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Carl Demonte Crawford (born August 5, 1981, in Houston, Texas) is an American professional baseball outfielder who plays for the Boston Red Sox of Major League Baseball. He bats and throws left-handed.

Early lifeEdit

Crawford, a native of the Fifth Ward area of Houston, attended Jefferson Davis High School in Houston, Texas,[1] and was a letterman in football, basketball, and baseball. In baseball, he batted .638 as a senior. Crawford was offered scholarships to play basketball as a point guard at UCLA.[2] He also had an option to play college football as an option quarterback at Nebraska,[2] 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.[2]

Professional careerEdit

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

Minor leaguesEdit

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 leaguesEdit

Tampa Bay Devil Rays/Rays (2002-2010)Edit

2002–05Edit

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).

File:Carl Crawford without hat.JPG
2006Edit

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 was 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.[3] He won a Fielding Bible Award for his defensive excellence in left field during the season.[4]

2007Edit

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.[5]

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.[6]

2008Edit

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. After the season, he won his second Fielding Bible Award.[7]

2009Edit

On May 3, 2009, Carl Crawford tied a modern era record by stealing six bases in a game against the Boston Red Sox, part of a team-record eight total stolen bases.[8][9][10] 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 possible go-ahead home run from Rockies outfielder Brad Hawpe.[11]

In 2009 he had the best range factor of all starting major league left fielders (2.34).[12] He won his second consecutive Fielding Bible Award and third overall at left field.[13]

2010Edit

Crawford took part in another large base-stealing effort, swiping two against the New York Yankees on July 18 as part of six for the team.

On July 20, Crawford was struck in the groin in the first inning by an errant pickoff throw from Jake Arrieta of the Baltimore Orioles. Although he was touching first when he was struck, he fell off the base and was tagged out by Ty Wigginton. He was transported to the hospital, where he was treated and released for bruising. He missed the next day's game. Rays play-by-play announcer Dewayne Staats called it "the indignity of a very painful situation". Afterward, Crawford stated he does not wear a protective cup, and will continue not to do so despite the injury. On July 31, Crawford reached 400 stolen bases. He is only the 7th player in history to reach that mark before his 29th birthday.[14]

Crawford has drawn four catcher's interference calls in 2010, and a total of ten in his career.

On August 17, 2010, Crawford hit the 100th triple of his career. With this, he would tie Ty Cobb as being the only major league players to hit 100 triples and have 400 stolen bases before the age of 30.

The Tampa Bay chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America voted Crawford the Most Valuable Player for the Rays in 2010.[15] Following the conclusion of the season, Crawford was given the Gold Glove Award, as well as the Silver Slugger Award.[16][17]

Boston Red SoxEdit

On December 8, 2010, Crawford signed a 7-year, $142-million contract with the Boston Red Sox. His signing came two days after Adrian Gonzalez was traded to Boston.[18][2]

Awards and accomplishmentsEdit


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