October 30, 2008

Former Bulldog and Current Major League Pitcher Craig Breslow '02 Visits Yale

Oct. 30, 2008

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Former Yale baseball captain Craig Breslow '02, now a member of the Minnesota Twins, returned to his alma mater on Thursday afternoon for a question and answer session. Breslow fielded questions from the audience, which included the 2008 Yale baseball team, on topics ranging from his four years at Yale to his minor league career and his various stints in the major leagues.

John Stuper, the Mazzuto Family Head Coach for Baseball at Yale, introduced Breslow with an anecdote about the pitcher's freshman season with the Bulldogs. Facing Notre Dame at a spring training game in Texas, Breslow silenced the Irish bats before Stuper lifted him in favor of a right-handed hurler to face a right-handed batter. Breslow quipped that he was robbed of his first career save that day.

Breslow's stories ranged from humorous, such as being mistaken for the team batboy during his first day with the San Diego Padres in 2005, to serious, as he discussed the Strike 3 Foundation, a charitable agency that heightens awareness, mobilizes support and raises funding for childhood cancer research.

The captain of the 2002 Bulldogs founded the organization earlier this year. The Strike 3 Foundation is currently planning its inaugural fundraising event, the First Pitch Celebrity Gala, which is scheduled for November 8 at the Woodbridge Country Club in Woodbridge, Conn. The event, to be hosted by Joe Castiglione, will feature an auction and appearances by hall of fame broadcaster and sportswriter Peter Gammons, former Yale and New York Mets pitcher Ron Darling and Connecticut women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma. Breslow hopes to hold annual events in New Haven and Minnesota, as well as in Florida during spring training.

Breslow shared stories about his time with the Bulldogs, such as a 16 strikeout against Cornell and a complete game, one-hitter at Harvard. The left-handed hurler has benefited greatly from his Yale ties; he lived with Yale alumni in both San Diego and Boston. Breslow jokingly noted that having a Yale degree is not always enviable in the world of major league baseball.

"Everybody assumes that you're an expert on everything," quipped Breslow, who graduated from Yale with a degree in molecular biophysics and biochemistry. He planned on attending medical school before he entered the professional baseball ranks.

"I hope to have a long, successful [pitching] career," said Breslow, "but I can't say that I will never go back [to school]".

Breslow appeared in 49 games for the Twins and Cleveland Indians in 2008. He posted one save and a 1.91 earned run average in 47 innings of work, amassing 39 strikeouts and issuing 19 walks. A 26th round draft pick by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2002, Breslow made his major league debut with the Padres in 2005 and was a member of the Boston Red Sox organization for their World Series victory in 2007.

Visit the Strike 3 Foundation website

report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity

Video by Neil Horowitz '09