Baseball

Joe Crede: Looking Back at a Great Career

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Joe Crede was born in Missouri in April of 1978 and drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the fifth round of the 1996 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft. Crede would then find his home in Chicago in 2000 when he made his major-league debut. While White Sox fans everywhere can tell you who Joe Crede is, many other baseball fans cannot and that is unfortunate. Joe was beloved by Sox fans and his teammates alike.

Joe Crede’s White Sox Tenure

When Sox fans reminisce about the magical postseason run in 2005 where they posted an incredible 11-1 record, almost all of them will mention Joe Crede. Crede was clutch in big moments time after time. Most immediately think offense when talking about being clutch but Crede was as solid as they come at third base making play after play in huge spots in multiple ball games. From diving grabs to take away base hits in the gap to diving stops on the line Crede could legitimately do it all.

If you are old enough to remember some of these plays and the spots where Crede would change a game with a single swing or a diving spot, you know the impact Crede had on the White Sox organization and his teammates. Crede had several game-winning hits along the way as the Sox captured their first World Series championship in 88 years back in 2005. The confidence Joe played with during any situation made a huge impact on the 2005 champs. Teams just could not put them away and Crede’s refusal to quit showed up in his teammates as well.

Crede would actually have his best year in 2006, the year after the White Sox won the World Series. Crede had already made a name for himself amongst his teammates and Sox fans, and in 2006 the rest of the baseball world would learn about him. During the 2006 season Cred would have his best statistical season as a professional with a slash line of .283/.323/.506. Crede would hit 30 home runs in 2006 while striking out only 58 times. Crede also had an OPS+ of 107 in 2006 winning a silver slugger award for third baseman alongside teammate Jermaine Dye who also won an American League silver slugger award for outfielders in 2006.

Cut Short

In all, Joe Crede had a solid major league career but meant more to the White Sox than just your average player. When the Sox needed him most, he was there, making a diving stop, hitting a home run, taking a walk, whatever the team needed in the big moment, Crede would more than likely deliver. Unfortunately for Crede and White Sox fans, his career was just ten years long. If you remove the 2000 season in which Crede made his debut, and the 2001 season where he appeared in just 17 games, Crede really only played 8 seasons at the major league level.

The problem for Crede was his back. He could just never shake the back issues that first arose during the 2004 campaign. In all, Crede wound up having at least three documented back surgeries during his career. Back injuries can be re-occuring at times but Crede suffered at least two different injuries to his back during his career one of which was attributed to two slipped discs in his back and the other a pinched nerve issue possibly caused by the previous procedure.

While many may not like to hear it, the Sox cut ties with Crede after his all-star season in 2008 and just in time. The all-star part of 2008 for Crede was before the break, and after Crede saw just 39 plate appearances due to the back issues. Crede was a free-agent following 2008 and the Sox would not re-sign him. Crede eventually signed with the division rival Minnesota Twins for the 2009 season where he appeared in just 90 games.

While it was a career cut short, what a great, clutch run Crede had on the Southside. His incredible plays on defense combined with his timely hitting made Crede a household name for Sox fans forever. Crede will never be a hall of famer and rightfully so, but Crede was all Southside and his legend will live forever at 35th and Shields!

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main image credit: Embed from Getty Images

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