PLEASANTON -- Even before the Giants reached the World Series, Brandon Crawford's story was like a Disney movie. Local kid who grew up loving the team so passionately that he dreamed of one day becoming its shortstop fulfills his fantasy.
But with each World Series victory, Crawford's tale becomes even richer.
He is halfway to winning a championship for the team he cheered on as a little boy at spring training in Arizona, for the team his family invested in season tickets, for the team that bears the Crawford family name on a brick outside AT&T Park.
"Words can't even describe it," Crawford's mother, Lynn, said Friday.
But the story is all so very real. Crawford's parents and his three sisters are flying to Detroit to watch their favorite Giant play for their favorite team in Game 3 of the World Series on Saturday against the Tigers.
It is a special time for the family and Crawford's hometown of Pleasanton, where Crawford, now 25, was a star in baseball and football at Foothill High less than a decade ago. His presence in the Giants' lineup during the team's playoff run has brought back a lot of memories in the hallways at the school.
After Crawford climbed the proverbial ladder to rob Cardinals pitcher Kyle Lohse of a run-producing hit early in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series, his baseball coach at Foothill was reminded of how Crawford used to dunk a basketball from a standing start when he was in
"The guy is just totally athletic," baseball coach Angelo Scavone said, "and his instincts take over when he is out on the field. I saw that in high school. The thing that separated him was not only his athletic ability but his instincts."
Matt Sweeney, the longtime football coach at Foothill, saw those instincts, too. He says if the spread offenses seen today in college football were in vogue a decade ago, Crawford could have been a college quarterback.
"When he played quarterback his senior year, he ran around there like Doug Flutie," Sweeney said. "It was like out in the park. If a play broke down, that actually worked to his advantage because he was so athletic. He'd just run around and direct guys, and he could make every throw just naturally."
Although Crawford earned all-league honors in football, his true love was baseball.
And at Foothill, he did things on the diamond the coaches still rave about. Sweeney recalled a game at Amador Valley during Crawford's junior season when the star player had three steals on one memorable trip around the bases.
"He had a true steal of home," Sweeney said, "like a Jackie Robinson steal of home."
On that play, Crawford's instincts took over. After reaching third, he saw that the pitcher was working out of a windup and told Scavone, who was in the coach's box, that he could steal home, too.
As he'd done in a similar situation a game earlier, Scavone reminded Crawford that he didn't have a sign to alert the batter. This time, Crawford went anyway.
"That's probably my favorite story," Scavone added.
Crawford left such a legacy at Foothill that Scavone says he talks with his team about him at least once a week.
"We just talk about the intensity that he played with on the field," Scavone said, "and what he was like when he was here at Foothill High School -- his work ethic. When he steps on the field, he's kind of a different person. He's one of them guys who is kind of a shy, quiet guy off the field, but on the field he's a terror."
After leaving Foothill, Crawford starred at UCLA before being drafted by the Giants in the fourth round in 2008. He made his big league debut three years later.
"I've known the family a long time, and I couldn't be more happy for Brandon," Sweeney said. "Everybody has a dream. I had a dream to be a professional baseball player. Willie Mays was my idol, my hero, and here is Brandon living that dream."
And as October continues to unfold, the story keeps getting better.
"It truly is a dream come true," said Crawford, whose wife, Jalynne, is expecting the couple's first child in December. "When I was a little kid, this is what I dreamed about, going to the World Series with the Giants, playing shortstop, and it's all kind of just coming together.
Follow Darren Sabedra on Twitter at twitter.com/DarrenSabedra.