Back in 1998, Perfect Game set up shop in Fort Myers, Fla., and prepared to stage what was then its second World Showcase event.
Among the players present in 1998 was a speedy outfielder out of Houston, Texas, by the name of Carl Crawford. In 1999, Crawford signed a national of letter-of-intent to be the University of Nebraska’s next great option quarterback.
But Crawford’s incredible athleticism and baseball skills hadn’t gone unnoticed by professional scouts at the Perfect Game World Showcase. Crawford was ultimately drafted in the 2nd round of the 1999 Draft by the Tampa Bay Rays and decided to forgo his football career.
It was a good move. He signed with the Rays for a $1.245 million bonus and became a baseball All-Star, and on Thursday (Dec. 9) signed a seven-year, $142 million deal with the Boston Red Sox.
Crawford’s story may not be typical, but he is only one of hundreds of young players who got noticed at the PG World Showcase and were later drafted professionally. Thirty-three World alums have been 1st round picks.
The 2001 World Showcase alone put the spotlight on five 1st-rounders: Lance Broadway, Zack Greinke, Lastings Milledge, Chris Perez and Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
Other notable World alums include Pedro Alvarez, Justin Upton and Ryan Sweeney.
The 2011 Perfect Game World Showcase is Jan. 8-9 in Fort Myers. See the complete history of the event and to request an invte click the link below.