|First baseman/Designated hitter|
September 30, 1948|
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
|Died: September 27, 2006
St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S.
|September 8, 1973 for the Minnesota Twins|
Last MLB appearance
|September 30, 1979 for the Toronto Blue Jays|
Craig Robert Kusick (September 30, 1948 – September 27, 2006) was an American first baseman and designated hitter in Major League Baseball who played nearly his entire career from 1973 to 1979 for the Minnesota Twins.
His son Craig Kusick, Jr. led Wisconsin–LaCrosse to the 1995 Division III football championship as a quarterback, received the Melberger Award as the top Division III player, and later played in the Arena Football League.
He was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and grew up in the suburb of Greenfield. After attending the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse, he was signed by the Twins in 1970. He broke in with the team in September 1973, and gradually took over first base duties from Harmon Killebrew, but was primarily used as a DH from 1976 to 1978 when Rod Carew was moved over from second base. On August 27, 1975 Kusick tied a major league record by being hit by pitches three times in an 11-inning game against the Milwaukee Brewers. His career peaked with a 1977 season in which he batted .254 with 12 home runs and 45 runs batted in. After hitting .173 in 1978, and posting a .241 mark through 24 games in 1979, his contract was sold to the Toronto Blue Jays in midseason. He hit .204 in 24 more games with the Blue Jays before being released after the season. He ended his career with a .235 batting average, 46 HRs, 171 RBI, 291 hits, 155 runs and 11 stolen bases in 497 games. In his brief stint with Toronto he also made one appearance as a relief pitcher in a 24–2 blowout loss against the California Angels, allowing three hits and two runs in 3-2/3 innings for a 4.91 earned run average.
A resident of Apple Valley, Minnesota, Kusick died of leukemia on September 27, 2006, three days before his 58th birthday, in St. Paul. He died nine months after his wife Sarabeth (October 27, 1949 – December 22, 2005) succumbed to ovarian cancer; they were survived by their two children.