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

Walker Valley Wrestlers Thump McMinn Co.

The Walker Valley Mustangs recorded four pins to go along with eight forfeits as they defeated the McMinn County Cherokees at Walker Valley Friday. Ethan West, Robert Varner, Mikel Gregory and Mason Bales all won with pins for the Mustangs while Gage Bogges had the only pin for the Cherokees.  Clinton Varnadore also picked up a major decision at 285 for McMinn Co. while ... (click for more)

Tennessee Xtreme Girls Basketball Hosts Tryouts Jan. 29

Tennessee Xtreme Girls Basketball will be hosting tryouts on  Sunday, Jan. 29,  at Shepherd Hills Center, 2124 Shepherd Road, Chattanooga, TN 37421. Grades 3, 4, and 5 begin at  3 p.m.  and grades 6, 7, and 8 start at  5 p.m. Visit  www.tnxtreme.com  for more information. (click for more)

School Board Votes To Issue RFPs For Private School Bus Service; Allows Independent Drivers To Add 20 Routes

The Hamilton County School Board voted unanimously to issue a Request-for-Proposals (RFP) to private bus companies at a special-called session early  Saturday  afternoon.   The vote came at the end of a two-day strategy session where the school board has confronted a list of challenges but the busing question, spurred by the tragic bus wreck in November ... (click for more)

3 People Shot Early Saturday Morning On East 3rd Street

Three people were shot on East 3rd Street early Saturday morning. They were identified as Countess Clemons, 24, Kezia Jackson, 23, and Dutchess Lykes, 26.   The Chattanooga Police Department responded at 2:40 a.m. to a person(s) shot call at a local hospital. All three victims were transported to the hospital via a personally-owned vehicle.   All three ... (click for more)

A Light Rain Began To Fall - And Response (2)

Around noon Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the most powerful nation on Earth after a long and sometimes bitter campaign where 17 GOP candidates of his own party and two of the opposing party competed for the honor.   Thousands rejoiced in the Washington D.C. streets while policemen who had come along with national guardsmen pushed ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Lady Remembers Rex

Kevin Roden sits on the City Council in Denton, Texas (think the Dallas-Fort Worth airport area in the northeastern part of the state) and he is gearing up to run for a third term this spring. He’s already got his website up and, while the election isn’t until April, he writes on his blog every now and then. Last month he let his wife take a turn at it, which brings us to yesterday’s ... (click for more)