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Brandon Crawford arguably has no comparison in shortstop position when professional baseball is mentioned. He is an American athlete who plays for the San Francisco Giants of Major League Baseball (MLB) since his draft in 2011.
His performance in his MLB career has been punctuated by phenomenal milestones including three consecutive Rawlings Gold Glove Awards (2015-2017), two Wilson Defensive Player awards, scoring the highest number of hits (seven) in one game in Giants franchise history and he was a part of Giants two remarkable World Series victories.
Highly regarded as one of the best shortstops in the history of MLB, his credentials also include being the sixth player in MLB history to hit a grand slam in his first Major League game as well as the first shortstop to hit a grand slam in an MLB postseason game.
Aside from making his big league debut in 2011, he also exchanged marital vows with his college sweetheart, Jalynne the same year.
Brandon Crawford’s Bio
Brandon Michael Crawford is a San Francisco native, born on January 21, 1987, in Mountain View but grew up in Pleasanton after his family moved from Menlo Park while he was in elementary school.
He loved baseball when he was growing up and was a huge fan of San Francisco Giants, where he would play his big league career. Brandon was a three-sport athlete in Foothill High School, Pleasanton from where he graduated from in 2005. He played football, basketball, and of course, baseball and was the starting quarterback for the Foothill Falcons. Prior to college, he played in the Northwoods League for the amateur baseball team, Mankato Moondogs in the summer of 2005.
However, when the time for college came, he chose baseball over the other sports. He majored in physiological sciences in the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and played for the UCLA Bruins from 2006 to 2008 where he was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) twice. During his time in the team, he helped them break the school record by leading them to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Regionals in three consecutive seasons.
Between 2006 and 2007, Brandon Crawford was named the team’s MVP for the two seasons, as well as to the All-Pac-10 conference team in 2007. He was among the national team that led the United States to the title in the 2006 International University Sports Federation (FISU) World Championship. While in college, he played for the collegiate summer baseball team Orleans Firebirds of the Cape Cod Baseball League in 2007.
He was selected by the San Francisco Giants in the fourth round, 117th overall of the 2008 League Baseball draft. Following his draft, he played with minor league teams such as the Class-A Advanced San Jose Giants, Double-A Connecticut Defenders, and Double-A Richmond Flying Squirrels and there he earned an Eastern League All-Star nod. Going into the 2011 season, Brandon was the sixth best prospect in the Giants’ organization.
He made his big league debut on May 27, 2011, against the Milwaukee Brewers after he was called up the previous day, and would hit his grand slam in the third at-bat of the game making him the sixth player in MLB history to hit a grand slam in his first game. It also placed him in the ranks of fellow Giants Bobby Bonds and Brian Dallimore whose first career big league hit was a grand slam.
Brandon hit his second career grand slam and drove in 5 runs to secure the Giants victory over Philadelphia Phillies on July 20, 2012. He also helped his team to a title in the 2012 World Series in a 4-0 victory against the Detroit Tigers. In addition, his shortstop prowess placed him third among National League (NL) shortstops in Defensive Runs Saved at +12 and he was awarded the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award at shortstop.
He continued with his standout performances in the ensuing years hitting his third career and first postseason grand slam off of Edinson Vólquez, becoming the first shortstop to hit a grand slam in Major League Baseball postseason history in 2014. His fourth grand slam came in 2015.
In 2015, he reached various career highs and won several awards including a career-high six runs against Mike Leake of the Cincinnati Reds, named an MLB All-Star, batted .256 with 21 home runs, 84 RBIs, 33 doubles, and 130 hits, was the first Giants’ shortstop to lead the team in home runs since Bill Dahlen in 1905 as well as won his first Rawlings Gold Glove Award and Silver Slugger Award, the first Giants to win the both in same year since 1997.
Brandon agreed to an extension of his contract with the Giants through 2021 after the 2015 season on a $75 million deal. He increased his batting average to a career-best .275 in 155 games played in 2016 and was an honoree of the Willie Mac Award alongside his teammate Javier López. His second and third Gold Glove Awards came after the 2016 and 2017 seasons consecutively.
Widely considered as one of the best shortstops in the League, he became the first Giants player since 1991 to hit a walk-off solo home run to win a 1–0 game in 2018. The game was against the Colorado Rockies. Batting .300 with ten home runs and 39 RBIs, he was named the starting shortstop for the 2018 MLB All-Star Game.
Family – Sister
Talk about the Giants shortstop close-knit society, he was born into a family of 6 and he also has a family of the same number. He was the first of the four children and the only son born to Michael and Lynn Crawford alongside his sisters: Amy, Jenna, and Kaitlin Crawford.
Brandon Crawford grew up knowing that he wanted to play ball, and baseball was it for him. He became a huge Giants fan and his parents who were Giants season ticket holders regularly took him and his younger sisters to fan-related events. His folks also contributed funds to help build the AT&T Park which opened in 2000 and has all their names engraved on one of the stadium’s brick tiles.
Of all Brandon’s sisters, Amy is the most famous perhaps because she is married to Houston Astros pitcher, Gerrit Cole since November 12, 2016. She was born on January 10, 1989, and was an athlete at UCLA where she met Cole and graduated with a BA in sociology and social science in 2011. She played softball both in her high school and college teams and helped the Lady Bruins (UCLA) to a national championship in 2010.
Wife – Jalynne Dantzscher, Kids
2011 was a watermark year for Brandon Crawford. It was not only his MLB debut year, he also tied the knot with his college sweetheart, Jalynne Dantzscher, the younger sister of the Olympic gymnast, Jamie Dantzscher. The duo met in UCLA as freshers during a freshman orientation for athletes in 2005.
Jalynne was born alongside her identical twin sister, Janelle Leopoldo on December 26, 1987, in Lancaster, California. She was a competitive gymnast at UCLA before moving to Pepperdine University. The couple got married in Kona, Hawaii on November 26, 2011.
They are parents to four children: two girls, Braylyn Ann (born December 18, 2012), Jaydyn April (born March 8, 2014) and two boys, Braxton born in 2016 and Bryson Ryder born in June 2018.
Jalynne is active on social media and has over 20k followers on Twitter and more than 40k on Instagram where she indulges her followers with interesting pictures and updates on her lovely family.