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The Red Sox secret weapon in recruiting Senquez Golson? Carl Crawford

08.18.11 at 8:54 pm ET
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KANSAS CITY ‘€“ Nobody could say the Red Sox didn’€™t pull out all the stops when trying to sign two-sport athlete Senquez Golson.

First, the Red Sox flew the Mississippi high school star to Boston on the final day before the deadline to sign draftees (Monday), building an offer that had reached $1 million.

But there was still doubt coming from Golson, who had already started football practices at the University of Mississippi.

So along came a phone call from Carl Crawford.

‘€œI just tried to tell him it was a good opportunity to play baseball and that you’€™ll definitely play longer,’€ the Red Sox outfielder said. ‘€œIf anything happened in football you can get hurt in one day and be gone the next.’€

Crawford knew of what he talked about when breaking it down with Golson for a 10-minute phone conversation as the deadline approached. The Red Sox left fielder was forced to make a similar decision after being drafted by Tampa Bay out of high school in 1999.

Crawford had already given a verbal commitment to play football at the University of Nebraska before being taken by the then-Devil Rays in the second round of the ‘€™99 draft, ultimately resulting in a $1 million offer from Tampa Bay.

In the end, however, the money and advice weren’€™t enough. Golson chose college over the life of a pro baseball player.

‘€œI think he was more worried about coming into the real world on his own,’€ Crawford said of Golson. ‘€œI told him that feeling only lasts like a day or so. He was just a little nervous about getting out on his own. I told him he wouldn’€™t be alone in that. He would be going through it with people in the same situation.

‘€œYou could tell it was a tough situation for him. He had a lot on his mind. I think he got a little comfortable down at Ole Miss. He turned down a million dollars. That’€™s just amazing to me. But maybe he’€™ll get better and triple it. Maybe it will be $10 million next time.’€

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