- Associated Press - Monday, April 14, 2014

EDMOND, Okla. (AP) - Tyler Crabtree likes getting hits.

What baseball player doesn’t?

But he also doesn’t mind getting hit.

A lot.

Last season, he got hit by a pitch 41 times, tying an NCAA Division II single-season record. This season, the Central Oklahoma leadoff man isn’t on pace to break that record, but he’s still been plunked 16 times.

“Any day I can wear one for my team,” he told The Oklahoman (http://bit.ly/1oCcI6P) without even a hint of irony, “is a good day.”

If that’s the case, then Crabtree has lots of good days.

Let’s put this into some perspective. The guy who led Major League Baseball in hit by pitches last season was Shin-Soo Choo, then with the Reds, now with the Rangers. He got hit 26 times, but he played in 154 games.

That’s once every 5.9 games.

Last season, Crabtree got hit once every 1.2 games.

This season: 1.8 games.

By all accounts, Crabtree is a smart guy. Likes to read in his free time. Wants to be a pastor after he graduates in May.

And he’s not a masochist either, though his teammates sometimes wonder.

“A lot of them just joke around with me and say I’m crazy and stuff, but … ” he said, shrugging, “it works, so I just try to do it.”

Yep, you read that right. Crabtree tries to get hit. Crowds the plate. Does whatever he can within the rules. And he never, ever jumps out of the way.

Story Continues →