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Crawford appreciated fans chanting his name, hopes it's not goodbye



When Rays leftfielder Carl Crawford came up to bat in the eighth inning of Thursday's loss, fans at Tropicana Field seemed to realize that it could very well be the final home game the four-time All-Star plays for Tampa Bay.


The crowd rose to its feet as Crawford stepped to the plate. And after he grounded out on the first pitch, and later headed into the outfield for the ninth inning, the fans chanted his name, "Carl Crawford! Carl Crawford!" Crawford, a free agent after the season, appreciated the fans gesture, and hopes it wasn't a goodbye.

"Today was really special," he said. "It was nice for the fans to give me that and I appreciated it. If I knew they were going to be saying, 'Thank you' I probably would have tried to have a better at-bat. I hope my last at bat wouldn't be a ground ball to second base....I hope it's not my last game, so I didn't want to think about that. Hopefully we win those two games (in Texas) and come back."

Crawford had said that the regular-season finale against the Orioles was the first time he had ever heard the Tropicana Field chant his name during his nine year career. And when Crawford heard them do it again Thursday as he took the field for the ninth, he took notice.

"Normally, there'd be a few people saying your name a little bit, and they'd stop," Crawford said. "But they kept going, and I was like, 'Oh, okay.' I try not to show too much emotion when I'm out there, but it was a little tough right there."

When asked what it meant to him, Crawford said this:

"It just means they appreciate my hard work and I appreciate them being at the games," Crawford said. "It's a mutual feeling we have for each other. It was a special moment for me and I was glad I was able to share it with the Tampa Bay fans. Hopefully this is not the last game."

[Last modified: Saturday, November 6, 2010 12:15am]


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