Another Edition of Great Baseball Nicknames:  “Creepy” Crespi!

Another Edition of Great Baseball Nicknames: “Creepy” Crespi!

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Another Edition of Great Baseball Nicknames:

“Creepy” Crespi!

In a sport loaded with colorful nicknames, it’d be hard to find a better one than the name given to Frank Angelo Crespi, better known to the baseball world of the 1930’s and ‘40’s as “Creepy” Crespi.

I always wondered how Creepy became saddled with this rather unflattering moniker. Was it because maybe he wasn’t very good looking? Did he have some weird personal habits? Did some ex-girlfriend call him a “creep”?

So when I read his version of the story, I sure felt a lot better. It wasn’t a negative thing…it was actually the result of something positive! Here’s what he said about the nickname’s origin back in 1977: “Well, it’s an involved thing…I used to hear a lot of different stories. But I think the best one is (from) some sportswriter. He said it was the way I “creep” up on a ball, because I run low to the ground after a ground ball.’

And don’t let the weird nickname fool you. Creepy was a decent ball player. As a matter of fact, Marty Marion once praised him as the best defensive second baseman he’d ever played with, adding: “For one year—1941—Crespi was the best second baseman I ever saw. He did everything, and sensationally.” That’s some pretty high praise right there for old Creepy!

Creepy played five seasons in the majors, all with the Cardinals (1938-’42) in a career cut short by injury. He hit .268 with four home runs and 88 RBIs. He made one appearance in the 1942 World Series, entering Game One as a pinch runner.

Creepy was drafted into the army in early 1943. Though he qualified for a deferment as the sole supporter of his elderly mother, he refused, claiming, “I don’t think I’m too good to fight for the things I’ve always enjoyed.” 

His leg was fractured numerous times while he was in the Army while he was playing in Army baseball games and during training. While he was recuperating at the hospital, a nurse accidentally applied 100 times the appropriate quantity of boric acid to his bandages, causing severe burns on his leg and leaving him with a permanent limp. Over the years, a total of 23 operations were performed on his leg.

Let’s remember Frank “Creepy” Crespi, the owner on one of baseball’s great nicknames!

 Gary Livacari

Photo Credits: All from Google search

Information: Excerpts edited from the Creepy Crespi Wikipedia page.

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I'm a baseball historian who also loves to write. My forte is identifying ballplayers in old photos, and my specail interest is the Dead Ball Era.

1 Comment

  1. Larry Rockensuess · January 13, 2018 Reply

    Looks a little like Joe Torre.

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