Q&a -- Terry Crowley

March 19, 2007|By ROCH KUBATKO

Terry Crowley is entering his 21st season as a hitting coach, including two stints with the Orioles, but many fans remember him as one of baseball's best pinch hitters during his playing days.

Who gave you the nickname King of Swing? -- That came from the back of the bus one day from Ken Singleton. He was singing a song and trying to find words that rhymed. He was rhyming the whole deal. And he said something like, "Weaver said to Crowley, get up and do your thing. You are the King of Swing." Something like that. And it just stuck. I've got to give that to Ken Singleton. That was a long, long time ago.

What qualities make for a good pinch hitter? -- First off, I believe you need to be a pretty darned good hitter. And secondly, you have to want to be up in that spot. You have to look forward to tight situations, pressure-filled situations. And you have to be able to respond on short notice.

Why were you so fond of Kirby Puckett? -- There were a handful of players who brought as much energy to a clubhouse as Kirby. ... On occasion, in Minnesota, we used to play 11 o'clock games. Puckett would have two or three RBIs before the other team even knew the game was on.

Should Pete Rose be in the Hall of Fame? -- He was one of the best ballplayers I've ever been around. He was a winner. And his statistics, we all know, are Hall of Fame. So from a personal standpoint, I have him in the Hall of Fame.

Any young hitters in camp this spring catch your eye? -- Jon Knott's looked pretty good, and Jason Dubois looks good, and Mike Cervenak. Adam Donachie came in looking a little rough, like an inexperienced player. But with a little coaching, he seems to have taken a major step forward ... Luis Hernandez caught my eye. I gave him a little work in the tunnel one day. It wasn't an overhaul, but it was the way he should approach hitting. He found me the next day and asked if we could do it again, and he got a little better. A day later, he came to me and said, "Coach Crowley, that thing you told me works." I said, "Thank you, son." It was his way of complimenting me. It put a smile on my face, but it also made me feel good that you can communicate and reach a young player.

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