Roger Craig

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Roger Lee Craig

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Biographical Information[edit]

A successful pitcher with the Brooklyn Dodgers and then a 20-game loser with the expansion 1962 New York Mets, Roger Craig went on to a long career as a pitching coach and a manager.

He was signed by the Dodgers in 1950. While in the minors, Craig missed the 1952 and 1953 seasons due to military service during the Korean War. He came up as a rookie in 1955, in time to be on the first World Series-winning Dodger team. His best year was perhaps 1959, by which time the Dodgers had moved to Los Angeles, when he had an ERA of 2.06. He spent seven of his 12 major league seasons with the Dodgers.

Craig pitched in three World Series with the Dodgers (1955, 1956 and 1959) and one with the St. Louis Cardinals (1964).

Craig scouted for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1967, then was the manager of the Albuquerque Dodgers in 1968. He was a coach with the expansion San Diego Padres from 1969 to 1972. Craig was a minor league pitching coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1973 before being a part of the Houston Astros staff in 1974 and 1975; both for the Padres and Astros, he worked under manager Preston Gomez. He re-joined the Padres the next season, 1976, and began a two-year stint as the club's manager in 1978 when Alvin Dark was fired in spring training. That year, he led the team to its first-ever winning record, but the team sank back into last place in 1979 and he was dismissed following the season.

After leaving San Diego, he was a Detroit Tigers coach from 1980 to 1984, leaving after the team won the 1984 World Series. He took over as manager of the San Francisco Giants in late 1985 and remained with them through the 1992 season, leading the club to the 1989 World Series.

In his first full year as Giants' manager, Craig made "Hum Baby" the baseball phrase of 1986. A player he liked was a "hum baby," a good play was a "hum baby of a play", one could merely exhort "hum baby" from the dugout in lieu of a "let's go". . . the potential uses were infinite.

Notable Achievements[edit]

Preceded by
Alvin Dark
San Diego Padres Manager
Succeeded by
Jerry Coleman
Preceded by
Jim Davenport
San Francisco Giants Manager
Succeeded by
Dusty Baker

Year-by-Year Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs Notes
1968 Albuquerque Dodgers Texas League 70-69 4th Los Angeles Dodgers
1978 San Diego Padres National League 84-78 4th San Diego Padres
1979 San Diego Padres National League 68-93 5th San Diego Padres
1985 San Francisco Giants National League 6-12 6th San Francisco Giants replaced Jim Davenport (56-88) on September 18
1986 San Francisco Giants National League 83-79 3rd San Francisco Giants
1987 San Francisco Giants National League 90-72 1st San Francisco Giants Lost NLCS
1988 San Francisco Giants National League 83-79 4th San Francisco Giants
1989 San Francisco Giants National League 92-70 1st San Francisco Giants Lost World Series
1990 San Francisco Giants National League 85-77 3rd San Francisco Giants
1991 San Francisco Giants National League 75-87 4th San Francisco Giants
1992 San Francisco Giants National League 72-90 5th San Francisco Giants

Further Reading[edit]

  • Roger Craig (as told to George Vass): "The Game I'll Never Forget", Baseball Digest, April 1977, pp. 87-89. [1]
  • Richard L. Shook: "Roger Craig", in Mark Pattison and David Raglin, ed.: Detroit Tigers 1984: What A Start! What A Finish!, SABR Publications, Phoenix, AZ, 2012, pp. 196-1999. ISBN 1933599448

Related Sites[edit]