Crawley, David

Inducted: 2022

Crawley, David

Louisville, Kentucky

We have all seen the bats lined up in the dugout, and when it’s our turn to hit, we go searching for the one with tape on it, or we’ve left a mark on the handle, or we wrap it with mulit-colored tape to let us know which bat is ours. When David Crawley looks for his bat, it’s a really simple process. He just picks up the one with his own signature engraved on it. That’s when you know you have “arrived” so to speak in the softball world—when you have your own signature bat.

Mr. Crawley has certainly earned his sponsorship with Adidas, signing his bat contract in 2017 for the senior circuit, and it continues today as he is playing with the dominant Adidas/Suncoast Major Plus men who are travelling all over the United States. David has won 9 Senior Major Plus championships in the last half dozen years, but it was not just the bat that helped his teammates win, it was, of course, the person swinging it.

It wasn’t always that easy for Crawley who began swinging everyone’s bat but his own as an 18-year old youngster, including sometimes his older brothers’. “I just wanted to be like them and play like they did at the many Catholic ballparks in Louisville.” He learned from them and others and his steady, yet meteoric, rise to the top of the softball class has been remarkable.

David dabbled in “A” and “B” ball for about 9 seasons with Derby City teams such as Jessie’s, Southside Sports, and Louisville Golf, then his big break came in 1991 when softball legend, Mike Glasscock, asked him to play for Riverside Paving.

Crawley was the perfect fit for Riverside’s lineup with his slick fielding at second base and his unselfish hitting strategy to do whatever it took to get on base.

For three National Championships by Riverside, most games began with leadoff hitter, Mike Jackson—base hit, Crawley—base hit, and lefty Dennis Pierce—three-run bomb; and, that was repeated throughout each tournament. David typically would go deep in the count, yet when he needed to, deep out of the park as well. In Riverside’s three Major National Championships, Crawley was named All-American in each.

After five seasons with Riverside, #10 ventured out of the state to nearby Ohio where he played for USSSA giant, Hague/Ohio Transport. There he won the 1996 ISA “AA” World title.

A year later, David’s rise to the top was completed when he joined Backstop. He became MVP in Statesboro, Georgia in the tournament that saw his Backstop boys defeat #1—Team TPS—twice, thus giving that #1 spot to his Backstop squad.

2001 was Crawley’s last young men’s National Championship while playing for Reece and winning again the ISA “AA”.

One of David’s favorite memories came north of the border when he played in the glorious Yvon Pif Depatie in Sherbrooke, Canada. He won that monster tournament three times and was MVP in 1994.