Roger Craig, who was a pitcher for the first Los Angeles Dodgers World Series championship team and manager of the San Diego Padres, has died. He was 93.
He died Sunday in San Diego following a short illness, according to a spokesperson for the San Francisco Giants who was informed of Craig’s death by a family member per media reports.
Craig was on the 1959 Los Angeles Dodgers team that won the World Series over the Chicago White Sox. The Dodgers moved to Los Angeles from Brooklyn in 1958 and played in the Los Angeles Coliseum before moving to Dodger Stadium in 1962.
Craig was also the manager of the San Diego Padres in 1978 and led them to an 84-78 record, a 15-game improvement over the previous season. He was fired as manager of the Padres in 1979 after going 68-93.
Craig was also a pitching coach with the Padres, Houston Astros and Detroit Tigers.
His best season as a pitcher came in 1959 with the Dodgers. He was 11- 5 with a 2.06 ERA in 29 games and made 17 starts. He pitched four shutouts, tied for the most in the National League that year.
Craig was also on the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers team that won the World Series over the New York Yankees. He started and won Game 5 of the 1955 World Series and gave the Dodgers a 3-2 lead in the series.
He also started the first game for the New York Mets during the expansion year of 1962. He played for 12 years in the major leagues, pitching for the Cincinnati Reds, St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies in
addition to the Dodgers and Mets.
Craig was hired as manager of the San Francisco Giants in 1985 and remained at the helm of the team until 1992. He guided the Giants to the World Series against the Oakland A’s in 1989. A magnitude 6.9 earthquake disrupted Game 3 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. The game was postponed and the series resumed 10 days later. The earthquake killed 67 people and caused $5 billion in damages.
The A’s won the World Series in 1989 in a four-game sweep.
“We have lost a legendary member of our Giants family,” Giants President and Chief Executive Officer Larry Baer said in a statement. “Roger was beloved by players, coaches, front office staff and fans. He was a father
figure to many and his optimism and wisdom resulted in some of the most memorable seasons in our history.”
Craig finished with a 738-737 record as a major league manager and went 586-566 for the Giants.
He was born Feb. 17, 1930, in Durham, N.C., and attended North Carolina State on a basketball scholarship before signing a baseball contract with the Dodgers.
He is survived by his wife, Carolyn, four children, Sherri Paschelke, Roger Craig Jr., Teresa Hanvey and Vikki Duncan, seven grandchildren, and 14 great grandchildren.
Source : NBC Los Angeles