I first noticed Carl Crawford at the 2001 AA All Star Game. He was playing for the Orlando Rays and looked like an overwhelmed 19 year old kid. Because that game was played in Texas, most of the locals focused on his exploits as a Houston area high school quarterback. More than one person couldn't believe he turned down a college football scholarship offer from Nebraska and a college basketball offer from UCLA.
Personally, I loved it. It is great to see such an athletic kid choose baseball over those "other" sports.
Since that time, I've enjoyed following his career as much as any non-phillie currently playing in the majors. He was the first Tampa Bay player to make the American League All Star team more than one time. Carl isn't your typical power-hitting superstar. He plays the game differently than most of his peers. Carl has already won the AL triples crown and the AL stolen base crown four times in his career. He and Ty Cobb are the only major league players to hit 100 triples and steal 400 bases before the age of 30.
Now he is wearing the uniform of the Boston Red Sox, it isn't as easy to cheer for him. But no matter what he is wearing, this kid is a special player.