Monday, June 5, 2023

Roger Craig Til the End


TRIVIA WINNER: The winner of this week's trivia contest is Ken Levasseur of Amherst, NH. The answer is Floyd Robinson was the oldest player on the 1968 A's who finished his career in Boston.  The Prize: Starbucks Gift Card.

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NEW TRIVIA QUESTION: Roger Craig began and ended his career in the same month on the calender 11 years apart. What was that month?

 Roger Craig passed away this week. The Dodger pitcher who made his mark with Brooklyn in the 1950's but pitched and managed as the years went on into the 1960's and beyond. We are not going to explore his beginnings but rather his endings. After Brooklyn, the Mets, Cardinals and the Reds, he spent his final season with the Phillies. The 6'4" Craig made the most of that season.

He won in relief of Chris Short on Opening Day against the Cardinals in 1966. Two days later in relief of Jim Bunning he won the last game of his career, against the Reds. He would lose the last game of his career in mid-June when in relief, he gave up a home run to Lou Brock in the ninth inning of a 2-2 tie. He picked up a Save that year as well, the 19th of his career.

The last game he would pitch was July 10th when he finished a game against the Cubs. He faced some of the toughest hitters of the day in those two scoreless innings. The final batter he faced was fittingly the great HOFer, Ernie Banks who lined out. His last strike out was of Byron Browne.

He finished his career 74-98 with a respectable 3.83 ERA and 803 strikeouts. He also won Game 5 of the 1955 World Series, the only Brooklyn Championship in history. He went on to manage a number of teams, a lot with the Giants and finished with a record of 738–737. As a Player, Manager and Coach he was a winner in four World Series including the 1989 Giants. It was the first title for the club in 27 years.

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