Even as a Player, Still a Fan — Brandon Crawford

     With the All-Star Game tonight, I was thinking about how I watched it as a kid. I was a huge Giants fan, but also a baseball fan in general. I liked seeing the players line up before the game because back then, before Twitter and MLB network, I didnt necessarily know who had made the team.

I was one of those kids who collected all the playerscards. Im sure theyre all still at my parents’ house. My dad has plenty of cards and memorabilia that he hasnt thrown away, so Im sure he hasnt thrown away mine. He collected cards from football, baseball, some basketball. He has a boxing glove signed by Muhammad Ali, a Joe Montana football, a lot of cool stuff he got signed at card shows.

That was a big thing for us, the card shows. Id go with my dad even when I was really young. My dad tells the story of Gaylord Perry holding me as a toddler while my dad took a picture.

Its kind of funny now going to those cards shows and being one of the people who are signing. The shows are a lot different now. My dad said hed sit there and talk to a guy for a while because nobody else would be around. Now theres so much security. They put us in the chairs and tell people no pictures except while were signing. They want to get as many people through as possible.

I hope people know its not the players refusing to take photos or take time to chat. Its the people holding the event wanting it to move quickly. So its changed a bit since I was going to the shows with my dad. But its so cool just to be there and sign stuff for people who want my autograph. Its cool to think my card might be in a kids binder or box.

For me, its still kind of amazing seeing Will Clark here in the clubhouse so often, and hitting with Barry Bonds in spring training, and seeing Willie Mays almost every day. I was able to get Mays to sign my dads copy of Sports Illustrated from 1970 with Mays on the cover for getting his 3,000th hit. And my dad got to sit with Willie McCovey for a few innings in spring training this year. He doesnt get real excited about things, but he seemed pretty excited about that.

Thinking about the cards, I remember reading Sports Illustrated for Kids in elementary school. Every issue had nine cardboard cards that you tore out of the magazine. I collected those like I collected every other card. Theyd have athletes from other sports — swimmers, basketball players, gymnasts. Years and years later, I was talking with Jalynne and she mentioned the name of a gymnast she knew through her sister (who was an Olympic gymnast). The name sounded familiar to me. Then I remembered.

I think I have her card!’’

          I’m sure I’ll watch the All-Star game tonight because I know we’ll be home. Other than visiting my grandparents in Lincoln (near Sacramento), we’re just hanging out and relaxing during the break. I didn’t watch the home run derby last night. What’s the point if Bum’s not in it? Jalynne leaves tomorrow for LA so she’ll be with her parents during our road trip. The team leaves for Miami Thursday morning.

See you at the park when we return. Thanks for reading.

    IMG_1174Here’s a photo someone took during Family Day at the park a few weeks ago.

 

41 Comments

Dude. You are the best! Thank you.

Many blessings to you and your family Brandon! We are very happy to have you here as part of our huge Giants Family. Hopefully it’s been fun especially with the World Series and the Parade. Great start to hopefully a illustrious career. Pretty cool your Dad got to sit by McCovey. I hope to run into him one day at his restaurant in Walnut Creek since I hear he goes there often. And thank you for taking the time to do autograph shows. I actually got you to sign at the game and that is even more special because as a kid I had a very hard time getting autographs from the Old Candlestick games. AT&T is way more friendly and fun. I have a Jersey signed by you, Belt, Romo, Javy, Hunter, Affeldt, and Machi. It is my prized posession and I plan to be buried in it. Lol! Much Love to you and looking forward to the second half. If you happen to see a jersey saying “Mr. Carter” on it that would be me.

I loved collecting baseball cards as a kid also. My prized item was a Ken Griffey Jr. rookie card. Was there one card you liked best in your collection?

Love the picture. Nice to see you as a family man, not just as a baseball player.

i remember my brother collecting baseball cards and got me interested in them as well We also used them as currency when playing “store” Great photo Great rest of the season i hope🙂

Thanks so much for taking your precious time out of your break to keep us informed of your feelings and especially to include the darling pic!
I especially loved that you remember so well what a child feels when he meets one of his heros. You were lucky that Dad was so enthusiastic, and that you still have the cards. I was able to get Hector Sanchez autograph (I am no kid!) on my scorecard from Timmy’s no hitter last month. What a thrill for me. It just means so much to fans. Please remind other players that those things are what keep us coming back to the Park.
Sunday’s game with the battery hitting Grand Slams was truly incredible! Now if I could get Buster and MadBum to sign that score card I would die a happy lady!

Love the picture! I think you are very neat. You do everything with great joy. I really like watching you play and think it is so neat that you are playing around the Giants’ greats. Enjoy your time off.

Hello brandon, thanks for sharing, hearing from you and the other Giants makes the game more real and enjoyable and watching you all have fun and enjoy the game with all it’s ups and downs, but that’s what makes it fun, anyway thanks for taking the Time,
And as always GGGGGOOOO GGIIAANNTTSSS

I live so far away in Kentucky, but the Giants have always been my team. My grandfather in the early 1960s taught me about baseball, and players to admire, and why they were worth admiration. It would be wonderful to go to an event where you were signing cards. I’m afraid that won’t be happening for me. So, as I leave for Seminary at age fifty-six, my goal is to work at the Church of All People in San Francisco. By then you will be a superstar! You already are in my book.

