Jesse Craig Carlson (born December 31, 1980) is a Major League Baseball relief pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays. Born in New Britain, Connecticut, Carlson graduated from Berlin High School, where he starred in basketball as well as baseball. Carlson was a member of the team that defeated Seymour Connecticut High School to win the state championship in 1999. After high school, Carlson was awarded Big East rookie honors while pitching for the University of Connecticut, where he lettered in baseball for three straight years (2000 to 2002).
Carlson was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in 2002. He remained in the minor leagues for seven seasons with four different organizations before making his major league debut with the Toronto Blue Jays on April 10, 2008. He entered the game against the Oakland Athletics in the top of the twelfth inning with the bases loaded after Brandon League allowed two runs to Oakland, breaking the game's tie. Carlson struck out Daric Barton to end the inning.
A few days later, against the Texas Rangers at the Rogers Centre on April 16, Carlson came on in the 11th inning with the bases loaded and no one out. In an amazing and very rare feat, he struck out the side on 12 pitches, marking the first time since 1960 that a reliever came into a game in extra innings with the opponent's team loading the bases with no outs and striking out the side. Carlson also became the first and possibly the only pitcher in MLB history to achieve the feat on only his third game played. Carlson then pitched the 12th inning and was relieved before the start of the 13th. Ultimately the effort was in vain because the Jays lost in the 15th inning and A.J. Burnett was the losing pitcher in relief (his first relief appearance since 2004).