When I first got into autograph collecting it was by writing to college baseball players. I was stationed in Omaha at the time, and with the College World Series right there I was getting really into the D1 Baseball game. Those first couple seasons were really fun, since most guys replied and some even included a nice note back. The one reply that I will always remember was from Jeff Francis. At the time he was going to school at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. I remember writing the letter and he that stuck out as a player that I really hope replied, but months passed with nothing back. I just gave up on it. It happens.
One day a few months later I get a letter from Jeff Francis; he had lost my letter, found it, and wrote to apologize for the late reply. It was very cool, and a couple days soon after he would get drafted in the first round of 2002 draft by the Rockies.
Since then I have always been partial to Canadian players. So when I saw a Canadian on the Oregon roster and got reading about him, I was excited.
Phil Craig-St. Louis is from Gatineau, Quebec. He is a junior this season–he spent two seasons playing at Seminole State College–and transferred to Oregon this season. So far he is knocking the heck out of the ball: .389 AVG, .500 OBP and a 4/4 BB to K ratio. He is, along with Matt Eureste, one of the best hitters on the Oregon roster and a big reason why the Ducks should be making some noise this season.
Its a bummer that the Ducks won’t be back to Hawaii until 2017, but by then I am sure many Major League teams will keeping as close an eye on him. The Ducks are lucky to have him.