Tuesday, November 4, 2014

November 4, 1963: Roger Craig Gets Dealt To St. Louis

     On November 4, 1963, Cardinals General Manager Bing Devine sent outfielder George Altman and pitcher Bill Wakefield to the New York Mets in exchange for hard luck hurler Roger Craig. The 6 foot 4 righthander embraced the move with open arms. The Cardinals had been a thorn in his side up to that point. The thorn would be pulled out, and by the end of the '64 campaign he was one of many heroes that brought the city another Championship Title. 

     Craig had led the National League in losses in back-to-back seasons before the deal took place. He had lost 24 losses in '62, and 22 losses in '63, but he felt the trade would wipe his slate clean. He was headed to a  contender. However, the move to St. Louis did not provide an instant turnaround for him. He posted just a 7-9 record during the regular season, but it was what he did in the postseason that made the trade a great one.  

     Craig's performance in Game 4 of the '64 World Series earned him a win and a key victory in the seven game battle against Mickey Mantle and the Yankees. As far as the players that the Birds shipped to New York only Altman would spend significant time in the major leagues. He never did hit higher than .235 after he dealt. When it was all said and done, Craig spent just one season with the Cardinals. It was one helluva season to spend in St. Louis. 

If you would like to know more about the life and times of Roger Craig check this out: http://sabr.org/bioproj/person/feb39a5f

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