Speier gives Crawford stamp of approval

Speier gives Crawford stamp of approval

SAN FRANCISCO -- Chris Speier, one of the most accomplished shortstops in Giants history, formed a positive first impression of Brandon Crawford when he watched the rookie man his former position in Thursday's San Francisco-Cincinnati series opener.

Crawford recorded four assists and one putout, hardly an unusual performance. But he did enough to capture the attention of Speier, Cincinnati's bench coach.

"He looked really polished," said Speier, the only Giants shortstop besides Alvin Dark to make as many as three All-Star teams. "Sometimes you see younger guys who move fast. He doesn't. He slows the game down a little bit. He has good actions."

Crawford also has jersey No. 35, which Speier wore during his first Giants tenure (1971-77). Rich Aurilia also distinguished himself at shortstop while wearing the same number.

"We're just kind of passing it down," Speier said.