Brandon Crawford

San Francisco Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford (35) doubles in the fourth inning as the Arizona Diamondbacks face the San Francisco Giants on opening day at AT&T Park in San Francisco, Calif., on Monday, April 10, 2017.

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Brandon Michael Crawford (born January 21, 1987) is an American professional baseball player for the San Francisco Giants in Major League Baseball (MLB). He was the sixth player in MLB history to hit a grand slam in his first Major League game, and is also the first shortstop to hit a grand slam in a Major League Baseball postseason game. Crawford played college baseball for the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he was twice named the team’s Most Valuable Player

Early life
Crawford is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area, and grew up in Pleasanton. He was born in Mountain View, and his family lived in Menlo Park before they moved to Pleasanton when he was in elementary school. He grew up a Giants fan, and his family purchased season tickets and a commemorative brick in Willie Mays Plaza outside AT&T Park when the ballpark opened in 2000. Crawford attended Foothill High School in Pleasanton; where he was a three-sport athlete playing football, basketball, and baseball. He was the starting quarterback for the Foothill Falcons and graduated in the class of 2005

College career
Crawford attended UCLA, where he was a physiological sciences major. He played baseball for the UCLA Bruins from 2006 to 2008, where he helped lead the team to the NCAA Regionals in three consecutive seasons,[1] the first time in school history. Crawford was named the team’s MVP in 2006 and 2007, and he was named to the All-Pac-10 conference team in 2007.

He helped lead the United States national team to the title in the 2006 International University Sports Federation (FISU) World Championship.

Professional career
Draft and minor leagues
Crawford was selected in the fourth round (117th overall) of the 2008 Major League Baseball Draft by the Giants. Crawford started his first full season as a professional with the Class-A Advanced San Jose Giants in 2009. In 25 games, he hit .371 with six home runs and 17 RBIs, good enough for a slugging percentage of .600 and 1.045 OPS. In May, Crawford was promoted to the Double-A Connecticut Defenders, where he spent the rest of the season, batting .258 with four home runs in 108 games.

In 2010, Crawford opened the season in Double-A (now with the Richmond Flying Squirrels) and earned an Eastern League All-Star nod, batting .241 in 79 games before suffering a broken hand in early July, which sidelined Crawford for nearly two months. When he recovered, he was assigned back to San Jose for the remainder of the season. He was ranked the sixth best prospect in the Giants’ organization by Baseball America heading into 2011.

San Francisco Giants
2011
In 2011, Crawford was invited to Spring Training but was set back by a broken finger suffered in the final week, and started the season in San Jose while he recovered. He was called up to the majors for the first time on May 26, 2011, following injuries to Buster Posey, Mike Fontenot, and Darren Ford.

Crawford made his MLB debut on May 27 against the Milwaukee Brewers. His first big league hit came in his third at bat of the game and was a grand slam off the Brewers’ Shaun Marcum. He joined Bobby Bonds and Brian Dallimore as the only Giants whose first career Major League hit was a grand slam; he also became the sixth player in MLB history and the second player in Giants history along with Bobby Bonds to hit a grand slam in his first game. On July 31, he was optioned to the Giants’ Triple-A affiliate, the Fresno Grizzlies, after the Giants acquired shortstop Orlando Cabrera. The Giants were 23–18 with Crawford as a starter, but he was only hitting .190. Crawford was recalled in September when MLB rosters expanded to 40 players.

2012
In 2012, Crawford was named the team’s opening day shortstop, in which he batted 8th in the lineup. He batted .248 with four home runs, 26 doubles, and 45 RBI in 143 games. On July 20, Crawford hit his second career grand slam and drove in 5 runs as the Giants defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 7–2.[16] Crawford was praised for his defense during the 2012 postseason, which culminated in a 4–0 sweep of the Detroit Tigers in the 2012 World Series. Crawford ranked third among NL shortstops in Defensive Runs Saved at +12, and was recognized with the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award at shortstop.

2013
Crawford was the starting shortstop for 2013, with Joaquín Árias as his backup. He hit best in April, when he went .272/.346/.511 with 5 HR and 14 RBI. In 149 games on the year, he hit .248/.311/.363 with 9 HR and 43 RBI.

2014
In 153 games, Crawford batted .246 and set career highs with ten home runs and 69 RBIs. In the 2014 postseason, Crawford led all Giants with 9 RBIs. In the 4th inning of the NL Wild Card Game between the Giants and Pittsburgh Pirates, Crawford hit a grand slam off of Edinson Volquez, becoming the first shortstop to hit a grand slam in Major League Baseball postseason history.[19][20] Crawford batted .304 (7-for-23) with 4 RBIs in the 2014 World Series, en route to his second championship with the Giants. In Game 7, Crawford drove in the second run for the Giants with a sacrifice fly and, along with second baseman Joe Panik, turned a critical double-play in the third inning.

2015
On January 27, 2015, the Giants and Crawford avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $3.175 million deal. On May 16, Crawford hit his third career grand slam (fourth including the postseason) and drove in a career-high six runs against Mike Leake of the Cincinnati Reds.[23] In May, Crawford led the team in RBIs,[24] and on July 1, Crawford set a new career-high with his 11th home run of the season. On July 6, Crawford was voted by his fellow Major League players as a reserve for the 2015 MLB All-Star Game.

On August 14 at AT&T Park, in a 8-5 win over the Washington Nationals, Crawford hit his 100th career double.

On September 24 at Petco Park, Crawford hit his twentieth home run of the season off of Ian Kennedy, making him the sixth Giants shortstop in franchise history to reach the milestone.

Personal life
Crawford married former UCLA gymnast Jalynne Dantzscher in Kona, Hawaii on November 26, 2011. They have two daughters. Crawford is the brother-in-law of Olympic gymnast Jamie Dantzscher. Crawford’s sister Amy is engaged to Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole.