One of the last living Brooklyn Dodgers, Craig pitched for 12 years in the big leagues, putting together a 74-98 career mark. He broke in with Brooklyn in 1955, going 5-3 with two saves and a 2.78 ERA. He started 32 games for the Dodgers the next year, winning 12. His best year came after the team had moved to Los Angeles. In 1959 Craig went 11-5 with a 2.06 ERA and finished 13th in the National League MVP vote. The Dodgers lost Craig to the New York Mets in the 1961 expansion draft. He led the 1962 Mets in wins with 10, but he also led the NL in losses with 24. He repeated this dubious feat the next year, losing 22 while winning just five despite a decent 3.78 ERA. The Mets traded Craig to the St. Louis Cardinals the next season. Craig went on to pitch for the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates before hanging it up in 1966.
Craig’s first start came at Ebbets Field on July 17, 1955. He pitched a shutout against the Cincinnati Reds, striking out five. Gerry Staley took the loss for Cincinnati. We featured Staley in December of last year.
Craig pitched in four World Series, winning three of them. The first win came with Brooklyn in 1955. He made one start that year against the New York Yankees and got the win in Game 5. His second World Series was the next season when the Dodgers again squared off with the Yankees. Craig pitched in two games and made one start, but Brooklyn fell in seven games. His third trip to the Fall Classic came with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1959. Craig started twice that year, but did not win a game. The Dodgers, however, defeated the Chicago White Sox in six games. His final World Series appearance was with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1964. Craig pitched in two games against the Yankees and got a win in Game 4. The Cardinals won the series in seven games.
Following his playing career, Craig was the manager of the San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants. He skippered the Giants to the 1989 World Series where they lost to the Oakland A’s. He was also a coach for the 1984 Detroit Tigers, who defeated the Padres in the series.
Roger Craig – career stats