Former Lookouts' Pitching Coach Chuck Crim Reflects On His Second Callup To The Majors

Crim Will Be The Dodgers 2013 Bullpen Coach

Sunday, December 30, 2012
Chuck Crim
Chuck Crim
- photo by Tim Evearitt
Chuck Crim's Christmas this year came on Nov. 13, when he was named bullpen coach of the Dodgers.

"It's pretty awesome to make it to the big leagues twice," said Crim, who pitched relief for eight years in the Major Leagues and was The Sporting News top setup man in 1989.

Crim's career path has not taken a traditional route, nor did his recent promotion from pitching coach at Double-A Chattanooga. He got the call to L.A. because Ken Howell, who held the bullpen job for the past six seasons, has been battling diabetes, and the Dodgers created for him the position of assistant pitching coach.

Crim, 51, replaces Howell in the bullpen, essentially becoming pitching coach to the relievers.

"I compare it to the same feeling I had when I was called up," said Crim, who pitched for the Brewers, Angels and Cubs. "You see how hard coaches work to get through the Minor League system. I feel blessed. I love what I do. It's a dream come true to accomplish this."

Crim has been involved in the development of nearly every young pitcher to come through the Dodgers' farm system since 2009, when he moved from scouting to coaching. That would include current pitchers Shawn Tolleson, Josh Wall and Paco Rodriguez.

It also includes the pitching prospects the Dodgers dealt away to restore the roster with stars -- Rubby De La Rosa, Nathan Eovaldi, Josh Lindblom, Allen Webster, Ethan Martin, Logan Bawcom and Scott McGough. Crim said it was hard to see them go.

"They become your sons every day," Crim said. "Rubby, Webster, Lindblom, Martin, Eovaldi. I totally understand the business and [general manager] Ned [Colletti] has done a great job doing what he has to do. I'm all for it. Ned wouldn't have been able to make those trades if the kids hadn't matured the way they did."

As a player, Crim retired after the strike of 1994, disheartened by the rancor and seizing the chance to pursue another one of his passions -- fishing. He joined the B.A.S.S. Bassmaster fishing tour. He also signed on as an instructor at the SHO-Me baseball camp in Branson, Mo., unintentionally launching yet another career.

After six years of fishing and teaching, he moved back to California to provide his son with better exposure for his budding baseball career. Crim coached at Canyon High School for three years before looking for work back in organized ball.

"I found out that once you leave the game, it's tough to get back in," Crim said. "I did a lot of communications with guys I knew. It was quite frustrating. I thought I had enough credentials. A friend told me it might be easier to get back in as a scout than a coach. [Dodgers scouting director] Logan [White] hired me after I went to the Area Code Games looking for a job. But all the time I scouted I wanted to coach. I just wanted to be back on the field. It was good for me, scouting, because I learned a different aspect of the industry. I really respect what scouts do. It really helped me."

Crim's return to the field came in 2009, splitting duties between scouting and coaching at Rookie level Ogden with manager Damon Berryhill -- "the perfect guy for me the first year," Crim said. When asked by farm director De Jon Watson if he wanted to coach full-time, Crim said it took him "half a second" to say yes.

"I definitely see it as my calling," Crim said of coaching. "I give a lot of credit to organization pitching coordinator Rafael Chaves for teaching me to be a pro coach. Every day something comes up and I realize what I've learned. I have enough experience being a grinder as a player, nothing was handed to me. I worked for everything as a six-foot right-hander. I told myself if I ever got back in, I would enjoy every day and let the game take me where it takes me."

Crim hopes it takes him to a Major League pitching coach job.

"Without a doubt, it's what I want to be," he said. "It's what I am. I like to be in the dugout, on the front step watching the guys. I coach pitch to pitch. That's one thing I will miss being in the bullpen. And I hope [a promotion] happens. But I'm not after anybody's job. I'll be the best bullpen coach I can be."

Crim makes one of his many visits to the pitcher's mound.
Crim makes one of his many visits to the pitcher's mound.
- Photo2 by Tim Evearitt

PHOTOS: CFC Wins 3-1 Over New Orleans Jesters

Covenant's Burgess Named Capital One Academic All-District

 For a second straight year, Covenant women's cross country runner Beth Burgess has been voted to the Capital One Academic All-District team presented by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), announced the organization on Friday. Burgess becomes the third Covenant student-athlete (joining men's soccer seniors Snoopy Davidson and Joel Friesen) to ... (click for more)

Winning Bid For Huge River Tract Near Dayton Is $4,370,000, But Sellers Not Willing To Accept

A huge tract on the Tennessee River/Chickamauga Lake near Dayton, Tn., brought $4,370,000 at auction at the site on Saturday. However, the auction firm later said the high bid was not accepted by the sellers, John and Edyth Buxton. Henry Glascock of the John Dixon firm auction firm said, "It was a gorgeous piece of property, but we just didn't quite get there. "We had a willing ... (click for more)

Olympian Kristin Armstrong Sets Course Record; Talansky Is Men's Winner

Two-time Olympic goal medal winner Kristin Armstrong won the USA Cycling Professional Time Trial Championship in a record time at the Volkswagen course on Saturday morning. She finished the 19.2-mile course in 42 minutes, 8 seconds. The time trial victory assures the 41-year-old Armstrong of a spot as one of three American women to compete in the world championship time trial ... (click for more)

Shame On The Housing Authority - And Response

With Chattanooga and other cities around the nation struggling to find solutions to chronic homelessness it's cruel to evict families likely with children over a fight.   When you evict the adults you're also evicting any and all children in the household.  Intelligence would dictate looking for a root cause. Compassion would dictate looking for alternatives. Both ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Great Orthopedic Success

Mark Freeman, the chief of orthopedic surgery at Erlanger Hospital, shared a dazzling look at our area’s Level One Trauma Center Friday morning. Yet, as he described the dramatic changes that have occurred in just the past 12 months, the promise of what will happen within the next year was even more appealing. Believe this, our flagship hospital is getting well in a hurry. “If ... (click for more)