There were days Aidan Crean thought about giving up baseball.
It was a long time ago, but there were days he wasn’t enjoying it. There were days he wasn’t very good at it. There were days he needed a little boost of confidence to get back on the field and keep playing.
And that’s when Crean turned to his family.
Crean is a recent graduate of Abraham Lincoln High School, and for the last three years, he was penciled in as a starting outfielder for the Railsplitters, either in left field or center field. And now there’s no doubt, if there’s a game, he’s playing. But there was a time when he didn’t feel that way.
“I was real little and I wanted to quit, I just didn’t like it that much,” said Crean, who lives in Holmesburg. “But my uncle told me I would regret it. He told me not to quit because if I did, I would never forgive myself for doing it. So I stuck with it back then even though I really didn’t want to.
“It was the right thing to do. I love baseball now. I can’t imagine not playing baseball. I love everything about it. I just love playing it. I came really close to quitting when I was 10, but I never forgot what my uncle told me. He said I’d always regret giving it up and he was right. I’m so glad I stuck with it.”
Not only is Crean happy he stuck with it, but so are the Railsplitters.
Obviously the team wasn’t able to enjoy his final season because coronavirus spoiled the spring season, but for his entire career at Lincoln, he was able to be a leader and key player for the Railsplitters.
“I loved being on the team because we were so close and we had great teammates and coaches,” Crean said. “I learned so much playing here. I came up and I learned from a lot of the older players, and when I became a senior, I tried to fill that role.
“I loved playing here because of everything. It’s just a fun group who wants to win. And we have a great coach. (Coach John Larsen) is very hard on us, but he does it because he wants more from us. He expects us to be good on the field and in school. He makes us work hard because he knows if we do it now, we’ll do it forever.”
Crean never minds working hard.
In fact, he always wants to be where the action is.
Crean first started in left field for Lincoln to get him in the lineup, then he moved to center field. But in truth, Crean was perfectly happy staying in left field because he was busier at that position.
“In high school, you get so many balls hit to left,” said Crean, who hit .271 with two doubles, a triple and nine RBIs during his junior year. “So I loved left field, I was always very busy over there. You see mostly right-handed hitters, so if you’re playing left field, you get a lot of opportunities to make plays, so I liked it.”
Crean also loves baseball because it fits perfectly with his attitude and outlook on life.
Baseball is a game that is tough to master. More accurately, it’s impossible. And Crean knows that. He knows that he’s going to face his failures in the game he loves so much, and that works well because it gives him something to shoot for. And he’s still working hard to perfect the sport he loves.
“I’m very humble and baseball humbles you, I love playing it,” Crean said. “I try to be a good leader and help everyone on the team. We have a good group, but I’ve been here, so I’ve been trying to be a leader for a while now. I’m getting better.
“Being a leader is very important to me. That’s a big part of my game. I think you have to have good leaders to have a good team.”
Next year, Crean hopes to bring his leadership skills to the college game.
He isn’t sure where he’ll end up, but he’s looking at Lackawanna College and Manor College. He hopes to major in sports management and always stay in baseball.
One way or another.
“I want to do sports management but my real goal is to play professionally,” Crean said. “I want to get an education, too, because you never know how far you can get. But my dream is to play professionally after college.
“I love baseball so much, I just want to do it for as long as I can. And if I could do it as a job, that would be perfect.”
No matter what he does or how far he goes, Crean knows he has a lot of support.
And he’s going to continue to rely on that for as long as he needs it.
“I’m very lucky to have a great family who always supports me,” Crean said. “My mom loves watching sports if I’m playing. And my uncle. Everyone is very supportive. I’m really lucky because I always have people to help me. It’s meant a lot.”