June 5th, 2012
After a 20-year absence, Tricia Crews-Prine wasn’t sure what to expect when driving to Dodger Stadium on Tuesday morning. She grew up at the ballpark watching her father, Tim Crews, a relief pitcher with Los Angeles from 1987-92. The following spring, Crews was a member of the Cleveland Indians and he passed away in a tragic boating accident that claimed the life of Cleveland reliever Steve Olin and seriously injured former Dodger pitcher Bob Ojeda.
“Driving to the stadium, there were times I got teary-eyed, thinking about going back,” said Crews-Prine, who was eight years old at the time of the accident. “I had a lot of flashbacks about all the things we used to do when we lived here. It was almost overwhelming to think I hadn’t been back in 20 years. It was hard for me to remember when was there before and what was new. My mom would tell me where we’d sit for the games.”
Crews-Prine, today a veterinarian in Florida, toured Dodger Stadium with one of her father’s former teammates, Jim Gott, who was on a break this week as a minor league pitching instructor in the Angels organization. They traded stories while visiting the suite level, press box, Stadium Club restaurant, Dodger clubhouse, bullpen area and Dugout Club. She posed for photos next to her father’s name on the history wall.
Gott fondly recalled the parties and other social functions with the Dodger families and remembered Tim’s subtle sense of humor. As the subject of trade rumors, Gott spent the spring of 1992 wondering if he would stay with the Dodgers. Crews would always greet Gott with the same question, “You still here?”
During spring training 1992, the O’Malley family staged “The Santa-Express at Dodgertown,” a party for the Dodger family members that included train rides, cookie frosting, hat making and face painting. The back of the invitation featured Tricia’s drawing of Santa Claus and a reindeer wearing an “LA” cap.
“My fondest memories are the family games on the field and the fashion shows that included the player and the kids,” she said. “At Dodgertown, I remember winning a Hula Hoop contest. Today, it was pretty cool to see everything at the ballpark and seeing people who used to know my dad and hear their stories. My mom and dad appreciated those other players and their families a lot, so it’s always nice to see or hear from them.”