Crawford achieves Rays milestone
Outfielder first in club history with multiple All-Star selections
SAN FRANCISCO -- As a young franchise, there are going to be a lot of firsts for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
They recently had another first, and that was a player chosen as a repeat All-Star selection.
Devil Rays outfielder Carl Crawford was on the American League team in 2004 and he joins the squad again in San Francisco for the 2007 version of the Midsummer Classic.
"That's a big deal; I wanted to be the first to do that. It's a great accomplishment." Crawford said of being the first repeat Devil Ray. "It definitely feels good to come back again, this is always a fun time."
Crawford said he didn't expect to make this year's AL team and he would have been "disappointed, but not surprised" had he not made it.
But he did make it, and he can now be referred to as a two-time All-Star, which he says is no easy task.
"It's not easy at all," he said. "You have to make a conscious effort to do so. You have to keep coming to the ballpark and working hard.
"Making it for the second time means that my hard work has been paying off and I have been putting up solid enough numbers to get here."
Not only does Crawford like being at the All-Star Game, but he likes the sound his name has when coupled with the words All-Star.
"It has a nice ring to it," he said laughingly. "I'm always going to like that."
This might not be new to him, being at an All-Star game, but he will be doing something for the first time in his career and that will be playing at San Francisco's AT&T Park.
"I'm kind of anxious to get out there and see how nice it is," Crawford said.
He knows, with a big alley in right-center field, that this is a good park for triples and if he hits a ball in that part of the ballpark, just expect to see a blur running around the bases.
"I'm just going to run as fast as I can," Crawford said.
Crawford is a dynamic player who can make a difference in many aspects of the game, especially with his speed. He has 186 stolen bases and 58 triples in the last three and a half seasons as well as popping 50 home runs. This year, he is hitting .285 with 23 steals and eight triples, and is looking to make a difference in the game in any way possible.
"I am going to be ready to jump out there and contribute in any kind of way, especially coming off the bench," Crawford said. "It might be as a defensive replacement or to go in and steal a bag."
Matt Smith is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.