HOUSTON - When one of the best pitchers in the majors faced off against one of the hottest hitters, Brandon Crawford didn't just come away with Thanksgiving bragging rights. He also got a cool gift from a family member.
Crawford took Gerrit Cole deep on Tuesday night, and afterward his brother-in-law sent over a pair of signed cleats. Cole is married to Brandon's sister, Amy.
"I signed the pair of cleats that I pitched in tonight and I wrote (Duane) Kuiper's call ‘outta here' on the one and then (Jon) Miller's ‘adios pelota' on the other one and I sent it over," Cole told reporters after his win. "I'm trying to have a little fun with it."
Cole, then with Pittsburgh, faced the Pirates in his big league debut and broke Crawford's bat with a pitch. Crawford signed it and took it to him at dinner. The two still get together after their matchups, and Jalynne Crawford - Brandon's wife - posted photos on Instagram of Gerrit posing with Brandon and his children. The Crawfords wore shirts to the game that showed a baseball diamond and the message "my heart is on the field." Where the pitcher's mound is, there was a tag for "Uncle Gerrit," and another one over shortstop that read "Daddy."
Amy appeared uncomfortable when Brandon homered, and their father sat alongside her recording the whole thing with her cell phone. On Twitter, Amy recounted the postgame conversation.
"That was my favorite home run I've ever given up," Gerrit said, according to Amy.
"That was my least favorite home run I've ever hit," Brandon responded.