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Carl Crawford

Tampa Bay Rays — No. 13
Left fielder
Born: August 5, 1981 (1981-08-05) (age 28)
Houston, Texas
Bats: Left Throws: Left 
MLB debut
July 20, 2002 for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Career statistics
(through 2009 season)
Batting average     .295
Stolen bases     362
Runs     655
Hits     1,296
Triples     92
Home runs     85
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Carl Demonte Crawford (born August 5, 1981, in Houston, Texas) is the starting left fielder for the Tampa Bay Rays of Major League Baseball. He bats and throws left-handed.

Contents

Early life

Carl attended Jefferson Davis High School in Houston, Texas and was a letterman in football, basketball, and baseball. In baseball, he batted .637 as a senior. Crawford was offered scholarships to play basketball as a point guard at UCLA. He also had an option to play college football as an option quarterback at Nebraska, USC, Oklahoma, Florida, and Tulsa. He had originally signed a letter of intent to play football for Nebraska but he turned down both offers in favor of a baseball career.

Professional career

Crawford was drafted by the Devil Rays in the second round (52nd overall) of the 1999 MLB Draft.

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Minor leagues

In 2002, the Tampa Bay chapter of the BBWAA named Crawford the Devil Rays' Most Outstanding Rookie and he earned International League Rookie of the Year playing for the AAA Durham Bulls.

Major leagues

2002-05

Crawford entered the major leagues at the young age of 20 and played in 63 games for the Devil Rays in 2002, batting .259 with 9 stolen bases. As of the 2009 season, he is the longest tenured member of the team.

In 2003, he played nearly every day, batting .281 with 54 RBI and led the league with 55 steals. Along with Juan Pierre, Crawford was co-winner of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum James "Cool Papa" Bell Legacy Award for 2003.

In 2004, Crawford stole 59 bases, again leading the league and posting the second-highest total in the majors that season. He batted .296 with 11 home runs and 55 RBIs. Crawford also hit a league-leading 19 triples. He was selected for the All Star Game, played in his hometown of Houston, and was named Devil Rays team MVP in 2004 by the BBWAA.

Crawford batted .301 in 2005, becoming just the third .300 hitter in Devil Rays history, joining Aubrey Huff (.311 in 2003) and Fred McGriff (.310 in 1999). Crawford also posted career highs in hits (194), home runs (15), and RBI (81). He again lead the league with 15 triples and placed third in steals (46).

Crawford going back to the dugout in 2006

2006

Crawford stated in February 2006 that his desire to be the number one fantasy baseball pick motivates him to train harder and work better, making him one of the first baseball players to openly talk about fantasy baseball as a motivation tool. In the 2007 Fantasy prospects, Crawford is the #2 outfielder on most boards. On Mother's Day, May 14, Crawford was one of more than 50 hitters to brandish a pink bat to benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a breast cancer research foundation.

On July 5 against the Boston Red Sox, Crawford became only the eighth player in history to get 200 stolen bases before his 25th birthday. That same day, he also stole home plate for the first time in his career. Crawford finished the season with career highs in batting average (.305) and home runs (18), joining Hall-of-Famer Rogers Hornsby as the only players in Major League history to increase their batting average and home run totals every year for five straight years.[1]

2007

Crawford was named an All-Star for the second time in 2007, becoming the first Devil Ray to receive the honor more than once. He homered in the 6th inning of the All-Star Game, on a 3-2 pitch from Francisco Cordero of the Milwaukee Brewers.

In the second half of the season, Crawford had a sore right wrist which had been bothering him for some time, and he did not hit a home run for a period of 42 days because of it. Prior to a game against the Toronto Blue Jays, he had an MRI and was listed as doubtful to play because of the wrist. However, he pinch hit as the game went into extra innings and promptly hit a walk-off home run, ending his drought. This kicked off a run of four homers in ten games.[2]

In August, a panel of experts on ESPN.com named Crawford the Devil Rays' "Face of the Franchise". Three out of four experts picked him and he was also overwhelmingly picked by the fans with 75 percent of the vote.[3]

2008

On April 11, Crawford accumulated his 1000th hit, making him only the eighth player to hit 1000 and steal 250 bases before turning 27. On June 5, he was suspended for two games and fined by the MLB for his actions in a brawl against the Boston Red Sox. On August 10, Crawford injured a tendon in his right middle finger and was placed on a 15-day disabled list. He returned in time for the playoffs. In game four of the American League Championship Series against the Boston Red Sox, Crawford tied an ALCS record with five hits in one game, going 5-5 and stealing two bases.

2009

On May 3, 2009, Carl Crawford tied a modern era record by stealing six bases in a game against the Boston Red Sox.[4][5][6] On July 14, 2009, Crawford represented Tampa Bay in the 2009 All Star Game, where he was named MVP for a leaping catch at the top of the 8-foot outfield wall to prevent a go-ahead home run from Rockies outfielder Brad Hawpe.[7]

In 2009 he had the best range factor of all starting major league left fielders (2.34).[8]

Awards and accomplishments

  • International League Rookie of the Year (2002)
  • Cool Papa Bell Legacy Award (2003)
  • American League Stolen Base Champion (2003, 2004, 2006, 2007)
  • MLB modern era single-game stolen base record: 6 (May 3, 2009)[9]
  • American League All-Star (2004, 2006, 2009)
  • All-Star Game MVP (2009)
  • Devil Rays Most Outstanding Rookie (2002)
  • Devil Rays Most Valuable Player (2004)
  • Rays single-season runs record: 104 (2004)
  • Rays single-season triples record: 19 (2004)
  • Rays single-season stolen base record: 60 (2009)
  • Rays' all-time leader in at bats, plate appearances, RBIs, runs scored, hits, doubles, triples, strikeouts, stolen bases, and singles.
  • Named the Rays' "Face of the Franchise" by ESPN [10]

See also

References

External links

Preceded by
Alfonso Soriano
Chone Figgins
American League Stolen Base Champion
2003-2004
2006-2007 (2007 with Brian Roberts)
Succeeded by
Chone Figgins
Jacoby Ellsbury
Preceded by
Josh Hamilton
American League Player of the Month
June 2008
Succeeded by
Miguel Cabrera
Preceded by
J.D. Drew
Major League Baseball All-Star Game
Most Valuable Player

2009
Succeeded by
incumbent

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