| March 10, 2023
By CCL Reporter Sean Brennan
(VACAVILLE, CA) - Alex Crosby, a Solano Mudcats alum (2013) and current professional baseball player, has dreamed of representing his British roots on baseball’s biggest international stage for a very long time. For the 29-year-old, few experiences could top donning Great Britain’s colors and standing on the field while “God Save the King” plays before a World Baseball Classic game.
On February 9, his name was among the 29 announced on Great Britain’s 2023 WBC roster, quickly transforming Crosby’s lifelong fantasy into a reality.
“It was just an honor to get the call to come play,” Crosby said. “Every time I've put on the Great Britain uniform, I've been super proud, just because that's what made me who I am today.”
Crosby’s love for his heritage first stemmed from being around his mother, who he says is ‘super British.’ And once he saw Great Britain’s support of its soccer team, he knew what country he wanted to eventually represent on the diamond.
“I think growing up watching football – you say American soccer – just seeing the pride for the World Cups and stuff like that, growing up is where I got a real good sense of it,” Crosby said. “I see how they support, they come behind it. It's just so awesome to watch and I always wanted to be a part of something like that.”
This pride was clearly contagious. Current Mudcats Vice President Gordie Clary, who also spent the summer of 2013 in Solano, described Crosby as an outstanding teammate who always had a great deal of pride in his British roots.
Crosby showcased more than just his off-the-field qualities during his time with the Dirty Fish. He was described by team President Ben Crombie as one of the best players to ever take the field for Solano, and rightfully so. To date, Crosby has recorded the second-most hits, doubles, and RBI in a single season in Mudcats’ history.
While there’s no doubt he was a key contributor to the 2013 squad, Crosby’s experience with the Mudcats holds a bit more meaning. Raised just up the road in Vacaville, spending the summer in Solano meant that Crosby could develop his skills while staying close to home. His decision was ultimately the right one, as the Mudcats have developed a team culture built around helping baseball players grow both on and off the field.
The organization’s philosophy and proximity to home, along with the opportunity for Crosby to play with childhood friends like Clary, turned that 44-game season into one of the best experiences of his baseball career.
“That was probably one of my favorite experiences...because I got to play with guys that I was best friends with growing up,” Crosby said. “So that was probably the most fun baseball because we got to always joke around with each other. But we were all super serious and wanted to get to that next level, so that was one of the best experiences I’ve had.”
For Crosby, the WBC experience is already special, even though Great Britain has yet to play its first game. So far, it’s been a bit of a whirlwind, as the players learned they were on the team just about a month ago. However, this isn’t the first time Great Britain’s group played together, and Crosby already understands his personal goals for the tournament.
“I just want to help the team win,” Crosby said. “Whatever I can do, if that’s moving a runner over, scooping a ball or making a play (...) It’s time for me to prove who I say I am on the field and try to be the best player on the field.”
On the international stage, Crosby has already proven himself and shown he can be relied on, especially when the lights are brightest. Just this past September, he was responsible for a crucial tenth-inning sacrifice fly to defeat Spain and punch Great Britain’s ticket to the big dance. And with at least four games to play in the WBC, Crosby has an opportunity to cement his name once again into Great Britain Baseball history, just as he did with the Mudcats.
Even in the midst of his professional career, Solano still holds a special place in Crosby’s heart. If he isn’t watching the Mudcats’ games online, he’s following along on social media or checking in with current and former members of the organization. No matter where Crosby’s incredible baseball journey takes him next, he’ll always have time to keep up with a team that provided him with an unforgettable experience.
“I’ve definitely checked in, I always do,” Crosby said. “I feel like, my generation, we were part of the first step to keep growing, and we had a really good team with the Mudcats, so it was a lot of fun.”
Photo source and credit: Getty Images
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