Mike Krukow

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Mike Krukow
Krukow at the 2012 San Francisco Giants World Series victory parade
Born: (1952-01-21) January 21, 1952 (age 71)
Long Beach, California, U.S.
Batted: Right
Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 6, 1976, for the Chicago Cubs
Last MLB appearance
June 4, 1989, for the San Francisco Giants
MLB statistics
Win–loss record124–117
Earned run average3.90
Career highlights and awards

Michael Edward Krukow (born January 21, 1952), nicknamed "Kruk", is an American former professional baseball player and sportscaster. As a starting pitcher, he played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies, and San Francisco Giants. He has been a television and radio broadcaster for the Giants since 1990, and is one half of the popular "Kruk and Kuip" duo, alongside his friend and former teammate Duane Kuiper. He was an All-Star in 1986.

Early life[edit]

Krukow was born in Long Beach, California, and attended San Gabriel High School in San Gabriel, California, where he played as a catcher. Krukow was a fan of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Giants' archrival, and attended many games at Dodger Stadium with his father. He was drafted as a catcher by the California Angels in the 32nd round of the 1970 Major League Baseball Draft, but did not sign.[1]

College career[edit]

Krukow became a pitcher and played college baseball for the Cal Poly Mustangs in San Luis Obispo, California. Though his collegiate eligibility was cut short, he still holds the school record for career earned run average at 1.94, and is tied for most shutouts in a season with five.

Professional career[edit]

Draft, minor leagues, and Chicago Cubs (1976–1981)[edit]

The Chicago Cubs selected Krukow in the eighth round of the 1973 MLB draft. He first appeared for the Cubs in 1976, and joined the starting rotation in 1977; he would remain with the team for four more seasons.

Philadelphia Phillies (1982)[edit]

He was traded from the Cubs to the Phillies for Keith Moreland, Dickie Noles and Dan Larson on December 8, 1981.[2]

Krukow interviewed at Wrigley Field by Milo Hamilton in 1981

For the Phillies, the right-handed starter was second only to Steve Carlton in wins, posting a 13–11 record and an impressive 3.12 ERA.

San Francisco Giants (1983–1989)[edit]

He was dealt along with Mark Davis and minor-league outfielder C.L. Penigar from the Phillies to the Giants for Joe Morgan and Al Holland on December 14, 1982.[3] The trade helped Philadelphia win the National League pennant in 1983, but it also gave San Francisco two pitching arms that would become a big part of the Giants' success in the late 1980s.

Although known as a starter, Krukow earned his only career save on August 31, 1984, pitching to just one batter (the Phillies' Sixto Lezcano), inducing a game-ending groundout, therefore preserving a 6–5 Giant victory.[4]

Krukow's best campaign was in 1986 when he became the first Giants pitcher since Ron Bryant in 1973 to win at least 20 games in a season with a 20–9 record and a 3.05 ERA.[5] Krukow finished third in that year's NL Cy Young Award behind Mike Scott and Fernando Valenzuela. Krukow was selected to the National League All-Star team that season. He received the Willie Mac Award in 1985 and 1986 for his spirit and leadership. In 1987, Krukow helped lead the Giants to their first division championship in 16 years.

Krukow's 17 no decisions were the most among MLB starting pitchers in 1987,[6] as well as being the most ever by a Giants starter dating back to at least 1908.[7] He made the only postseason appearance of his career in Game-4 of the 1987 National League Championship Series. Krukow was the winning pitcher in a nine-inning complete game, allowing two runs on nine hits, as the Giants beat the St. Louis Cardinals, 4–2.[8] It was the Cardinals, however, that took the series in seven games to reach the World Series.

Krukow with the San Francisco Giants

Krukow went 4–3 with a 3.98 ERA during a 1989 campaign which was cut short on June 30 when he underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair a rotator cuff tear in his pitching shoulder after spending parts of three seasons on the injured list for what was believed to be bursitis.[9][10] He was ninth in Giants franchise history with 66 wins and sixth with 802 strikeouts at the time of his retirement as an active player on March 19, 1990 due to recurring shoulder problems.[5] Krukow posted a 124–117 record with a 3.90 ERA in 369 games during his 14-season MLB career.[9]

Broadcasting career[edit]

After his playing career, Krukow became a radio and television sportscaster. Krukow began broadcasting as an occasional color analyst for KNBR radio in 1990 and became a full-time broadcaster in 1994. He is a seven-time Emmy award winner.[11] "Kruk," who was named as the starting right-handed pitcher to the 1980s Giants All-Decade Team in a vote by Bay Area media in 1999, is noted for his deep knowledge of the game and tremendous sense of humor.[12] He is known for his detailed scouting reports on umpires' strike zones.[citation needed]

Part of the San Francisco Giants broadcasting team, Krukow is half of the duo dubbed "Kruk and Kuip," (pronounced "Kruke" and "Kipe") along with partner Duane Kuiper, a former Giants teammate. Krukow and Kuiper tape a game-day commentary ("Kruk and Kuip on baseball") for KNBR radio as part of the Giants' pre-game radio coverage. Notably, although Krukow was a pitcher and Kuiper was a position player, Krukow has five career home runs, four more than Kuiper (who managed only one in his career despite having over 3,000 at-bats).

