Brandon Michael Crawford (born January 21, 1987) is an American professional baseball shortstop for the San Francisco Giants of Major League Baseball (MLB). He was the sixth player in MLB history to hit a grand slam in his first Major League game, and is also the first shortstop to hit a grand slam in a Major League Baseball postseason game. Crawford played college baseball for the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he was twice named the team's Most Valuable Player (MVP).
Crawford with the San Francisco Giants
|San Francisco Giants – No. 35|
|Born: January 21, 1987|
Mountain View, California
|May 27, 2011, for the San Francisco Giants|
|MLB statistics |
(through September 17, 2019)
|Runs batted in||534|
|Career highlights and awards|
Crawford is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area, and grew up in Pleasanton. He was born in Mountain View, and his family lived in Menlo Park before they moved to Pleasanton when he was in elementary school. He grew up a Giants fan, and his family purchased season tickets and a commemorative brick in Willie Mays Plaza outside AT&T Park when the ballpark opened in 2000. Crawford attended Foothill High School in Pleasanton; where he was a three-sport athlete playing football, basketball, and baseball. He was the starting quarterback for the Foothill Falcons and graduated in the class of 2005.
Crawford attended UCLA, where he was a physiological sciences major. He played baseball for the UCLA Bruins from 2006 to 2008, where he helped lead the team to the NCAA Regionals in three consecutive seasons, the first time in school history. Crawford was named the team's MVP in 2006 and 2007, and he was named to the All-Pac-10 conference team in 2007. In the summer of 2007, Crawford played for the Orleans Firebirds of the Cape Cod Baseball League. He also played in the Northwoods League for the Mankato MoonDogs in 2005 before he attended UCLA.
Draft and minor leaguesEdit
Crawford was selected in the fourth round (117th overall) of the 2008 Major League Baseball draft by the Giants. Crawford started his first full season as a professional with the Class-A Advanced San Jose Giants in 2009. In 25 games, he hit .371 with six home runs and 17 RBIs, good enough for a slugging percentage of .600 and 1.045 OPS. In May, Crawford was promoted to the Double-A Connecticut Defenders, where he spent the rest of the season, batting .258 with four home runs in 108 games.
In 2010, Crawford opened the season in Double-A (now with the Richmond Flying Squirrels) and earned an Eastern League All-Star nod, batting .241 in 79 games before suffering a broken hand in early July, which sidelined Crawford for nearly two months. When he recovered, he was assigned back to San Jose for the remainder of the season. He was ranked the sixth best prospect in the Giants' organization by Baseball America heading into 2011.
San Francisco GiantsEdit
In 2011, Crawford was invited to Spring training but was set back by a broken finger suffered in the final week, and started the season in San Jose while he recovered. He was called up to the majors for the first time on May 26, 2011, following injuries to Buster Posey, Mike Fontenot, and Darren Ford.
Crawford made his MLB debut on May 27 against the Milwaukee Brewers. His first big league hit came in his third at bat of the game and was a grand slam off the Brewers' Shaun Marcum. He joined Bobby Bonds and Brian Dallimore as the only Giants whose first career Major League hit was a grand slam; he also became the sixth player in MLB history and the second player in Giants history along with Bobby Bonds to hit a grand slam in his first game. On July 31, he was optioned to the Giants' Triple-A affiliate, the Fresno Grizzlies, after the Giants acquired shortstop Orlando Cabrera. The Giants were 23–18 with Crawford as a starter, but he was only hitting .190. Crawford was recalled in September when MLB rosters expanded to 40 players.
In 2012, Crawford was named the team's opening day shortstop, in which he batted 8th in the lineup. He batted .248 with four home runs, 26 doubles, and 45 RBI in 143 games. On July 20, Crawford hit his second career grand slam and drove in 5 runs as the Giants defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 7–2. Crawford was praised for his defense during the 2012 postseason, which culminated in a 4–0 sweep of the Detroit Tigers in the 2012 World Series. Crawford ranked third among NL shortstops in Defensive Runs Saved at +12, and was recognized with the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award at shortstop.
Crawford was the starting shortstop for 2013, with Joaquín Árias as his backup. He hit best in April, when he went .272/.346/.511 with 5 HR and 14 RBI. In 149 games on the year, he hit .248/.311/.363 with 9 HR and 43 RBI.
In 153 games, Crawford batted .246 and set career highs with ten home runs and 69 RBIs. On April 13, Crawford hit a tenth inning, walk-off home run against Rex Brothers of the Colorado Rockies. In the 2014 postseason, Crawford led all Giants with 9 RBIs. In the 4th inning of the NL Wild Card Game between the Giants and Pittsburgh Pirates, Crawford hit a grand slam off of Edinson Vólquez, becoming the first shortstop to hit a grand slam in Major League Baseball postseason history. Crawford batted .304 (7-for-23) with 4 RBIs in the 2014 World Series, en route to his second championship with the Giants. In Game 7, Crawford drove in the second run for the Giants with a sacrifice fly and, along with second baseman Joe Panik, turned a critical double-play in the third inning.
