CLAWSON — Ralph Haney called him one of the best Clawson High baseball players to come around in a “long, long time.”
Other coaches in the Macomb Area Conference Silver Division concurred.
And then some.
After a stellar senior season at shortstop and in the batter’s box, Clawson’s Craig Bynum took home the Silver’s most prestigious individual award, the 2013 Most Valuable Player.
“He was so consistent every single day,” Haney said. “He was a guy, no matter what the count was or what was happening, he had the go sign. He was the kind of player that hustled everywhere. The first kid there, the last one to leave.”
Bynum’s value went beyond on-field leadership; his numbers where outstanding.
While leading Clawson to a 20-9 final record, including a division title, Bynum hit .551 with five home runs, 22 RBI, 19 runs scored, eight walks, nine stolen bases and a slugging percentage of .878.
“He had the best season of a Clawson player in quite awhile,” Haney said. “But he was the type of worker that did everything in his power to make sure his efforts paid off.”
“I was so excited. To have it all work out was pretty special,” Bynum said. “I’m not sure if I expected (the MVP) or not, but I liked the season I had and felt like this was a possibility.”
As for all the extra time he put in, both with the team and as an individual, he said, “I felt like I had to be the role model.”
Bynum served as a captain for three seasons. “To show the younger guys what it meant to work, and to be on time and everything else was something I felt like I had to do,” he said.
It certainly worked, with Clawson winning its first division title since 2009 and then earning a district title a few weeks later.
“It was a great year,” Bynum said. “To finally get back on top of the league and to beat (Madison Heights) Lamphere and win a district, it was all pretty special.”