Carl Cooperstown has another historic night
By Brad Horn
ST. LOUIS — At this rate, he might want to consider a formal name change to Carl Cooperstown.
Crawford, better known to his Tampa Bay and American League teammates as “C.C.,” earned Most Valuable Player honors in Tuesday’s 4-3 All-Star Game in St. Louis, extending the A.L.’s unbeaten streak to 13 straight. The win assures the World Series will start in an American League city.
Covering ground has made Crawford a major league star, and since last October, he’s covered enough earth to orbit Cooperstown thrice. Donating an artifact from an historic achievement is a rare honor, as the Museum typically requests about 30 items per year from major league achievements.
With the donation of the cap he wore in Tuesday’s Classic, essentially the only part of Crawford now not in Cooperstown is the rising star himself.
“What is it going to be this time?” Crawford asked me last night after receiving the MVP award on the field at Busch Stadium. Beaming with a smile that shows a natural love for the game, Carl gladly handed over his cap… after a quick trip to the interview room. Next stop: Cooperstown.
At the conclusion of the World Series last October, we asked Carl for the road jersey he wore in Philadelphia. Though his Rays came up short against the Phillies, his all around dynamic play represented the spirit of baseball’s upstarts in 2008. He was all too willing then to give, as he was again last night.
Just six weeks into the 2009 season, Crawford ran – almost at will – against the Red Sox, stealing six bases in a game to tie a modern record. The spikes he wore in that game kept running a bit further… to Cooperstown. On the day they arrived in May, another fellow five-tool leftfielder happened to be in the Museum and inspected the spikes as they arrived.
Rickey Henderson was on his orientation visit that day and was among the first to see Carl’s spikes in their new home.
And so this week, for the third time in 10 months, Carl Crawford will be represented with an artifact at the home of baseball.
The road from Houston’s Jefferson Davis High School to major league stardom in Tampa Bay apparently runs right through Cooperstown.
Brad Horn is the senior director of communications at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.