The picture is adorable. I have a question: I have always remarked on your necklace. It is really nice and I was wondering if it has sentimental value or just something you found? It looks very masculine without being gaudy.

Curious fan.

I always enjoy your posts Brandon! You are my favorite Giants player. I liked hearing your insight on how you used to be on the other side of the signing table as a fan. I went to the Sports Authority event in Emeryville and you signed a card and magazine for me (my dad helped me since it was one item signed per person). Well, at the store they strictly stated no selfies, but I noticed some people got some selfies with you. I was kind of bummed about not getting one with you. I was just more nervous to be getting your autograph. I accidentaly “threw” the card at you because I was nervous. That was a little embarrasing. But thank you for taking the time to attend that event! You are such an awsome player and a good person. I love watching you showcase your defensive skills! Enjoy the rest of your break and I look foward to the team having a great 2nd half!

I don’t know who is “prettier” (no offense) you or the baby ! Lucky baby!
I am proud to be one of the many loyal Giant fans. You guys are great !

It must be surreal! I bought my daughter in law your signed baseball! Thanks for the blog!

I ove these blogs. I may be a girl but all my dad did was talk and watch baseball and football with me. Thise memories are the best. Reading this made me remember that. Thx so much. GO GIANTS. LOVE YOU GUYS

That’s a great story! My dad was the one who got me into the sport of baseball. He was a Boston fan and I was always a Giants fan🙂 My dad taught me to respect the players, no matter what. Spent many nights listening to the games…..Love to visual the game and still do. I too was an elite gymnast (a little before Jaylynn’s time). I trained in Texas with the Karolyi’s for a few summers also. My dad was one at the shows selling the cards! I have thousands of them still (including your signed rookie card). The tribute to Stand Up to Cancer gets me every time…..I lost my amazing father to pancreatic cancer 5 years ago. I will remember the countless days sitting in the cold at the stick or listening on our transistor radio. Enjoy the time with your kids. You have a beautiful family and I hope you are enjoying your time off. Go Giants!

Reading this made me so glad you’re a Giant!! You must have so many “pinch me” moments! Enjoy the break! Love that adorable picture!

Thanks for sharing your story of your dad. It reminds me of my dad, my best friend. I was supposed to be his boy, instead 4th born girl. We were all swimmers. I was taught the ins and outs of baseball by being my dad’s sidekick. He taught me to look beyond what was happening on the field, watch the managers, coaches, dugout, umpires, other players, you learn a lot that way! As an adult, we would call each other when a game was on and talk about it. I would give anything to have those talks back. My dad became very sick in his last years of life. He would spend hours a day sending out magazines and cards to get autographs.He loved getting the mail everyday! My mom still has all the stuff he collected. I want it because it meant so much to my dad, others want to sell it. All I know is I will go down fighting to get the ball my dad stole from his brother when they were little, that has Joe DiMaggio’s signature! Enjoy our family time and keep making those memories. Priceless!!!!

Beautiful picture ….. Thank you for the information too. I always wanted to know the inside of the ball players that I liked. I LOVE this…. 🙂

what an adorable pic of you and little Jaydon ( hope I got the spelling right!) Thanks for the post. I love reading them that way we get to know you guys a little. Love the image of Gaylord Perry holding you as a toddler and then you meeting him as a player. I agree about the Home Run Derby! It definitely lacked not have Bum!!!! Thanks for feeling like you needed to explain why you can’t take the time at the shows that you would like. Love you guys! I know you guys will be strong in the second half!!

Thanks for taking time to post. I like reading the B’s posts. Have a good rest.

Love, love, love the picture of you and your daughter on family day. Thanks for sharing

As always thank you for taking time to write this blog and share some of your life moments with us fans. I keep asking how to get an autograph and now I see that a card show might be another way. I’d love to have my jersey signed. I also have the all Brandon magazine and the growth chart. I didn’t get to go to the all Brandon weekend but my grandson decided he’d donate his giveaway to grandma. Not sure where to put it as yet. My daughter suggested we take down the American flag we fly in front of the house and put it there but I’m not sure that’s cool. Adorable picture of you and the new baby girl. Your long history as a Giants fan makes your playing with the Giants even more incredible. Hope you got some R and R during the break. Much as I wanted to see you guys play there, I was really happier that you got some down time. Hunter….well he wouldn’t have taken any time off anyway. Looking forward to an incredible second half.

Great story!!! I had a old boyfriend who had tons of cards and memorabilia…a lot of which was autographed! I loved it all! just so cool! It’s just so funny to think of you actually going to card shows like that..and here you one of the greatest SS’s in the bigs and now kids are collecting your cards! Thanks for sharing! And the pic is absolutely priceless!!! You can just see what a proud Dad you are! 2 more lonely nights without my Giants! Miss my team! Good luck in the second half! I BELIEVE in you guys! And I will NEVER stop believing!!!🙂

Brandon,
Thanks for sharing your experiences as a player. I write romance novels about baseball and it’s helpful to get an idea of what it’s really like. Although you’re so down to earth that it’s hard for me to write the next player in my series since he’s kind of a bad boy. Other than the position and the hair, he’s nothing like you.