On January 27, 2015, the Giants and Crawford avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $3.175 million deal. On May 16, Crawford hit his third career grand slam (fourth including the postseason) and drove in a career-high six runs against Mike Leake of the Cincinnati Reds. In May, Crawford led the team in RBIs, and on July 1, Crawford set a new career-high with his 11th home run of the season. On July 6, Crawford was voted by his fellow Major League players as a reserve for the 2015 MLB All-Star Game. On August 14 at AT&T Park, in an 8–5 win over the Washington Nationals, Crawford hit his 100th career double. On September 24 at Petco Park, Crawford hit his twentieth home run of the season off of Ian Kennedy, making him the fourth Giants shortstop in franchise history to reach the milestone, after Rich Aurilia, Alvin Dark, and Travis Jackson.
Crawford set career highs in several offensive categories, batting .256 with 21 home runs, 84 RBIs, 33 doubles, and 130 hits. Crawford was the first Giants' shortstop to lead the team in home runs since Bill Dahlen in 1905. He won his first Rawlings Gold Glove Award and Silver Slugger Award, the first Giant to win both awards in the same year since Barry Bonds in 1997.
After the 2015 season, Crawford and the Giants agreed to a six-year, $75 million contract through the 2021 season. The deal covered Crawford's final two years of salary arbitration and first four years of free agency. The contract includes a no-trade clause, meaning that Crawford has to give consent if he were to be traded.
April 8, 2016, Crawford hit a tenth inning, walk-off home run off Joe Blanton of the Los Angeles Dodgers in a game in which the Giants had been no-hit through 71⁄3 innings and recorded only two hits. On August 8 at Marlins Park, in an 8–7 win over the Miami Marlins that went into extra-innings, Crawford hit a career-high in base hits and singles with seven and five respectively. His seven hits tied the NL record for most total hits in a single game, and was the first time this feat had been done since Rennie Stennett in 1975. The seven hits were also a Giants all-time franchise record. Two days later, Crawford met with Stennett at Marlins Park.
For the 2016 season, Crawford increased his batting average to a career-best .275 in 155 games played. Along with teammate Javier López, Crawford won the Willie Mac Award, which honors the Giants' most inspirational player. He was awarded his second consecutive Gold Glove Award after the season.
On April 29, 2017, Crawford was placed on the 10-day disabled list due to a right groin strain. In 2017, he batted .253 with 14 home runs and 77 RBI, and after the season he was awarded his third consecutive Gold Glove Award. He was the first shortstop to win three straight since Jimmy Rollins (2007–09), and the first Giant since J. T. Snow who won four in a row (1997–2000).
On June 27, 2018, Crawford hit a walk-off home run against the Colorado Rockies to win the game 1–0 for the Giants. Crawford became the first Giants player since Steve Decker in April 1991 to hit a walk-off solo homer to win a 1–0 game. Batting .300 with ten home runs and 39 RBIs, Crawford was named the starting shortstop for the 2018 MLB All-Star Game. Crawford hit .193 in the second half, battling injuries throughout the second half. A left hand hitter, Crawford had a higher batting average against left hand pitching than right hand pitching at .274. Hiss average against right hand pitching was .243.
Against the Rockies on July 15, 2019, he had five hits in six at bats including two home runs and a career high eight runs batted in during the Giants 19-2 victory. The eight RBI tied the San Francisco team record held by Willie Mays and Orlando Cepeda. Crawford became the first shortstop in history to record five hits and eight RBI in one game and the first Giant to have at least 2 home runs and 8 RBI in a game since Willie Mays did it in 1961.
Crawford married former UCLA gymnast Jalynne Dantzscher in Kona, Hawaii, on November 26, 2011. They have two daughters and two sons. Crawford is the brother-in-law of Olympic gymnast Jamie Dantzscher. Crawford's sister Amy is married to Houston Astros pitcher Gerrit Cole. His sister-in-law, Jennifer Pippin, died in 2017 due to an asthma attack. Crawford famously uses Johnny B. Mode hair gel, that many players have been referred to by Brandon. During the MLB players weekend promotion, Crawford uses the nickname "DJ BC Raw" and sports it on his jersey. His nickname refers to his constant use of a speaker in the team clubhouse.
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The San Francisco Giants optioned rookie shortstop Brandon Crawford to Triple-A Fresno on Sunday to make room on the roster for new shortstop Orlando Cabrera.
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Crawford hit .190 before he was optioned July 31, but the Giants were 23-18 during his two-month run as the everyday shortstop.
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The Giants recalled Brandon Crawford, Emmanuel Burriss, Conor Gillaspie and Waldis Joaquin from Triple A Fresno with the expansion of the roster to 40.
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- @SFGiants (October 5, 2015). "Brandon Crawford finished the season with a team-leading 21 HRs, the 1st SS to lead the #SFGiants in HRs since 1905" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
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- "Team Batting Game Finder: From 1908 to 2018, Playing for SFG, Team Won, Game ended in a walk-off win, (100 percent complete s. 1974), (requiring R=1 and HR=1), sorted by most recent date". Baseball Reference. Retrieved July 17, 2018.
- Brandon Crawford earns first career All-Star starting nod
- Brandon Crawford Stats | Baseball-Reference.com
- Statcast Sprint Speed Leaderboard | baseballsavant.com
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- @SFGiants (January 25, 2016). "Congrats @bcraw35 and @JalynneC35! Welcome to the #SFGiants family, baby Braxton" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Graff, Amy (June 19, 2018). "Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford announces birth of fourth child in cute tweet". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
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- San Francisco Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford hits emotional home run after sister-in-law's sudden death