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George Daniel Crowe (March 22, 1921[1] – January 18, 2011)[2] was a Major League first baseman. He attended Franklin High School in Franklin, Indiana, graduated from Indiana Central College, now the University of Indianapolis, in 1943 and played baseball and basketball. He was the first[3] Indiana "Mr. Basketball".[4] He was a first baseman with a nine-year career from 1952–1953, 1955–1961 and played for the Boston Braves, Milwaukee Braves, Cincinnati Redlegs and St. Louis Cardinals (all of the National League). Crowe hit 31 home runs in 1957, filling in most of the season for the injured Ted Kluszewski.

George Crowe
George Crowe Cincinnati Reds.jpg
First baseman
Born: (1921-03-22)March 22, 1921
Whiteland, Indiana
Died: January 18, 2011(2011-01-18) (aged 89)
Rancho Cordova, California
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
April 16, 1952, for the Boston Braves
Last MLB appearance
April 30, 1961, for the St. Louis Cardinals
MLB statistics
Batting average.270
Home runs81
Runs batted in299
Career highlights and awards

Crowe also played with the Negro National League's (Rochester) New York Black Yankees in 1948, and played professional basketball for the barnstorming New York Renaissance Big Five (aka "Rens").[5] In 1947 Crowe played basketball for the integrated Los Angeles Red Devils, a team that also included future Brooklyn Dodger Jackie Robinson. In 1950, Crowe played baseball for the Hartford Chiefs, a minor league team in the Eastern League. He also played winter ball with the Cangrejeros de Santurce (Santurce Crabbers) of the Puerto Rico Professional Baseball League in the 1954-55 season where as a teammate of Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente, Buster Clarkson and Bob Thurman, Crowe formed part of the Escuadron Del Panico (Panic Squadron) which led the Crabbers to the league championship and eventually to win the Caribbean World Series.

He was elected to the National League All-Star team in 1958, although Crowe was not used in the All-Star Game. Coincidentally, the year before, fans of his team — the Cincinnati Redlegs (as the Reds were called at the time) — had been involved in a ballot stuffing campaign to put all of the team's regulars in the starting lineup. Ed Bailey, Johnny Temple, Roy McMillan, Don Hoak, Frank Robinson, Gus Bell and Wally Post had been "voted" into the lineup, but Crowe was beaten out in the final vote tally by future Cardinal teammate Stan Musial. Crowe set a record (later broken by Jerry Lynch and subsequently by Cliff Johnson) for most pinch-hit home runs in major league baseball history with 14.

When he switched fielding positions from first base to second base against the Chicago Cubs on the 14th of June, 1958, he completed a double play wearing his oversize "mitt". This led to a rule change that if a first baseman went to field at second or third base, they had to replace their "mitt" with a fielder's glove.[6]

He was the younger brother of Ray Crowe, who was the head coach of the Crispus Attucks High School teams that won two consecutive State titles in 1954-55 and 1955–56, led by Oscar Robertson.


  1. ^ Baseball Reference
  2. ^ "Standout athlete persevered while facing prejudice". Daily Journal. January 21, 2011. Retrieved February 24, 2012.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "Crowe: A determined man who didn't like talking about himself". Daily Journal. January 21, 2011. Retrieved February 24, 2012.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^[0]=INDIANA%20CENTRAL%20COLLEGE&back=HallofFame
  5. ^ "Crowe's life spanned racial change". Daily Journal. January 26, 2011. Archived from the original on July 14, 2012. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
  6. ^ Preston, JG. "Left-handed throwing second basemen, shortstops and third basemen". Retrieved 29 January 2017.

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