As much as you deserved to be in the All-Star game, I’m glad you got to spend the time with your family.

That’s very cool you were able to get Willie Mays’ signature on the Sports Illustrated magazine. I bet your dad is excited to see and meet these iconic players, as you must be. Legends of the game. I would love to get a baseball signed by this year’s team. Is there a way to do that besides hanging out by the dugout before the game? It looks like a time when the players are already focusing on the game and don’t usually have time to break for signing baseballs for the fans. Adorable picture with your baby girl. Fatherhood looks good on you. :o)

Hey Professor! Thanks for stopping by at Sports Authority and signing my favourite jersey! I was behind that girl in line who took a bunch of selfies with you and aggravated all the SA staff. I really wanted one myself but I didn’t want to try after all that. Anyways, it’s great that you put it out there in your blog about the picture rule thing. Thanks for putting aside your time to make us fans happy! Hope to grab a proper pic with you at Fan Fest! Take care

Absolutely your card has made it into a special place in my kid’s binders. Thanks #35 and have a great 2nd half.

Great picture “Daddy”. Good luck in the second half. I love reading the blogs. Keep them coming. Go Giants!

Such an awesome pic! Thanks for sharing it with us! Go Giants!!! 🙂

Love reading these posts!! My husband and I are living in Florida now because he is in the military but were from the bay area and have always been giants fans! Were taking a 10 hour road trip this weekend to come watch the you guys play in miami!!! Hope we can get there early and get a chance to see you guys before the game! Were so excited!! Thank you for keeping up here with the fans!!! GO GIANTS!

That is is adorable. My boss’ daughter just had a baby and they are avid Giants fans- I might get her a little headband like that. It’s so cute! I’ve seen a few on Etsy. I wish there could be an “extended” autograph session where part of the deal is to spend a few minutes chatting. That would be cool. Is it weird that I’m a 29 year old girl who still gets excited about autographs and such? I feel like I approach baseball like a kid.

Thanks for sharing, as always! I loved this topic, I collected cards when I was young too (but alas my cards are probably gone…). I think it’s great that you can get your Dad experiences like spending time with Giants greats. Plus, now that Gaylord is around, you should do a repeat of that picture of Gaylord with you as a player today, and pair up the pictures for a look at the contrast, that would be cool, or better, have one with your Dad too, that would be cool too. Hope you are able to get your Dad more of these experiences, he obviously did right with you in nurturing your abilities, nice that he gets the reward like spending time with Willie Mac and other Giants greats, he must be very proud of you.

Hey Brandon, I am a long time Giants fan and a fan of yours. In addition to being a great player, you are a down to earth, family man which is highly commendable! Keep up the good work, and thanks for taking time out of your day for the blog!

You never fail to amaze me at how humble you are and what a great family man too! Thank GOD my son has people like you to look up to:) (he’s a shortstop too, but he’s 8;))

Thanks for posting! I know you hear this all the time but as a fan I truly appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts, personal stories and family photos with us. I love watching you guys plays, keep up the hard work!

Hey Craw, i wanted to say thanks for taking the time out to blog. You & Brandon, us fans know you guys dont get much off time so when you take some of that to write to us its pretty sweet. But you know, it would be sooo cool if you got Bum to pinch blog 😁 idk just a thought ? -Keianna(:

Great 11 pitch AB Friday night resulting in a HR. Time a away from any job gives you a different perspective on life and allows you to return with the cobwebs cleared. I collected cards in the 50’s mainly to get the bubble gum and if i still had them, i could probably buy the Giants. Of all the players I idolized as a youngster, including Eddie Matthews, Willie Mac was and remains my favorite. I started watching games with my dad at seals stadium and then of course candlestick, and the thing I remember most about him was his warm up swing. He would step into the box and take that tiny little bat and swing it up and over towards center field and you could just see the awesome power in it. More importantly, I remember him for his good-will off the field. Enjoy the years you have as a major leaguer and never ever forget that feeling of awe you had the first time you visited a ball park with your dad. Good luck Brandon.

Hey Brandon, I’m curious to know if you ever hear what Krup and Kuip say about you guys over their broadcasts? They are so funny and have such great side comments and I wondered if you guys ever hear their comments? It’s so hard to watch when it’s on other networks. It’s so fun to watch you guys, looks like the break was useful! Keep it up!
Katie

Thanks for sharing about your personal life. Love hearing about it! Keep up the good work, and go Giants!

Nice job tonight!!!! Go Giants!!

Brandon, All I could think of the other night into the 14th was, is this your chance to pitch… Instead you got the big hit and ended a long night. Great at bat and concentration.
I enjoy reading the blog and appreciate the extra time you, Belt and the guest writers spend on it. I imagine, especially with your sweet girls, that every moment is precious. As a fan, it means a lot that you guys put in the effort and share your lives with us.

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