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ROGER CRAIG SIGNED INDEX CARD,Brooklyn Dodgers,Phillies,Mets,Baseball Player & Manager
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Roger Lee Craig(born February 17, 1930) is a formerpitcher, coach andmanagerinMajor League Baseball.
During a 12-year playing career, Craig won 10 or more games in 1956, 1957, and 1962. A master at thesplit-finger fastball, Craig started his career with theBrooklyn Dodgers, and closed out his career with thePhiladelphia Phillies. Craig was the starting pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game One of the 1959 World Series, a series in which he also started Game Four. Craig was also the starting pitcher for one game apiece in the 1955 and 1956 World Series with the Brooklyn Dodgers, and he also pitched in relief in two World Series games for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1964, winning one game. Craig's overall World Series record was two wins and two losses, and his teams won three of the four series.
Craig was perhaps best known after that as a player for being an original1962 New York Met(actually, a 1962–63 Met), and for losing the first game in team history, 11–4 in St. Louis. (It has been erroneously believed that he gave up the first run in New York Mets history on a balk; although he did commit a balk in the first inning, he already trailed 1–0, and the balk was not a scoring play.)He was a stalwart of the legendarily bad team's pitching staff, finishing 10–24 and 5–22games in those first two murderous seasons. (The Mets lost 120 games in 1962.) In1963, Craig suffered through a personal 18-game losing streak as a pitcher. Remarkably, during those two seasons, he pitched 27complete games, while winning a total of only 15, demonstrating that he was one of the best pitchers on the staff.
During the 1962 and 1963 seasons, when Roger Craig lost 24 and 22 games respectively, the New York Mets played all of their home games at the antiquatedPolo Groundsstadium, the former home of the New York Giants baseball team. His manager, Casey Stengel, told him,You've gotta be good to lose that many.At one point, Craig had dropped 18 in a row.But,he recalled,11 of those times it took a shutout to be beat me.
Under Craig (who along the way, instituted the uniquemottoand rallying cry "Humm Baby") the Giants won theNational League WesternDivision title in1987. The original term of "Humm Baby" was given to the roster's third catcher for the1986season,Brad Gulden, who was on his way out of baseball but he managed to squeeze onto the roster for the 1986 season. Craig felt that Gulden didn't really have the talent but he had the heart so he called him the "Humm Baby".The Giants' divisional title in 1987 came just two years after they lost 100 games; Roger Craig replacedJim Davenportas manager for the final 18 games of the1985season (posting a 6–12 record). TheGiantscame within one game of going to theWorld Seriesthat year, losing to theSt. Louis Cardinalsinseven games.
In1989the Giants won their firstNational Leaguepennant since1962by defeating theChicago Cubsin five games in theNLCS. Craig's Giants were swept in four games by theOakland Athleticsin theWorld Series, which was interrupted by anearthquake.
Roger Craig stepped down from the San Francisco Giants in 1992 after posting a 72–90 record. His successor,Dusty Baker, won 103 games the followingyearand won the 1993National LeagueManager of the Year Award. Craig finished with a managerial record of 738 wins and 737 losses.