Hockey is the most popular sport in Canada, but every now and then, some of their youngsters get hooked on baseball. One of those kids was Pete Craig, who was born in LaSalle, Ontario. A large, 6’5 220 pound right-handed pitcher, Craig showed enough promise that he was signed by the Detroit Tigers in 1963 out of college.
Craig had great success in Canada, pitching the Listowel Legionnaires to the Senior Intercounty Baseball League championship in 1960. He then pitched collegiately at the University of Detroit Mercy before being signed by the Tigers. He pitched in the minor leagues in 1963 before being released just prior to the 1964 season. Fortunately, he was signed by the Washington Senators, and that jump-started his professional career.
From 1964-1966, Craig won 14 games in each season in the minor leagues. Because of that consistency, he was regarded with brief stints in the majors with Washington. During those cups of coffee, he appeared in 6 games, with 4 starts. He had a 0-3 record and a 11.50 ERA. Unfortunately his stuff didn’t translate to the major leagues, as he had 3 strikeouts and 13 walks in 18 innings.
While the success Craig was hoping for did not happen on the mound, he was a sensation at the plate during his brief career with the Senators. He was 2 for 3 with a walk, for an impressive .667 career major league batting average. More information about his career statistics is available at http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/c/craigpe01.shtml.
Craig finished his professional career win 1967, pitching for the Triple-A teams of Washington, and then the White Sox after being released. He posted a 4-10 record and 5.52 ERA. He retired following the season. Although he did not make it as a big success in the majors, he did get a chance to play there, which is more than most aspiring players can claim.
Pete Craig Interview:
How did you first become interested in baseball?: My father was a very good amateur player and took me to baseball games when I was young.
Who was your favorite team when you were growing up?: Detroit Tigers. I lived about 10 miles from Tiger Stadium.
What pitches did you throw?: Sinker, slider, change-up.
How did you find out you had been promoted to the Major Leagues?: Manager informed me.
Who was your favorite coach or manager?: Chuck Cottier.
Do you have a favorite moment from your playing career?: Grand slam in Hawaii, 1965.
Who was the toughest batter you ever faced?: Can’t remember. They were all tough.
What skill did you find necessary to master in order to become a Major League pitcher?: Control of all pitches.
If you could do anything about your career differently, what would that be?: Lift more weights. Have access to more and better workout programs and nutrition.
What do you think of baseball today?: I love it.
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