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Willie Crawford

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Willie Murphy Crawford

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Crawford signing his pro contract

Willie Crawford was an underrated outfielder with the Los Angeles Dodgers for many seasons. He was often a platoon player with Manny Mota in left field or Joe Ferguson in right field (Ferguson was primarily a catcher, but would also play right field). He played on Pennant-winning teams in 1965, 1966, and 1974. He got a hit in the 1965 World Series at age 19, after making his major league debut for the Dodgers the previous year barely a week after turning 18.

Although Crawford played on the 1964 and 1965 Dodger teams, he did not get 300 at-bats in one season until 1969, and did not have 400 at-bats in one season until 1973. He hit over .300 in 1976, the second-to-last season of his career, when he was with the St. Louis Cardinals after 12 seasons in Los Angeles.

His lifetime batting average of .268 looks modest, but since he mostly played in a pitcher's park during the second dead-ball era, his Adjusted OPS is a very good 115. He has a higher Adjusted OPS than most of the players deemed similar to him by the similarity scores method. Perhaps the most similar player is really Steve Henderson, one of the ten most similar players who has an Adjusted OPS of 113.

Crawford's cousin Curtis Rowe [1], played for the Detroit Pistons and Boston Celtics.

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