April 24, 1958 |
|April 10, 1983, for the Oakland Athletics|
|Last MLB appearance|
|August 13, 1995, for the Seattle Mariners|
|Earned run average||4.35|
William Culp Krueger (born April 24, 1958) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher, who played from 1983 to 1995 for eight teams. He pitched for the Oakland A's, Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee Brewers, Seattle Mariners (twice), Minnesota Twins, Montreal Expos, Detroit Tigers, and San Diego Padres.
After graduating from McMinnville High School in McMinnville, Oregon, Krueger began classes at the University of Portland on a basketball scholarship, where he was teammates with Darwin Cook. He began pitching for the Pilots' baseball team in his junior year in 1979. In 1980, Krueger was signed by the Oakland Athletics on July 12 as an undrafted amateur free agent and assigned to the Medford A's of the short-season single-A Northwest League. Although he went winless for Medford in seven starts that year, he struck out 48 batters, recorded a complete game, and a save. He continued to make his way through the A's minor league system for the next two years, being called up to Double-A West Haven in 1981.
Krueger made his major league debut on April 10, 1983, as the A's starter for the sixth game of the season. Facing the California Angels, Krueger pitched 7 innings and gave up 4 runs in the Oakland Coliseum. Although Angels Brian Downing singled against him to lead off the game, Krueger got veteran right fielder Juan Beníquez to hit into a 4-6-3 double play. Bill went 7-6 in 16 starts for the A's in 1983, and spent the next 3 years bouncing from the A's to Triple-A Tacoma to Single-A Madison. During his five major league stints in Oakland (and before being traded to the Dodgers midway through the 1987 season, Bill posted a 27-31 record with a 5.69 ERA.
Bill saw action in only 3 games in two seasons for the Dodgers, and was traded again to the Pittsburgh Pirates in late 1988. The Pirates released him during spring training 6 months afterward, and Bill signed with the Milwaukee Brewers 10 days later. He played in Milwaukee for only two seasons, and was signed as a free agent by the Seattle Mariners after the end of the 1990 season.
Krueger enjoyed what was arguably one of the best statistical years of his professional career in the Mariners rotation that year by reaching new personal bests in wins (11), strikeouts (91), and ERA (3.60). Bill also pitched in a June 7 showdown with his former Brewers ballclub, pitching over six innings while allowing only one run and striking out 6.
Over the last 4 seasons of his career, Bill Krueger played for five different teams in the National and American leagues. After winning ten games for the Minnesota Twins during the 1992 season, Krueger was traded to Montreal, where he spent 60 days before free agency whisked him to Detroit to play for the Tigers. He again set a new season-low in ERA (3.40) while appearing in 32 games. After being released from the Tigers mid-season in 1994 (most likely due to his 21 earned runs allowed in 16 appearances), Krueger tried to revive his career in San Diego, but was released mid-season and signed with the Mariners again in 1995.
Bill Krueger won his last game as a major leaguer on August 6 in the same place he started his career; the Oakland Coliseum. Against the A's that day, the 37-year-old pitched over 5 innings and allowed only one run on 10 hits. He was kept off Seattle's '95 postseason roster and retired from pro baseball after the World Series.
Krueger is employed by Wells Fargo Advisors as a financial advisor in Seattle,  and is also the senior baseball analyst for Root Sports Northwest, covering the Seattle Mariners. He was joined at the network in 2007 by former M's teammate Mike Blowers.
With his wife Jo, Krueger is a past co-president of the Cure Autism Now Northwest chapter, now merged with Autism Speaks. They have publicly told the story of curing their daughter of autism. In 2012 at age 54, he experienced a cardiac arrest on August 10 at the Redmond Pro Sports Club, where four employees worked together to assist in saving his life. Krueger has since thanked them publicly for their efforts.