Keep Your Head Down (and Don’t Sit There)

In honor of the September call-ups, Belt and I (and I think Blanco) are using our blogs to remember our own first day in the big leagues and offer advice to the new guys.

When I showed up in the players’ parking lot on a late May day in 2011, there was a camera crew waiting. That was when Showtime was taping “The Franchise.’’ The crew asked if they could follow me into the clubhouse and ask me some questions. I had just flown in from Bakersfield and had been dropped off at the park about a half hour or so before the start of a day game against the Marlins.

​I entered the park through the gate in left field instead of going through the inside hallway; the producer said it would look better on TV. I honestly don’t remember anything they asked me.

​I walked into the clubhouse and stopped in Murph’s office to check in, and he was all excited about the number he was giving me: 35. I wondered if he thought it was my favorite number. Later I learned the history of some of the shortstops who’ve worn it.

​I don’t remember who welcomed me. I don’t remember getting dressed. I don’t remember much about the game. I know there was a point where I thought I was going to have to pinch run, but they went with Chris Stewart instead. The whole day was a blur.

​I do remember that it was getaway day, and back then there was a rule that you had to wear a coat, dress shirt and slacks on the plane. No jeans. (Now there’s a looser dress code.) Of course, I hadn’t brought a jacket and slacks. I had only the clothes I had brought for a road trip to Bakersfield. Jalynne flew out and brought me at least a little bit nicer jacket than what I had, and I wore it over a nice shirt and jeans.

​Either Belt or Bum told me about the seating protocol on the plane. Don’t go all the way to the back. That’s where the veteran guys sat. You had to earn a seat back there. So stay near the front. And if there aren’t enough rows for everyone to have his own, you’re the rookie, so you’re the one who’s going to double up.

​Lucky for me there were enough rows. I sat in Row 26. I have sat in Row 26 every since. Cain was sitting in the row behind me that day, and he’s still sitting in the row behind me. Across the aisle is Zito. So the veteran guys now are sprinkled through the plane, not only in the back. Everybody sits in the same place every flight.

I remember getting to the hotel in Milwaukee after that first flight and finally being able to breathe. I laid in bed in this very nice hotel and thought, “This is a little different from the Bakersfield Days Inn.’’

​As for advice:

I’d tell the rookies to keep their heads down and not try to stand out too much. Go with the flow. If an older guy asks you to do something, do it. If you stand out too much and push back, you’re an easy target for getting made fun of. You’re probably going to be summoned to the front of the bus, a hazing of sorts that happens when we’re driving from the airport to our hotel, which is often a 30- or 40-minute ride. Some of the veterans get on the intercom at the front of the bus and call guys up to do something like telling some story about themselves or singing or telling a joke. If you bring attention to yourself as a rookie, you’re going to get tougher questions or be asked to do something more stupid and embarrassing than usual. The veterans called me up only once, and it was actually last year, not my rookie year. (I tried hard to blend in as much as I could.) I recited a YouTube video that had been making the rounds in the clubhouse. It was a hilarious clip of a guy telling a story, and it was really off-color and really funny. The guys liked it.

So far nobody who’s been called up in September has been summoned to the front of the bus.There’s still time.

Some great personal news that you might have read on Twitter – Jalynne tweeted it a few days ago. We’re expecting our second child in March. We’re really excited. Braylyn’s so sweet that I’m kind of hoping for another girl. On this past road trip, Jalynne’s parents sent me a video of Braylyn saying “dada’’ for the first time. I think I played it 50 times. Then of course the first night I saw her, when the Giants arrived in San Diego, she didn’t say it once! Then she said it all day the next day. She says “mama’’ when she needs something. Smart girl.

​Hope to see you at the park. Obviously, it’s not been the best season, but we’re all still working hard. We’re going out early today for extra BP and fielding. We’re not throwing in the towel. Hope you don’t either.

 Brandon Crawford

28 Comments

aww congrats on the baby news!!!

Enjoy the rest of the season, all of you guys. The real fans are still watching and rooting for you to do well. We know you’re trying your best and that’s all we can ask for.

I try to watch every game! You never know when something exciting will happen…Timmy’s no hitter (I was there to see it), Pablo’s 3 HRs, Petit’s almost perfect game, Pagan’s in the park HR…never know! Love you guys!

Congratulations for the new baby. You’ll be smack in the middle of Spring Training. have fun! I’m watching you make your usual great plays at SS, and I will never give up on you guys.

Huge congratulations on your Spring Training baby!!

throw in the towel, never ! i’m with the commentator that said you never know what you are going to see. something wonderful almost every game. something unique that makes it a special game. defense is just about my favorite part ( although we need those runs and great pitching )
that watching you play has knocked me out from the beginning. can’t wait til you get your gold glove, i might be as excited as you. congrats on the new baby !

We love you guys. We will NEVER throw in the towel!!!! Congratulations about the new baby. Exciting times.

