C.J. Cron got to puff out his chest and enjoy a dinner at the expense go teammate Kole Calhoun last season courtesy of the success the University of Utah, his former school, had against Calhoun's former school, Arizona State University.
"We usually have a bet, a dinner bet, for all the sports," said Cron, who lives in Arizona in the offseason. "I tend to concede baseball, but last year was a clean sweep with football, basketball and baseball. I got to rub it in a little bit, collected my dinner. It was all good."
Cron, who was drafted 17th overall out of the University of Utah in 2011, is in Salt Lake City this week on a minor-league rehab assignment. He played in his second game since joining the Bees on Thursday. He started at first base and was scheduled to play all nine innings.
He'll likely be in the lineup again on Friday playing first for a full nine innings before his status gets re-evaluated. He went on the major-league disabled list with a left foot contusion on April 29, and he hadn't played since Sunday, when he got hit on the right wrist by a pitch in his first at-bat.
"The foot is great," Cron said. "That one was pretty easy. It got better in about five days. The wrist is OK too. I'm going to test it out tonight, and hopefully it feels good and I can get back up there."
Cron said the original plan called for him to spend three days and play in two games with the Bees. The first-day slate included taking batting practice before playing in a pair of games the following days. However, after getting hit on the wrist he did not play on Monday or Tuesday.
He hit a double to the wall in left-center field in his second at-bat on Thursday night.
"I just want to come out of it pain free," Cron said. "First at-bat I got hit by a pitch so it was kind of a rough start. Here a little longer than I would've liked, but as long as I come out feeling good and the timing is OK that's all I really care about."
Cron said he continues to keep tabs on the Utes and still keeps in touch with baseball coach Bill Kinneberg. Cron called getting to watch the Utes make a run to the Pac-12 championship last year "awesome."
"I guess after the first few years in the Pac, I guess it was a little surprising," Cron said. "I didn't know any of the players really because they were all past my time. I didn't know what they were working with, but they kept winning series — home and on the road. Once you kind of get that momentum going and you get that camaraderie within the team, anything can happen. I think we saw that."
Cron made his major-league debut on May 3, 2014. Last season, he set career highs for hits (113), runs (51), doubles (25), RBIs (69) and games (116) and matched a career high with 16 home runs.
A Baseball America All-American in 2011, Cron became the Utes' first-ever first-round draft pick. He set the Utes' career record for batting average (.396) and was a two time NCBWA District VIII Player of the Year and two-time Mountain West Conference Player of the Year.
Cron usually tries to make at least one visit per year during the offseason. Typically, he plans his visits so that he can catch a football game in the fall. This past offseason, he didn't make it back to campus because it was a jammed-packed wedding season among friends and family.
"I've got a couple friends from college still around so it's fun to get back together with them and go out to eat and just talk about old times we had together — most of them on the baseball field," Cron said. "Just seeing how they're doing, it's always fun to come back. Unfortunate circumstances, but it's fun to see my buddies again."