September 17, 1995 - Craig Counsell makes MLB debut with Rockies

A South Bend native, Craig Counsell is the last position player to make it to the bigs and stay there (since then, there has been nine pitchers and a third basemen who only played eighteen games with the Twins). Counsell graduated from Notre Dame in 1992 and was a varsity letterman all four years on the baseball team at shortshop under Coach Pat Murphy. The Notre Dame baseball team had much success during his four years posting a combined record of 187-62-1 and making the NCAA Tournament in 1989 and 1992, the first time since 1970. Throughout his collegiate career, Counsell would bat 0.306 with 18 home runs and 166 RBIs.

Craig CounsellThe Colorado Rockies drafted Counsell in the 11th round of the 1992 Draft and he consistently moved up from Single-A to Triple-A. As the Rockies were making a late playoff push for the recently added Wild Card spot, Craig Counsell got called up to the major leagues to play at home in the inaugural season of Coors Field. In one at bat, Counsell would not record a hit. He'd go on to make two more appearances in San Diego, reaching first due to a walk. In 1996 he would go back down to Triple-A in Colorado Springs and play limited time due to injuries. In July of 1997 he would be traded to the Marlins and earned the starting second base job.

Craig Counsell is still playing in the major leagues and is in his 16th season. In that time he has played for the Rockies, Marlins, Diamondbacks, Dodgers and Brewers. Despite playing for five different teams, he has won two World Series titles. In Game 7 of the 1997 World Series, Counsell scored the winning (unearned) run for the Marlins against the Indians. The cleats he wore that day are on display in Cooperstown. In the 2001 World Series, he hit a pivotal home run in Game 1 that helped the Diamondbacks win against the Yankees. Below is a video recap featuring several players from Game 7 of the 1997 World Series.

Throughout the years, Counsell has come to be able to play any infield position and steal bases as well. He has collected over 1,100 hits and 100 stolen bases. On multiple occasions, Counsell has returned to Notre Dame to speak to the team, bringing other players and managers with him. He is currently with the Brewers near his hometown and high school.

Craig Counsell MVPOther notes about Counsell's career:

  • His first home run was a grand slam off Todd Stottlemyre on Aug. 24, 1997.
  • Named MVP of the 2001 NLCS.
  • Counsell's Notre Dame roots helped bring him to the Diamondbacks. The GM at the time had been coached by Counsell's father on the Notre Dame freshman team.
  • In 2011, he is the oldest player to hit a home run.

For a full highlight of Counsell's career from Notre Dame to now, check out the article on NJ Baseball. Counsell recalls those World Series games in his own account in Baseball Digest.

Keywords: baseball, craig counsell, pat murphy, colorado rockies

Posted On: 2011-09-17 03:15:00 by IrishTrpt07
Edited On: 2012-06-07 14:46:18 by IrishTrpt07


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