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

Javy Lopez To Appear With Braves Caravan Thursday

The 2015 version of the Atlanta Braves caravan is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 29, from 3:30 - 5:30 p.m. at the Chattanooga Academy and Sports at 2220 Hamilton Place Blvd., Suite 150, in Chattanooga. As of this writing, Javy Lopez, catcher Christian Bethancourt, along with infielder Phil Gosselin and Braves' alumni - Marquis Grissom and Charlie Leibrandt are scheduled to appear. ... (click for more)

Photos: Central Blows By Hixson, 94-64

6,533 Apply For Chattanooga Housing Authority Voucher Program

The Chattanooga Housing Authority closed its Housing Choice Voucher Program application process Monday at 11:59 p.m. There were 6,533 applicants. CHA will randomly select 1,000 of those names on Monday, for the voucher program waiting list. Anyone who is not selected will need to apply again in the future.  The Housing Choice Voucher program is a federal government program ... (click for more)

Times Free Press Pays Bonuses, Has Layoffs

The Chattanooga Times Free Press told employees on Monday that the newspaper had improved financial performance over the prior year quarters and employees were receiving two percent bonuses. Sources said at the same time, the newspaper announced some layoffs. Those include four people in the newsroom and an unspecified number in other departments. Bruce Hartmann, president, ... (click for more)

We Need The Chattanooga History Center

Having been on several of Dr. Daryl Black's walking tours, I can say that they weren't just informative, but a treat. The downtown, Fort Wood and Ninth Street of yesteryear were brought dramatically to life. We stood on the ground where Sherman had his headquarters (near the Ice Cream Show) and the corner where Bessie Smith sang as a young girl. And we also stood beneath the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Big (Un)Easy: Mardi Gras

Not since Hurricane Katrina has New Orleans had a bigger problem. When over a million visitors flood the city for the annual Mardi Gras bash over the next three weeks, there will be signs all around town and into the French Quarter that blare, “CAUTION: Walk In Large Groups. We (heart symbol) love NOPD. We Just Need More Of Them.” In other words, it appears things are quite unsettled ... (click for more)