St. Louis first baseman Allen Craig, who was a standout shortstop/outfielder at Cal from 2003-06, has joined an elite group of Golden Bears as he will become only the fifth Cal baseball player to compete in the Major League All-Star Game when he takes the field tonight (July 16) at Citi Field in New York.
“We are extremely proud of Allen and his accomplishments in Major League Baseball,” said Cal baseball coach David Esquer. “He has already had an amazing career as a member of a World championship team in 2011 and now he is a Major League All-Star.”
Craig’s name is now etched among other Bear greats who went on to play in MLB’s showcase game. The first Cal player to go on to be a Big League All-Star was outfielder Sam Chapman (1935-37), who competed in the 1946 All-Star Game for the Philadelphia Athletics. Legendary Jackie Jensen (1947-49) competed in three All-Star Games as an outfielder – in 1952 for the Washington Senators and in 1955 and 1958 for the Boston Red Sox.
Talented right-hander Andy Messerschmidt (1965-66) played in four All-Star Games – in 1971 for the California Angels, in 1974 and 1975 for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and in 1976 for the Atlanta Braves. The most recent Bear to play in the All-Star Game was second baseman Jeff Kent, who was an All-Star with the San Francisco Giants from 1999-2001, an All-Star with Houston in 2004 and with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2005.
Craig is definitely having an outstanding 2013 campaign, batting .333 with 10 home runs and 74 RBI. His RBI total and his 116 hits are both currently second-most in the National League. Now in his fourth year as a Major Leaguer, Craig has a career average of .310 with 47 home runs and 224 RBI.
In the same year (2011) the Cal baseball team made it to the College World Series Craig made it to the Fall Classic, where he was instrumental in the Cardinals' series clinching 6-2 win over Texas.
Craig hit his third home run of the series to give St. Louis a 3-2 lead in the third inning. He then robbed Nelson Cruz of a home run in the sixth inning with a leaping catch over the left field fence. Finally, Craig had the honor of catching the final out of the game in left field to give the Cardinals their 11th World Series title.
An eighth round pick of the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2006 draft, Craig batted a team-best .344 with a team-high 76 hits, 39 runs, 15 doubles and 11 home runs that spring for Cal. He was honorable mention All-Pac-10 in both 2005 and 2006 and for his college career had a .308 average with 48 doubles, a triple, 27 home runs and 107 RBI in 192 games.