September 13, 2009. Joe Crede remembers that day. It was his last game as a major league ballplayer. He jokes that with his induction into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame it takes the sting away of going 0 for 4 with four strikeouts at that game in Minnesota. While Joe will be just 35 this April, he still has the itch to play baseball, but after three back surgeries and one more unsuccessful comeback attempt in the winter of 2010, Crede realized his body could no longer take the grind of a major league baseball season.
Joe is staying active, working on his cattle farm and tries to swing the golf club when he can.
“I’ve been able to play in a few (golf tournaments), I’ve lasted about 10, 11 holes…sometimes nine. I’ve kind of accepted it…tried to deal with it…its just a constant reminder (his back) of when I try to do things on the farm.”
While Joe tends to his farm and raising his kids with his wife, he expressed a desire to get into coaching whether it’s on the professional level and in his home town of Westphalia, Mo.
PODCAST Listen to our visit with Joe Crede (8:41)
This coming April, just after the baseball season gets underway, Joe will take his spot in the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. He was drafted in the fifth round in 1996 by the Chicago White Sox and made his major league debut in 2000 when he appeared in seven games. His first hit came in just his second at-bat in his second game, a lined single to right off Toronto’s Paul Quantrill. Crede put together a career .254 average. His best season was 2006, after the Sox won the World Series. Crede had career highs with a .283 average with 30 homers and 94 RBIs, before back problems took their toll.
During their World Series postseason run, Crede hit .289 over 12 games with three doubles, four homers and 11 RBIs. It wasn’t David Freese, 2011 numbers, but it was pretty close. Anytime the Sox needed a clutch hit, Crede came through and it was something he thrived on…being in pressure situations. He hit .368 in the five-game ALCS against the Angels, helping the Sox to their first American League Pennant since 1959.
2005 was a magical season for Joe, the White Sox and the city of Chicago with their rally cry of “Don’t Stop Believin.” Joe even got wrapped up in the moment with Journey singer Steve Perry in front of 2,000,000 fans after the sweep over Houston. (Watch below)
“Hanging out with Steve Perry, always makes me laugh. It was a great time in my life.”