Joseph Taylor Crede
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 195 lb.
- High School Fatima High School
- Debut September 12, 2000
- Final Game September 13, 2009
- Born April 26, 1978 in Jefferson City, MO USA
A third baseman by trade, Joe was a fifth round pick of the Pale Hose in the 1996 amateur draft. Two years deep, he was named Most Valuable Player of the Carolina League. With the Winston-Salem Warthogs, Joe hit .315/.387/.514 with 20 home runs and 88 RBI, just two bombs off the pace of the league lead and a Triple Crown. Keeping up the even numbered good juju, Joe was Southern League Most Valuable Player in 2000 on the strength of a .306/.384/.490 clip with 21 home runs, 35 doubles and 94 RBI.
Crede earned a September call up on his Double A prowess, appearing in 7 games and hitting .357/.333/.429 with three RBI as the ChiSox won the AL Central in 2000. After another cup of coffee in 2001, he hit .285/.311/.515 in 200 at bats in 2002, leading some to think he might be an up-and-coming slugger. Thrice in the final month of the season, he had three-hit games. On September 25th, he went 3-for-3 with four RBI, leading the White Sox to a 7-2 win over the Boston Red Sox. Joe settled in during the 2003 season, batting .261/.308/.433 with 19 homers and 75 RBI. Over the final 45 games, he hit .325 with 25 extra-base hits. He also did not commit an error after August 17th, a span of 34 games. Playing as a regular between 2003 and 2005, his slugging percentage never exceeded .454, disappointing some fans. Seeing the modest slugging percentage along with a low on-base percentage and a modest range factor at third, some fans (and at least one Chicago-area radio personality) called for Crede to be traded away.
Undaunted, the Sox stuck with him (picking up Geoff Blum during the 2005 season as insurance), and Joe did not disappoint. He finished the year .252/.303/.454 with 22 home runs and 62 RBI as well as a career best range factor, shining brightest down the stretch. His 10th-inning game-winning home run against the Cleveland Indians on September 20th helped preserve a narrow AL Central lead. His performance was modest in the ALDS then robust in the ALCS. Facing the Anaheim Angels, Joe batted .368/.350/.789 with 2 homers, 2 doubles and 7 RBI, three of which came in the deciding Game 5. In the World Series against the Houston Astros, he hit two more home runs, batting .294/.368/.706.
In 2006, Joe had the best year of his career, hitting .283/.323/.506 with personal bests in home runs (30) and RBI (94). He was rewarded with the AL Silver Slugger at third, even though his Adjusted OPS was still only 108. The next year, 2007, he struggled, hitting .216/.258/.317 with only 4 homers in 47 games before missing the rest of the season due to back surgery. In an abbreviated 2008, Crede recovered somewhat. In the home opener at U.S. Cellular Field against the Minnesota Twins, Joe hit a grand slam off Pat Neshek, staking the Sox to a 7-4 victory. He slashed .248/.314/.460 (99 OPS+) in 97 games, again undergoing back surgery, and appeared in his lone All-Star Game, popping out to Chase Utley in his sole at bat. He joined the Minnesota Twins in free agency for 2009, playing 90 games and slugging 15 home runs. But a third back surgery effectively ended his career. After missing all of 2010, he signed a deal with the Colorado Rockies for 2011, only to change his mind and retire for good.
Joe is the cousin of former big league pitcher Dennis Higgins. In Chicago news highlights, whenever Crede hit a home run, the anchors would say "Joe Crede gettin' greedy".
- 1998 MVP Carolina League Winston-Salem Warthogs
- 2000 Player of the Year Southern League Birmingham Barons
- AL All-Star (2008)
- AL Silver Slugger Award Winner (2006)
- 20-Home Run Seasons: 3 (2004-2006)
- 30-Home Run Seasons: 1 (2006)
- Won a World Series with the Chicago White Sox in 2005