In 2009, the Wall Street Journal declared that Craig Breslow, the 31-year old left-handed reliever just acquired by the Boston Red Sox from the Arizona Diamondbacks, “is the smartest man in baseball, if not the entire world.” Breslow is a Yale graduate with a degree in molecular biophysics and biochemistry, who then almost went to NYU Med school.
Breslow who will pitch for the Sox for the second time in a career that has seen him with the Padres, Twins, Indians, and A’s, before he was with the D-backs, is from Trumbull, Connecticut and in 2005 was the first Yale Bulldog to reach the Major Leagues since Ron Darling.
Breslow is the Executive Director and the 2008 founder of The Strike 3 Foundation a charitable agency that heightens awareness, mobilizes support, and raises funding for childhood cancer research. At age 14, Craig’s sister, Lesley, was diagnosed with pediatric thyroid cancer. More than fifteen years later, she lives an unrestricted life as a cancer survivor. Twelve years old when his older sister was diagnosed, Breslow uses the foundation to honor her in hopes of helping scientists find a cure.
“I started the Strike 3 Foundation,” Breslow said, “to ensure that every child is afforded the opportunity to prosper. … We’re really happy with the way things have gone.”
The Strike 3 Foundation All-Star Team has an advisory panel consisting exclusively of Major League Players who have donated their time and services to further the mission of this organization. These players have served as invaluable resources and made steadfast commitments to spreading awareness about the Strike 3 Foundation in their respective Major League cities. Strike 3 has undertaken the initiative of securing an “All-Star” on each of the 30 Major League teams by 2013, to serve as a liaison among the respective Major League Team, local children’s hospitals, and this organization.
Current members of the Strike 3 Foundation All-Star Team are former and new teammate Andrew Bailey (Strike 3 director of development), Joe Mauer, Joba Chamberlain, Brian Fuentes, Kevin Slowey, R.A. Dickey, David Robertson, David Aardsma, and J.J. Putz. His new manager, Bobby Valentine, also has attended Strike 3 Foundation events.
The Diamondbacks will be getting RHP Matt Albers and OF Scott Podsednik in exchange for Breslow who has held lefties to a .243 batting average and righties to a .226 average. In 40 games he’s pitched 43.1 innings and faced 1810 batters. He has an excellent 2.70 ERA, with an outstanding 1.177 WHIP and has held hitters to a .233 average.
His 42 strikeouts are eighth among National League lefty relievers and he has recorded 17 K’s in 13.0 frames over his last 11 appearances. Originally selected by the Brewers in the 26th round of the 2002 First-Year Player Draft, he has made 335 career Major League relief appearances over parts of seven seasons. His 3.02 career ERA (108 ER/322.1 IP) is the third-best mark in relief among active left-handers with at least 300.0 innings pitch, and he has recorded 277 strikeouts while going 14-17 with six saves.