This week Oklahoma City`s baseball fans introduced themselves to four-time Major League all-star Carl Crawford while he rehabilitates from an injury to his side.
Believe it or not this isn`t the first time Crawford`s taken the field at the Brick
“I was here in 2004, well 2002, for the all-star game, AAA all-star game so I remember that experience,” Crawford said. “It’s been nice so far just trying to get back up top.”
The Dodger`s present plan for Carl is to continue rehabbing with OKC.
Then he`ll be reevaluated late next week after the all-star break.
“Try to stay healthy of course,” Crawford said. “Just play here until they call me back up, and that’s pretty much all I can do is try to get better every day and get stronger.”
“For the most part Carl being around this club is always good,” Damon Berryhill, Oklahoma City Dodgers’ Manager, said. “A lot of these guys know him. They went to spring training with him. They’ve been around him. He treats them well. He fits right in with the clubhouse.”
The former all-star game MVP says older players helped him along the way, so now he tries to return the favor.
“If they have any questions about base stealing, just preparing every day or what it takes to be in the big leagues, stuff like that,” Crawford said. “I don’t avoid answering questions. I just try to help those guys out any way I can. If it’s going to help them get to the big leagues that’s all that matters.”
“Try to pick his brain,” Darnell Sweeney, Oklahoma City Dodgers’ Outfielder, said. “He’s a guy that’s been up to the big leagues and has never been sent back down to the minor league, so it’s definitely a great blessing and a honor just to talk to him and see what he has to say.”
As for when Carl has been on the field, Berryhill says his athleticism is ‘through the roof.’
“He’s a special player,” Berryhill said. “He always has been. It’s one of those situations where we got to get him healthy, so he can get back up there and start helping the Dodgers.”
Coming out of high school in Houston, Carl was such a good athlete that basketball powerhouse UCLA recruited him to play point guard.
Plus a local friend, named Quentin Griffin, tried to convince him to join the Sooners football team, but he’d already signed on to play quarterback at Nebraska.
Crawford jokingly told me, he never imagined OU would win a national title, but he’s pretty sure he made a right choice by making a baseball dugout his everyday home.
“Just try to excel at everything,” Crawford said. “Football was a sport I loved. I had an opportunity to play college football, I chose baseball instead and things have been going well for me. Seems like I made the right choice.”