top of page

Roger Craig Traded from Mets to Cardinals for George Altman and Bill Wakefield

Nov. 4, 1963 - Roger Craig obtained his long-awaited freedom from the New York Mets today. The most respected 22-game loser of recent baseball history was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals for George Altman, an established outfielder, and Bill Wakefield, an untried 22-year-old pitcher. Said Craig today: “It’s one of the best things to happen to me since I’ve been in baseball. This trade gives me an opportunity to show I can still be a winning pitcher with a little more support. Besides, the Cards were the club that hit me hardest in recent years, so it will be a pleasure to be with them instead of facing them. I respect the Mets’ front office for trading me to a good club. These two years with the Mets weren’t wasted by any means — they were a blessing. They taught me how to cope with adversity.” In St. Louis, Redbird general manager Bing Devine said: “We can use Craig in a dual role, either as a starter or a reliever. Manager Johnny Keane and I believe Craig will add maneuverability to our staff.” Devine said he was not dissatisfied with Altman’s performance “but we wanted to add a pitcher and, at the same time, give fuller opportunity to our younger outfielders like Gary Kolb, Johnny Lewis, Mike Shannon, and Doug Clemens.” A Dodger since 1955 and a member of two world champion teams, Craig was caught in the expansion draft in 1961 and became an original Met. In 1962, he was the Mets’ biggest winner, with 10 victories — and the club’s biggest loser, with 24 defeats. Last year, he pitched better, but wound up with a 5-22 record that included an 18-game losing streak. His earned-run average for the 1963 season was a respectable 3.76.


bottom of page