What began as a weekend rumored buzz became a reality Sunday afternoon when Okeechobee native and OHS alum Kutter Crawford got the call he has been waiting his entire life for when the Boston Red Sox promoted him to the major league club to start against the Cleveland Indians.
In a nationally televised game on TBS, the start didn’t go the way Crawford had hoped. Crawford gave up 5 runs in two-plus innings of work. Kutter struck out 2.
But this day was way more than just numbers. Crawford becomes just the 2nd Brahman alumni to make an appearance in a Major League game. Gene Harris, a 1982 OHS grad pitched in the majors in parts of six seasons from 1989 to 1995 for the Montreal Expos, Seattle Mariners, San Diego Padres, Detroit Tigers, Philadelphia Phillies and Baltimore Orioles.
Crawford is a 2014 Okeechobee grad and pitched two seasons at IRSC before transferring to Florida Golf Coast University for his junior season. Crawford’s 99 strike outs that season rank third behind Boston teammate Chris Sale who owns the top two spots.
In 4 combined minor league seasons, Crawford owns a 17-20 record with a very good 3.56 Earned Run Average. Crawford is known for pounding the strike zone and not giving up walks. His career numbers before Sunday are 362 strikeouts in 308.2 innings pitched.
Crawford required Tommy John surgery on his elbow following the 2019 season and would have missed the 2020 season even had the minor leagues not shut down due to Covid.
Crawford began the 2020 season in Double-A Portand before being promoted to Triple-A Worcestor mid season. For the season Crawford struck out 103 batters while only walking 13. He did that in just over 75 innings pitched.
Friends and family made the trip to Boston to attend the game including his mother and father, high school coaches, FGCU coaches and players and family friends.
When the WOKC Facebook page posted the announcement that Crawford would be making his MLB debut, there were over 400 reactions, over 450 shares and nearly one hundred comments in less than 4 hours. To say that that the community is excited and proud is an understatement.