Though the All-Star outfielder left Tampa for big bucks in Boston, there's no ill will from Rays fans. That's mostly because Crawford played 925 games for the Rays before getting a chance to taste the playoffs, giving his best effort every night.
As a result, the people at DRaysBay.com took out an ad in the Tampa Bay Times, thanking Crawford for his dedication to the Rays over the past nine years.
The ad includes an image of Crawford's catch in the 2009 All-Star game, with the following text underneath:
The Tampa Bay Rays franchise has undergone a lot of change in the past nine years: new name, new uniforms, new managers, and new ownership. The one constant in all of that change has been Carl Crawford.
Our franchise leader in hits, batting average, stolen bases, doubles, triples, runs scored, breath-taking defensive plays, and more, Crawford has become one of Tampa Bay's most beloved sports figures. It's rare for any player to spend nine years of their career in one city, let alone the best left fielder in all of baseball.
The Rays are still strong and will stay competitive, but we should consider ourselves lucky to have seen Crawford play. Good luck in the rest of your career, Carl — you?ve earned it.
Thanks for everything,
The Tampa Bay Community
Steve Slowinski, a contributor to DRaysBay.com, explained the purpose of the ad.
"This project was about two things: thanking our franchise's best player for his service in our community, and showing the world that Tampa Bay fans do exist and have class and dignity," he wrote on the site. "I think we've sent both messages loud and clear."
You can see the ad below.