EDITOR’S NOTE: Listen to my interview with Elliott Cribby by: 1) clicking “download” on this page ,and; 2) then again from the Supload page. It should take about 30-seconds to one- minute to download from a broadband network. Elliott Cribby is a junior at the University of Washington, where his pitching is attracting national attention. He is one of just two Pac-10 preseason selections for the Roger Clemens Award, which is given annually to the nation’s top collegiate pitcher. This summer he pitched for the Chatham A’s, finishing the season with the league’s 6th lowest ERA (1.61). I saw Cribby both at Husky Field and in Falmouth, making him a natural selection for CodBall’s first player conversation.
Cribby reflects on his relationship with San Francisco Giants first round draft pick Tim Lincecum (Harwich Mariners), the experience of going East to play on the Cape, his favorite and most challenging CCBL ballparks and the new 8/15 signing rule. * * *
Dec. 21, 2006 (Excerpts)
SHAW: I saw you pitch Sunday Feb. 26th against Gonzaga. You came in during the 8th with just a 6-7 lead. You got the #2 batter to hit into a 6-4-3 double play, and in the 9th you struck out the first batter and forced the final two batters to fly out to Center. Do you remember that game?
CRIBBY: Yeah, I do.
SHAW: Well, it was a rainy, cold day in the Northwest.
CRIBBY: It was very cold. It couldn’t have been more than about 35 degrees. You could see everybody’s breath. It was not a good day to play baseball. But you don’t get a lot of good days out here in the NW.
SHAW: We saw your teammate Tim Lincecum pitch the day before. He has since been drafted by the Giants.
CRIBBY: He’s just taken off. His career last year at UW was incredible. Nothing I’ve ever seen before. I grew up with Tim. I played with Tim in high school and I got to see him have his growth spurt. He was just a little guy and all of a sudden he had his growth spurt. He just kind of caught fire and I got to witness all of that – being with him. I got to have all of those experiences.
SHAW: Tell me how you decided in 2006 to go into the Cape Cod Baseball League?
CRIBBY: It was my idea. My coach at the UW set me up with a place and I wasn’t too thrilled with it so I called my former coach at Wenatchee and he used to coach back there at the Cape. We got in touch with [field manager] John Schiffner, who’s the manager for the A’s. We played phone tag and they caught word of how I was doing and having a pretty good year so they gave me a chance and I came out there. My first outing was pretty good so they kept me.
SHAW: How was the experience going from the Northwest to live with a family on the Cape?
CRIBBY: It was a great experience. It was a culture shock. I had never seen so much rain that first month. Coming from Seattle it was kind of weird. I’d never seen a rain storm like the ones on the East Coast. I’d never seen a game called for fog. The elements were completely different. The towns were pretty small. No fast food restaurants. Everything looked exactly the same. But as far as baseball it was the best experience of my entire life.
SHAW: What was your favorite ballpark?
CRIBBY: Harwich had the nicest field. Orleans had a great fan base. The rivalry with Chatham and Orleans was great. All the fans they have. They have a hill in the right field that goes up and up and it’s covered with blankets and people everywhere. It’s pretty crazy when you get there and they are all rooting against you. So I liked that from a competitive point of view.
SHAW: What was the most challenging ballpark?
CRIBBY: Probably Wareham. I remember pitching one game. We took a huge bus drive – probably an hour and half. You get there and you see this field and it’s made of cinder dust and it’s just black. The guys had a tough time adjusting to the bus ride. I didn’t have good stuff that night and we ended up losing the game in the bottom of the ninth. It was the hardest to play.
SHAW: Will you return to the Cape?
CRIBBY: I’m on the roster at Chatham but I may get drafted. If I don’t get what I’m looking for I’ll be back in Chatham.
SHAW: How about the new 8/15 signing deadline?
CRIBBY: That’s going to change things. It’s going to benefit me. It’s going to be a huge advantage to some of the college pitchers.
Download our interview to hear more about how players are thinking about the 8/15 signing deadline, and listen to his predictions for when the Huskies take on the NCAA champion Oregon State Beavers at Safeco Field in Seattle this season.