McCraw was a journeyman hitter with speed who won the 1962 American Association batting crown (.326). He joined the White Sox in June 1963 when first baseman Joe Cunningham broke his collarbone. Much heralded as a rookie, McCraw struggled at the plate for most of his eight seasons with Chicago, only once topping the .260 mark. On May 24, 1967, he hit three home runs in one game at Minnesota, and almost had a fourth when he sent a Jim Kaat fastball to the warning track. He tied a ML first base record by committing three errors in one inning on May 3, 1968, but that year he led AL first basemen in assists, double plays, total chances per game, and errors. Ted Williams taught him to hit the ball with more authority as his manager with the 1971 Senators, and McCraw used his training as a batting coach for the Indians and Giants.