Former major leaguer Willie Crawford dead at 57
September 1, 2004
(c) Houston Astros
The team said Crawford died Friday of kidney disease at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Crawford played 989 games for the Dodgers and played in the majors from 1964 to 1977, hitting .268 with 86 home runs and 419 runs batted in.
Crawford had a pinch-hit single at age 19 in Game 1 of the 1965 World Series, when the Dodgers beat the Minnesota Twins. He also hit a home run in the Dodgers' loss to Oakland in the 1974 World Series.
Born in Los Angeles, Crawford spent his first 12 big-league seasons with the Dodgers. He had his most productive year in 1973, when he hit .295 with 14 homers and 66 R.B.I.
Crawford was finished as a major league player at age 30 after spending his final two seasons with St. Louis, Houston and Oakland.
"He was big and powerful, and he could hit a ball as far as anybody," said former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda. "Boy, was he something."
Lasorda, who is now a vice president with the team, signed Crawford two days after his graduation from Fremont High School, where Crawford was a standout in baseball, football and track. Crawford won all-city honors in baseball and football and ran the 100-yard dash in 9.7 seconds. He also competed in the long jump.