The Arizona Fall League announced on Sunday the election of the Dodgers' Carl Crawford and the Cardinals' Matt Holliday to the AFL Hall of Fame. The outfielders will be inducted as the 35th and 36th members of the 24-year-old league's Hall of Fame in November.
The AFL's Hall of Fame was established in 2001 to honor former players and managers who went on to have outstanding Major League careers.
Crawford played in the AFL in 2001 with the Maryvale Saguaros, and was leading the league with a .386 batting average when he went to play for Team USA in the World Cup in Chinese Taipei. In 17 AFL games, Crawford stole nine bases.
"It gave you confidence," Crawford said about the league. "You're playing against the top players. If you had any uncertainty about your ability, you come in and play against the top guys and see where you're at. It's kind of a measuring tool to see where your skills are."
Now in his 13th Major League season, Crawford is a four-time All-Star and a career .291 hitter who became the youngest player to reach 100 home runs, 100 triples and 400 stolen bases. He led the Majors in triples with 19 in 2004 while with Tampa Bay, and led the American League in triples from 2005-07 and again in 2010. He also led the AL in stolen bases four times, in 2003-04 and again in 2006-07.
Crawford is also the fourth player since 1900 to have 1,500 hits and 400 stolen bases before turning 30.
"I think it's special," Crawford said. "Any time you can get inducted into any type of Hall of Fame is good. I'm just glad they recognized me an decided to add me on. I'm definitely honored to be on the list."
Holliday, in his 11th big league season, played in the AFL from 2002-03 with the Mesa Solar Sox as he worked his way through the Rockies' farm system. The six-time All-Star knocked in his 1,000th run earlier this season and coming into the 2014 campaign he led all Major League left fielders in hits, runs, doubles and RBIs. Holliday is one of 18 active players with 400 doubles and 1,000 runs scored. He's batted .300 or higher in five consecutive seasons and eight times overall.
Manny Randhawa is an associate reporter for MLB.com.