Before Brandon Crawford starred at UCLA, and before he became a two-time World Series champion with the Giants, he was an accomplished two-sport high school athlete. While he ultimately opted for baseball -- which clearly seems to have been the right decision -- Crawford also had a talent for slinging the pigskin, playing quarterback for Foothill High School in Pleasanton, Calif.
Apparently, he can still sling it, too. Crawford and Giants manager Gabe Kapler recently played a game of catch, which resulted in Kapler sustaining a torn ligament in his finger. Crawford touched on that unfortunate occurrence on the most recent episode of the "Giants Talk" podcast, when he was asked who he would prefer to see open in the end zone: Kapler, first baseman Brandon Belt or former Giants pitcher Jeff Samardzija?
"Jeff Samardzija," Crawford answered. "Definitely has the best track record on the football field, for sure. And then, I think you guys have heard now at this point, I tore a ligament in Kap's finger just playing catch with him one day, so he's out. And then Belt, I can't see how Belt would have gotten open in the end zone to begin with. So, I'll go with Samardzija."
A wise choice. Just as Crawford was a two-sport star, so was Samardzija, who was a standout wide receiver at Notre Dame and surely could have played in the NFL. Both ultimately chose baseball, and the Giants are grateful for it.
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As for Kapler's injury, Crawford was asked if he rubbed any additional salt in his manager's wound.
"No, when he wasn't able to straighten his finger, I felt like that was good enough, that was razzing enough," Crawford chuckled. "I mean, it was literally just, like, playing catch. We weren't running routes or anything. Nobody was guarding him."
How kind of Crawford. Though, given how stupendous his renaissance season has been thus far, it would be tough for Kapler to hold a grudge.