04 September 2014

the dodgers' tim crews memorial patch

tim crews was a reliever for the dodgers from 1987 through 1992, coming over from the brewers with tim leary in exchange for steve garvey's replacement, greg brock.  he pitched effectively enough - he had a 3.05 era for the club through the 1991 season - but after a subpar 1992 campaign, the dodgers allowed him to leave via free agency.  here's his 1992 o-pee-chee card.
crews signed with the indians, along with another dodger teammate turned free agent, bob ojeda.

it was during spring training in 1993 that crews, along with ojeda and fellow cleveland pitcher steve olin, took a boat ride looking for gators on little lake nellie that ended with crews and olin dead, and ojeda severely injured.  the boat, with crews behind the wheel, had hit an unlit dock, killing olin instantly.  crews died a while later at the hospital.

the dodgers wore a patch in crews' memory for the 1993 season - his number 52 in a black circle.  this was similar to the memorial they wore during the 1978 world series following jim gilliam's passing.  it shows up on a lot of 1994 cards, including cory snyder's 1994 topps card
darryl strawberry's 1994 topps card (this is the gold parallel version)
also has the patch on display, as does his 2005 topps retired card (also the gold parallel version)
since topps recycled the photo.  here's a different photo of darryl with the patch visible on his 1994 topps finest card
later in the season, the dodgers also lost don drysdale and roy campanella, and honored them with a memorial patch on their right sleeves.  i'll address that particular memorial in a separate post, but you can see it, along with the crews patch, on tom candiotti's 1994 donruss card
with a photo taken on a sunny day in dodger stadium.

both patches are again on display (along with a tremendous mustache) on brett butler's 1994 topps stadium card
with just the crews patch (and no mustache) visible on the back
for a while, i had this 1994 upper deck collector's choice card
pegged as the representative for the crews memorial in my binder, but i also considered tim wallach's 1994 topps stadium club card
as well as the rainbow foil parallel
and even thought about jody reed's 1994 fleer flair card
ultimately, i decided that the best card to represent the tim crews memorial patch in my collection is eric karros' 1994 bowman card
crews left behind a family, as did olin, as well as a lot of affected teammates and club personnel.  they were the first active major leaguers to pass away since thurman munson died in 1979.  the indians also wore a patch to honor crews and olin, and i'll show some examples of that later today.

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