Interesting advice, Brandon. I can see you doing just that.

Congrats on the new baby. Parenthood is a most important job in life. It’s kind of like baseball. You do your best every day but you know you’re going to make mistakes. You just try to learn from them and keep on keeping on.

As a fan, I love you guys every day win or lose. Sure I’d rather see you win, like today but I’ll remain a fan whether or not you guys make the playoffs, win the division, or the world series, or go home early. My biggest worry is how the team may change. I had a hard time embracing Pence and Scutaro when they first arrived last year but now I really appreciate all they have brought to the team. I would be so sad to see you or Brandon B, or Blanco be traded. I guess only time will tell.

Best of luck the rest of the season and thank you for taking the time to write this blog for your loyal fans.

Hope that both Brandon’s keep blogging next season….you guys are great! Sad to see the season coming to an end, but we’ll all be ready to cheer for the best group of guys in baseball come next spring! LET’S GO GIANTS!

Sent from my iPad

congrats on the new baby. still watching every game the Giants play until there’s not any left to watch, win or lose.. you’re my team.

Congrats on the baby. I watch every Giants game no matter what

Congratulations on your second child.

Brandon! Congrats on the new baby in March!! Yeah!!!! And I know you guys haven’t thrown in the towel and try hard everyday! Love you guys! It’s just been an off year. It happens. Hope to be there for the last game of the season!!

Congrats on the baby news !! Will see all you guys when you “Beat LA” on the 26th, Go Giants, Giants for life !!!

Congratulations on the new little one coming into your life. I enjoy every game you guys play, win or lose, and I am always there at first pitch. You are my team, always will be. Best in the world!

Brandon, you are an inspiration. I hope my little boy grows up to be a Giant like you! Congratulations to you and your wife on baby numbe two! Keep up the good work, we’ll keep on believin.

Brandon, I may never get to see a live game, again but I will never stop watching my Giants on Television. Your blog and Brandon B.’s really make me feel like I am there. About 45 years ago I got to go to Candlestick and see the Giants play the cardinals. I was so excited that I got to see Willie McCovey play. I will never forget that.
You did a great job in your blog in advising the new guys. Good Game tonight.

Congratulations on the impending arrival of a new little one. Your little girl is beautiful I saw her one night when your family was all at a game. Being a Parent is so special and I am sure you great at it. Take care and hope the rest of the season is successful for you.

You know I love watching my gaints, I have for years, I was so excited my son got me tickets for June 19 ,of this year, I screamed, I watched, before the game , I watched some of the practices,I seen panda,bumgarner, vogelsong, in a booth out front, I turned 62 on aug. first , I got to wach bumgarner win that game , I bought a ball hoping to get it signed, by you & bumgarner , it was the best day I got to go to a real game, the gaints do so much for kids, I wish I was a kid because, maybe i could have got my ball signed, I was so excited, to be there, I watch you guys so focused,on your job, but it does not look like a job, because even when tho it been a rough season, you guys ARE CHAMPIONS, and Brandon I have been proud to watch you, you guys are awesome, fran your fan

Congrats on the new baby.

you make us feel part of the team; if I lived closer, I would go to many more games just for the fan fun nights. have learned so much this year, watching a season unravel, watching each player pick up the pieces and play again the next day. thanks for making each game worth watching, whatever the score. and congratulations on a new joy heading your way.

Congratulations on the new baby! After being a fan for 55 years, since I was 10, I never “throw in the towel” for my Giants!

Thank you so much for letting us share your news about the new baby! I am a Giants fan for life now.

That’s so exciting for you and your family! Congratulations on the new addition to your family!! Win or lose, your true fans are right behind ya, til the end!! Finish strong :)

Great job o 19 to 3 wish it was earlier I the season the champions ruler, even on a hard day

In the season u are champions , you rule even on a hard day, keep up the good work!

Great games this weekend! You all were spot on against the Dodgers. Way to go. We knew that you all still had it in you . Congrats on the new baby. You three make such a beautiful family soon Braylynne will have a playmate. Next time you see Wilson tell him to get rid of the ponytail on his bierd. It’s a little too Hollywood ! lOL

Fun insider’s post! Congratulations on your upcoming new arrival!! I know your heart just melts when Braylyn says your “name.” Get ready for double the sweetness!

Hi Brandon~ First of all, thanks to you and Brandon B. for this blog. I love reading your professional as well as personal perspectives. Secondly, congrats to you and Jaylynne on the upcoming new member of your family. I have two girls, and was blessed 3 months ago with a new granddaughter, so I understand your feelings about baby girls.
We took my 79 year old mother to the game last night for her birthday (Sept. 25 vs. Dodgers). She had such a great time, and even though the Giants aren’t in the playoffs, there was so much positive energy and love for the Giants in the park. We will be counting the months until next season. Until then, enjoy the off season, and God bless you and your family.

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