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Friday, March 5, 2021

Rusty Crockett got hit off Clemens, played six seasons

Rusty Crockett 1990 Charlotte Knights card

Rusty Crockett played well enough at the University of Texas to be taken late in the 1988 draft by the Cubs. 

Coming out of college, though, Crockett pointed to a career highlight that came not in an official game, but in an exhibition contest, according to The Oklahoman.

"Getting a hit off of the Boston Red Sox' Roger Clemens in the 1988 Texas alumni game," Crockett told The Oklahoman of his highlight.

Crockett went on to a pro career that lasted six seasons. He never got the opportunity to face Clemens or any other major league pitcher in the bigs. He topped out at AA.

Crockett's career began that year in 1988, taken by the Cubs in the 46th round of the draft out of Texas.

At Texas in May 1987, Crockett put down a successful suicide squeeze bunt with the bases loaded, touching off a six-run rally, according to The Austin American-Statesman.

"I knew I had to get it down or someone was going to get a chewing," Crockett told The American-Statesman afterward.

Crockett started with the Cubs at single-A Peoria. He hit .242 over 63 games. He then moved to single-A Winston-Salem for 1989, then AA Charlotte for 1990. He hit .243 at Charlotte over 133 games.

That July in 1990, The Charlotte Observer featured Crockett for his tendency to get hit by pitches. By that point, he'd been hit by pitches 24 times.

"He's just a tough, gutty little guy," Charlotte manager Tommy Helms told The Observer then. "They got that on-base percentage now, and that's just like adding 24 hits to your average."

Crockett continued at AA with the Cubs over the next three seasons, 1991 and 1992 at Charlotte and 1993 at Orlando. He saw 33 games at Orlando in 1993 and hit .204 to end his career.

Rusty Crockett 1990 Charlotte Knights card

1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured:3,593
Made the Majors:1,244-34.6%
Never Made Majors:2,349-65.4%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:517
10+ Seasons in the Minors:305

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