Willie Crawford (September 7, 1946 - August 27, 2004) was a Major League Baseball outfielder who played with Los Angeles Dodgers (1964-75), St. Louis Cardinals (1976), Houston Astros (1977) and Oakland Athletics (1977). Crawford was born in Los Angeles, California. He batted and threw left-handed.
Crawford was a popular Dodger player by twelve seasons. Defensively, he was a gem. He played shallow to cut down bloopers and had a strong arm. Also, he got a good jump on the ball and used his full speed to track down deep flies. Offensively, he was a line-drive hitter, a consistent basepath threat, and an opportune hitter in clutch situations.
Crawford debuted on September 16, 1964 at the age of 17. As a rookie, he batted .312 (5-for-16) with three runs, one double, and stole a base. He had a pinch-hit single at age 19 in Game 1 of the 1965 World Series, when the Dodgers beat the Minnesota Twins.
On April 7, 1970, Reds pitcher Gary Nolan defeated the Dodgers, 4-0, on a 2-hitter. Both hits were batted by Crawford, in the 4th and 9th innings. In his best season, 1973, he hit .295, with 14 homers and 91 RBI in 145 games. Then, in 1974, he hit .333 and belted a home run against Oakland in the World Series.
Crawford played for the Dodgers through the end of the 1975 season, compiling numbers of .268, 71, 395, in a total of 989 games. He was traded to St. Louis in March 1976. He hit .304 in 120 games for the Cardinals with nine home runs and 50 RBI. He was traded again after the 1976 season. This time, the Cardinals sent Crawford to the San Francisco Giants. He never played for the Giants, being traded to Houston in March 1977. He played 42 games for the Astros and 59 games for Oakland in that season, his last in the major leagues.
Crawford finished his 14-year career, appearing in 1,210 games and hitting .268 with 86 home runs and 419 RBI. His career numbers include 507 runs, 152 doubles, 35 triples, 47 stolen bases, and 431 walks for a .329 on base percentage.
At age 57, Willie Crawford died at his home in Los Angeles and was interred in the Forest Lawn - Hollywood Hills Cemetery.