George Daniel Crowe (March 22, 1921 – January 18, 2011) was a Major League first baseman. He attended Franklin High School in Franklin, Indiana, graduated from Indiana Central College, now the University of Indianapolis, in 1943 and played baseball and basketball. He was the first Indiana "Mr. Basketball". He was a first baseman with a nine-year career from 1952–1953, 1955–1961 and played for the Boston Braves, Milwaukee Braves, Cincinnati Redlegs and St. Louis Cardinals (all of the National League). Crowe hit 31 home runs in 1957, filling in most of the season for the injured Ted Kluszewski.
Crowe also played with the Negro National League's (Rochester) New York Black Yankees in 1948, and played professional basketball for the barnstorming New York Renaissance Big Five (aka "Rens"). In 1947 Crowe played basketball for the integrated Los Angeles Red Devils, a team that also included future Brooklyn Dodger Jackie Robinson.
He was elected to the National League All-Star team in 1958, although Crowe was not used in the All-Star Game. Coincidentally, the year before, fans of his team — the Cincinnati Redlegs (as the Reds were called at the time) — had been involved in a ballot stuffing campaign to put all of the team's regulars in the starting lineup. Ed Bailey, Johnny Temple, Roy McMillan, Don Hoak, Frank Robinson, Gus Bell and Wally Post had been "voted" into the lineup, but Crowe was beaten out in the final vote tally by future Cardinal teammate Stan Musial. Crowe set a record (later broken by Jerry Lynch and subsequently by Cliff Johnson) for most pinch-hit home runs in major league baseball history with 14.
He was the younger brother of Ray Crowe, who was the head coach of the Crispus Attucks High School teams that won two consecutive State titles in 1954-55 and 1955–56, led by Oscar Robertson.
- ^ Baseball Reference
- ^ "Standout athlete persevered while facing prejudice". Daily Journal. January 21, 2011. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
- ^ "Crowe: A determined man who didn’t like talking about himself". Daily Journal. January 21, 2011. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
- ^ http://www.hoopshall.com/hall-of-fame/george-crowe/?query=misc3.eq.INDIANA%20CENTRAL%20COLLEGE&xsearch_id=HallofFame_College&xsearch=INDIANA%20CENTRAL%20COLLEGE&back=HallofFame
- ^ "Crowe’s life spanned racial change". Daily Journal. January 26, 2011. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
By Dean Hanley
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