reins a little.

mitch
August 28, 2002
Roger was threatening the all-time consecutive loss record. The Mets went into the bottom of the 9th, trailing by a couple (possibly three?), but managed to load the bases. Jim Hickman lofted a soft pop fly down the left field line (all of 270 ft.) that just brushed the overhanging scorboard on its decent. Grand slam, and Craig was saved from baseball infamy!

Mr. Sparkle
October 10, 2002
Craig won that game to avoid tying the all time loss string on the day he decided to change his number to 13. Good move.

Also, I read in the Mets encyclopedia that when he started the first ever home game for the Mets in 1962 that he surrendered the first ever run at home in Mets history by balking in a run in the first inning. In that game he was relieved by three pitchers, Bob Moorehead, Herb Moford and Clem Labine, all of which would be off of the Mets by the end of April, their first month of existence. That's all pretty weird.

Banger7
October 25, 2002
Craig is way before my time, as I remember him as the Giants' manager.

I recall once hearing this said about Roger Craig though: You have to be a pretty good pitcher to lose 20 games in a season.

Jeff
February 13, 2004
There's myth created by Jimmy Breslin's "Can't Anybody Here Play This Game?" that Roger gave up the first Mets run on a balk. Not true. The Cards had runners on first and third when Stan The Man blooped a single into left and drove in the first run. The single was followed by a balk that moved the runners to second and third. The reason for the balk was Craig turned to pick off Musial but Hodges wasn't holding him on. Roger just held on to the ball. There was no ball dropped during his wind-up. No run scored on the play. As Casey said, "You can look it up."

Mark
May 22, 2004
This poor guy suffered not one but two 20-loss seasons with the Mets. Lucky for him, he went to St. Louis in 1964 and won a World Series ring. Good for you Roger!

Jeff In Florida
May 26, 2004
How many people here know that it was Roger Craig who taught Mike Scott to throw a spilt finger fastball?

Feat Fan
June 1, 2004
Classy quote from a classy guy:

"Players who commit errors need reassurance from the pitcher, who must harbor no grudges."

Doctor Worm
June 4, 2005
What a stat line in '63: 5 wins, and 14 complete games! How the game has changed.

The pitching staff of the 62 Mets, BTW, had more CG's (42) than wins (40). Incredible by today's standards.

Mets fan in Maine
January 6, 2008
Roger Craig combined with the obscure Evans Killeen, who appeared briefly with the Kansas City A's in 1959, for the Mets' first shutout in spring training in 1962. Killeen, of course, did not make the Mets.

Jack Pesserilo
September 25, 2009
Going way back to the Mets infancy there are some of you who may not understand something about craig's 5- 22 season. He lost I believe 3 or 4 1-0 games. One was against Koufax at the end of the season. I know Roy Sievers beat him with a late inning homer on 2 occasions . I beleive one score was 1-0, the other 2- 1.So, you ask how a pitcher can go 5-22 during a season. That's part of your answer. Also bear in mind the Mets hit a whopping.219 as a team!Now the 62 team had some offensive punch. However, does anyone realize the Mets played 28 double headers that year! That's one third of the season. That would wear any pitching staff thin.It really behooves me to see today's pitching staffs that are always babied. There are pitch counts, and the relief pitchers are in for a max of one inning.

Bob P
October 11, 2009
Jack,

In 1963, Roger actually lost SIX games where he gave up one run.

On April 14 he lost in Milwaukee 1-0 in ten innings. Roger pitched a complete game.

On May 19 he lost the first game of a doubleheader in LA, 1-0. Sandy Koufax pitched a two-hit shutout for the Dodgers.

On June 22 he gave up one run in eight innings to the Phillies at the Polo Grounds. Galen Cisco gave up another run in the top fo the ninth and the Mets lost 2-0.

On July 27 he gave up a leadoff homer to John Bateman in the eighth inning for the only run of the game as the Mets lost in Houston, 1-0.

On September 13, he gave up a run in the ninth to those same Colt .45s as Houston won at the Polo Grounds, 1-0.

And on the last Wednesday of the season, September 25, he gave up a first inning unearned run (due to his own error) at Dodger Stadium and the Dodgers beat him again, 1-0. Koufax pitched five innings as a tune- up for the World Series.

The average run support Roger got during his 31 starts in 1963 was 2.3 runs per game. He did pitch some stinkers during the year but he also ran into some bad luck.

Jim Eckert
February 18, 2011
Roger Craig - 15-46 in 2 seasons with the Mets, with that 18 game losing streak. I remember being doubly relieved because he was spared from tying a major league record at the time of 19 in a row set by Jack Nabors of the Philadelphia A's in 1916. The Mets at that time were setting enough other records for futility, so it was a highlight and joy to be spared another. But then along came Anthony Young...

During the 18 game streak Tracy Stallard allegedly made a remark about the luckless Craig, "If he bought a graveyard, nobody would die!"

As to Nabors, he was 1-20 during that 1916 season with a 3.47 ERA. Lifetime he was 1-25 with 3.87 ERA.

Craig was a Met who played for a World Series winner before being a Met (Dodgers) and after leaving the Mets (Cardinals). I'm not sure if he was the only one.

Shickhaus Franks
December 2, 2011
A funny and true story: In 1989, while manager of the S.F. Giants he had gotten a telegram from the legendary Bay Area hippie rock group the Grateful Dead wishing them good luck in the postseason; Roger thought it was the name of a funeral home!!!

Jonathan Stern
February 21, 2012
Before the game that ended the losing streak, Craig, as player rep, spoke to the team about off-the-field issues, then said, "Boys, I'd really like to win this one tonight." Amazin'ly enough, they did. As soon as Jim Hickman's grand slam left the park, Craig ran out of the dugout and made sure that everyone touched the bases.









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