Roger Craig, who had the distinction of winning the last game in Brooklyn Dodgers history and the first game in Mets history and who was also a longtime major league manager, died Sunday.
He was 93 years old.
The Giants, whom Craig managed for eight seasons, announced his death.
“We have lost a legendary member of our family of giants.” Larry Bayer, Giants president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. “Roger was loved by the players, the coaches, the front office staff and the fans. He was a father figure to many, and his optimism and wisdom have led to some of the most memorable chapters in our history.”
Craig played 12 seasons in the majors from 1955 to 1966, posting a 74-98 record and 3.83 ERA in 186 starts and 368 career appearances for the Dodgers, Mets, Cardinals, Reds, and Phillies.
He spent seven seasons in the Dodger blue, including the first three years of his career in Brooklyn.
Craig won three World Series, including as a member of the famous 1955 Dodgers.
The North Carolina native was then selected by the Mets in the 1961 Expansion Draft and was a member of the franchise’s original team that holds the record for most losses in a season with 120.
Craig lost 24 games that season and posted a 15-46 record overall over two seasons in Flushing with a 4.14 ERA.
When his playing days were over, he became a big defender and teacher of the split-finger fastball — which he taught to Hall of Famer Jack Morris when he was with the Tigers in 1980.
After spending time as a scouting and minor league coach with the Dodgers, he became the Padres’ first head coach in 1968 and eventually their manager in 1978 – replacing Alvin Dark.
Craig only led the San Diego team for two seasons, with a record of 152-177.
He was hired as a manager by the Giants very late in the 1985 season. He would manage in the Bay Area for the next eight seasons.
Craig led the Giants to the World Series in 1989, which saw a 6.9-magnitude earthquake occur during Game 3.
San Francisco swept the Oakland A’s in four games when the series resumed and Craig was fired after three seasons.
“Our heartfelt condolences go out to his wife, Caroline, his four children, Sherry Pashelky, Roger Craig Jr., Teresa Hanvey and Vicki Duncan, his seven grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren, as well as his extended family and friends,” Baer said.