SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Pete Crow Armstrong is no stranger to the spotlight.
But the lights, camera, action of Hollywood?
“Hell no. I’m okay. I’m good,” he laughed. “This is about as much as I’ll do in front of a camera. This stresses me out.”
Crow-Armstrong’s parents are both established actors. In fact, his mom Ashley Crow, starred as the baseball mom in the 1994 movie “Little Big League.”
“It’s funny, I have a bunch of connections to people that I ended up meeting later on in life through baseball that my mom had worked with in that movie. I guess I do owe a lot to my parents acting world just because of the people I got to be around and stuff like that. It gave me more connections than I probably realized. Definitely a little ironic.”
The Cubs are certainly glad Crow-Armstrong never got the acting bug. The 20-year-old centerfielder is the team’s third ranked prospect, currently playing for High-A South Bend.
“I tell guys all the time he’s a walking triple. Ball in the gap, he’s definitely going to be on third,” explained South Bend Cubs manager Lance Rymel. “He’s a hard worker and he loves to come out and play the game. I appreciate him having such a great work ethic.”
The Mets picked Crow-Armstrong 19th overall in the 2020 draft out of Harvard Westlake in Los Angeles – the same prep school that produced Lucas Gioltio, Jack Flaherty and Max Fried.
“I cannot wait for the day that I get up and I get to face all three of them. It’ll be a blast.”
Despite being raised in Southern California, Crow-Armstrong rooted for the Cubs thanks to his dad, Matthew John Armstrong, who attended Naperville Central and would teach his son the sport in their backyard.
“I would wake up just about every day, my parents would say. I’d go get them from their room and I’d say, ‘let’s go play ball.’”
He first went to Wrigley when he was 3-years-old, but had not been back as a fan until last month when he was in Chicago to get x-rays on a wrist injury. “I got to share it with my dad,” Crow-Armstrong said. “Getting to do that with him was cool.”
Being in the stands is one thing, but Crow-Armstrong says he wants to be on the field again after playing at Wrigley during the 2019 Under Armour All-America Game.
“That was really cool, my second time playing there,” Crow-Armstrong said. “Wrigley is beautiful. I got to have family there, some people I hadn’t seen in a while. Little things like that are the kind of things I think about when I’m by myself or lying down in bed. Those things give me a taste of what [baseball] could look like on a bigger scale.”
Pete’s favorite player? Javy Baez, who happened to be the star the Cubs traded to the Mets to acquire him last summer.
“That was surreal. That was one thing that made me take a step back and evaluate my situation.”
Not only was Crow-Armstrong traded for Baez, but he says the All-Star shortstop is someone he emulated his game after growing up.
“We share a lot of love for the game. I would definitely credit a lot of the energy and excitement you see from me on the field to him. He definitely showed me that you could be completely 100% yourself on the field.”
His future is bright.
So much so, the Cubs chose Crow-Armstrong to represent them in the upcoming MLB All-Star Futures Game in his hometown of Los Angeles.
“That will be another fun little adventure. I’ll have my family there. That’s the biggest thing that matters to me. I’ve got buddies flying in for the night. It means a lot.
“Something I was working for this year. It was nice to see a checkpoint to hit.”
His next checkpoint? Staying healthy after missing most of last season undergoing right shoulder surgery.
After that? Return to the Friendly Confines again – but, this time as a Cub.
That would be a made-for-Hollywood story Crow-Armstrong would gladly star in.