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Tim Crabtree Autographs, Memorabilia & Collectibles

Born: October 13, 1969 in Jackson, Michigan
Biography | show moreshow less
Tim Crabtree
This article was written by Chip Mundy and is presented in part, courtesy of the Society for American Baseball Research

As a senior in high school, Tim Crabtree had planned the first portion of his adult life. Or so he thought. After graduating from Grass Lake (Michigan) High School in 1988, Crabtree was going to enter the Marines to prepare for a career in law enforcement. He had always envisioned himself in uniform and wanted to follow in the footsteps of his father, Don, a police officer. But there was unfinished business.

The Grass Lake Warriors baseball team was in the state playoffs, and Crabtree was its strong-armed catcher. He was a solid player but not the star of the team. The most decorated players on the team were all-state infielder David Shafer and honorable mention all-state outfielder Chad Craddock. The team was loaded, and Crabtree was a perfect fit behind the plate. And his strong throwing arm was something to be seen. The trouble was, the college baseball scouts were not hanging around the tiny Class C-D Cascades Conference schools in Jackson County to see it.

Grass Lake was playing in the Class D state tournament – the class for the smallest high schools in Michigan – and won its quarterfinal game to earn a berth in the state semifinals in East Lansing, the home of Michigan State University. There, nearly in the shadows of the university, scouts noticed the big arm of the catcher from the little school. They had more than one opportunity to see him, as Grass Lake won the state semifinal to earn a spot in the Class D title game. The Warriors went on to win the championship game, and Michigan State coaches Tom Smith and Rob Ellis, acting after a Philadelphia Phillies scout tipped them off, were impressed enough to offer a scholarship to Crabtree.

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