Krukow has a few "Kruktionary" catchphrases, including: "Grab some pine, meat"; "Just another, ha ha ha ha, laugher!" (after a nail-biter win); and "I wanna get that!", the last of which is associated with a product endorsement.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Until 2014, Krukow and his wife Jennifer resided in San Luis Obispo, California, but they moved to Reno, Nevada to be closer to their grandchildren though Krukow stays in San Francisco during the season.[14] They have five adult children, Jarek, Baker, Tessa, Chase and Weston.[11] Mike Krukow is a talented musician, and proficient in the guitar, the mandolin, the banjo, and the ukulele.[15]

In July 2014, Krukow revealed he was suffering from inclusion body myositis (IBM). His condition was known to the Giants and many of his fellow broadcasters, but he kept the condition a secret from the general public until then.[14][15] Krukow first noticed that he was having problems about 10 years earlier, when he had lost about 100 yards (91 meters) off his golf drive.[14] According to sportswriter Steve Fainaru, Krukow "blew it off... for years", but "secretly feared he had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Lou Gehrig's disease".[14] Finally, in 2011, he saw the Giants' team neurologist, who referred him to a neuromuscular specialist who in turn diagnosed him with IBM.[14] The disease, which mainly affects the quadriceps and hand muscles, is not life-threatening, but now requires him to use a cane; eventually, Krukow will have to use a walker and/or a scooter.[15] Because of increasing hand weakness that limits his ability to play stringed instruments, he has recently taken up the drums, which require a different set of muscular movements.[14] Krukow plans to continue broadcasting for the foreseeable future,[15] but in 2017, he announced that he would reduce his schedule to 120 games a season working road games only west of Denver, except for postseason games.[16]

For the 2020 season, NBC Sports Bay Area announced that it would experiment with having Krukow comment from the network's San Francisco studio rather than on-site (promoted as "SplitKast") for 22 NL West road games.[17] However, since no broadcasters were allowed to travel to opposing ballparks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Krukow and Kuiper ended up broadcasting each Giants game from Oracle Park.


  1. ^ "Mike Krukow Stats". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
  2. ^ "Cubs Sign Jenkins, Campbell," The New York Times, Wednesday, December 9, 1981. Retrieved January 18, 2023.
  3. ^ "Phillies trade Krukow, 2 others for Morgan, Holland," United Press International (UPI), Tuesday, December 14, 1982. Retrieved January 29, 2023.
  4. ^ "Aug 31, 1984, Giants at Phillies Box Score and Play by Play". baseball-reference.com. sports-reference.com. August 31, 1984. Retrieved August 15, 2014.
  5. ^ a b "Mike Krukow retires," United Press International (UPI), Tuesday, March 20, 1990. Retrieved January 29, 2023.
  6. ^ "Pitching Game Finder: For 1987, Recorded no decision, as Starter, sorted by greatest number of games in a single season matching the selected criteria". Baseball Reference. Retrieved July 14, 2018.
  7. ^ "Pitching Game Finder: From 1908 to 2018, Playing for SFG, Recorded no decision, as Starter, sorted by greatest number of games in a single season matching the selected criteria". Baseball Reference. Retrieved July 14, 2018.
  8. ^ "Mike Krukow Postseason Pitching Game Logs". Baseball Reference. Retrieved July 14, 2018.
  9. ^ a b "Pirates' rooms next on arbitration list?". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Pittsburgh, PA. Associated Press (AP). March 21, 1990. p. 15. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
  10. ^ "Around the Majors," The Washington Post, Saturday, July 1, 1989. Retrieved January 29, 2023.
  11. ^ a b "SF Broadcasters". MLB Advanced Media, L.P. Retrieved July 15, 2012.
  12. ^ "Giants broadcasters". KNBR.com. Archived from the original on April 29, 2007. Retrieved May 16, 2007.
  13. ^ Nix, J.W. (April 6, 2011). "Baseball's 10 Best Active Broadcasters". Bleacher Report. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
  14. ^ a b c d e f Fainaru, Steve (September 30, 2014). "A Giant Friendship". Outside the Lines. ESPN.com. Retrieved October 1, 2014.
  15. ^ a b c d Nevius, C.W. (July 22, 2014). "Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow fighting through muscle disease". San Francisco Chronicle.
  16. ^ "Mike Krukow announces reduced 2017 broadcasting schedule". mccoveychronicles.com. February 9, 2017. Retrieved June 1, 2017.
  17. ^ Dachman, Jason. "NBC Sports Bay Area To Launch 'SplitKast' Remote Productions for SF Giants Road Games". Sports Video Group. Retrieved 2020-02-19.

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