“McDeep Dive” is our new series that spotlights one Giants player every day for a week. We’ll move backwards and forwards through time, look at on the field stuff, off the field stuff, and see if we can learn something new about them. Here’s part one of our look at Brandon Crawford.
Brandon Crawford is the focus of our McDeep Dive this week because he is our lone Giants representative in the 2018 All Star Game. Although Buster Posey is technically an All Star, he will not be attending the game this year. And with Brandon Belt losing out on the Final Vote, this leaves Crawford all by himself to represent the Giants in Washington, D.C. this week.
This is Crawford’s second appearance as an All Star, but his first as a starter, voted in by the fans.
So, where did it all start for Crawford?
He was drafted in the fourth round of the 2008 draft, before tearing it up in San Jose. He played for Richmond in 2010 and earned himself an Eastern League All Star spot. But where things started for Brandon Crawford in his Giants career is what we’re going to look at today.
Crawford was called up on May 26th, 2011. It was a dark time for Giants fans, with Buster Posey having just suffered a season-ending injury the day before. Fans needed a bright spot and Crawford provided it. In his debut on May 27th, though he went 1-for-3 with a walk, it was that one hit that made a statement that Brandon Crawford was here to stay.
It was a Tim Lincecum start, and Lincecum had allowed three runs to the Milwaukee Brewers. In his third plate appearance of the game, Crawford came up to bat with the bases loaded, after an Aubrey Huff double, Nate Schierholtz single and a walk to Miguel Tejada.
On the first pitch, Crawford sent one flying out to the center field bullpen of Miller Park:
This was Brandon Crawford’s first Major League hit, and what a doozy it was. Though Ramón Ramírez would later allow a run to Ryan Braun, who had been walked by Sergio Romo, the Giants still went on to win that game. All thanks to a big swing of the bat from their rookie.
Though Crawford has never been much of a home run slugger in his career, aside from 2015 where he led the team with 21, he has had the tendency to hit them when it counts, including four total career grand slams.
Of course, we all remember the most iconic of those, which came during the 2014 Wild Card game against the Pittsburgh Pirates:
Which is a sad contrast to his fellow Brandon, last week’s subject of the McDeep Dive, who has hit exactly one grand slam in his career. This came in a game in which he hit two home runs and the Giants still managed to lose. This is not a dig at Belt, who is the more consistent home run hitter, but more of a sad observation on his luck.
But mostly it shows how special what Crawford has managed to do really is. And the Giants do not have a grand slam this season, so maybe he’ll get a chance at another one soon.