Coco Crisp

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Coco Crisp
Coco Crisp Oakland 2015.jpg
Crisp with the Athletics in 2015
Center fielder / Left fielder
Born: (1979-11-01) November 1, 1979 (age 39)
Los Angeles, California
Batted: SwitchThrew: Right
MLB debut
August 15, 2002, for the Cleveland Indians
Last MLB appearance
October 2, 2016, for the Cleveland Indians
MLB statistics
Batting average .265
Home runs 130
Runs batted in 639
Stolen bases 309
Career highlights and awards

Covelli Loyce "Coco" Crisp [1] (born November 1, 1979) is an American former professional baseball outfielder. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Cleveland Indians, Boston Red Sox, Kansas City Royals, and Oakland Athletics. While primarily a center fielder throughout his career, Crisp also played left field for the Athletics and during his stints with the Indians. With the Red Sox, he won the 2007 World Series over the Colorado Rockies.

Baseball Sport

Baseball is a bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player on the fielding team, called the pitcher, throws a ball which a player on the batting team tries to hit with a bat. The objectives of the offensive team are to hit the ball into the field of play, and to run the bases—having its runners advance counter-clockwise around four bases to score what are called "runs". The objective of the defensive team is to prevent batters from becoming runners, and to prevent runners' advance around the bases. A run is scored when a runner legally advances around the bases in order and touches home plate. The team that scores the most runs by the end of the game is the winner.

An outfielder is a person playing in one of the three defensive positions in baseball or softball, farthest from the batter. These defenders are the left fielder, the center fielder, and the right fielder. An outfielder's duty is to try to catch long fly balls before they hit the ground or to quickly catch or retrieve and return to the infield any other balls entering the outfield. Outfielders normally play behind the six other members of the defense who play in or near the infield.

Major League Baseball Professional baseball league

Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball organization, the oldest of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. A total of 30 teams play in the National League (NL) and American League (AL), with 15 teams in each league. The NL and AL were formed as separate legal entities in 1876 and 1901 respectively. After cooperating but remaining legally separate entities beginning in 1903, the leagues merged into a single organization led by the Commissioner of Baseball in 2000. The organization also oversees Minor League Baseball, which comprises 256 teams affiliated with the Major League clubs. With the World Baseball Softball Confederation, MLB manages the international World Baseball Classic tournament.


Early life

Crisp was born in Los Angeles on November 1, 1979. He is the son of Loyce Crisp, a fast food restaurant owner and former amateur boxer, and Pamela Crisp, a former champion sprinter. [2] He is a graduate of Major League Baseball's Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities Program. [3] His maternal grandfather is Nick Newton, masters world record holder and inventor of cast aluminum starting blocks. [4] He played on the 1995 Senior Division RBI World Series champions from Los Angeles.

Los Angeles City in California

Los Angeles, officially the City of Los Angeles and often known by its initials L.A., is the most populous city in California and the second most populous city in the United States, after New York City. With an estimated population of four million, Los Angeles is the cultural, financial, and commercial center of Southern California. The city is known for its Mediterranean climate, ethnic diversity, Hollywood and the entertainment industry, and its sprawling metropolis.

Fast food food prepared and served in a small amount of time

Fast food is a type of mass-produced food designed for commercial resale and with a strong priority placed on "speed of service" versus other relevant factors involved in culinary science. Fast food was originally created as a commercial strategy to accommodate the larger numbers of busy commuters, travelers and wage workers who often did not have the time to sit down at a public house or diner and wait for their meal. By making speed of service the priority, this ensured that customers with strictly limited time were not inconvenienced by waiting for their food to be cooked on-the-spot. For those with no time to spare, fast food became a multibillion-dollar industry.

Boxing combat sport

Boxing is a combat sport in which two people, usually wearing protective gloves, throw punches at each other for a predetermined amount of time in a boxing ring.


Crisp was originally nicknamed "Coco" by his sister who teased him that he looked like one of the characters on the Cocoa Krispies cereal box. The nickname was short-lived, until he started playing AA baseball when the team had all the players fill out a questionnaire to get to know one another. Covelli listed "Coco" as his nickname on the form and his teammates thought the name was funny so they had it put on the scoreboard during the game. He was traded to another team after a week and a half, but the nickname stuck and he has been "Coco Crisp" ever since. He officially changed his name on March 5, 2013. [5]

Cocoa Krispies A cocoa flavored version of Rice Krispies

Cocoa Krispies, Choco Krispis, Choco Krispies, Coco Pops, or Choco Pops is a breakfast cereal produced by Kellogg's, coming both as a boxed cereal and as a snack bar with a 'dried milk' covered bottom. It is a cocoa flavored version of Rice Krispies. Containing a substance imitating milk chocolate, the cereal can turn milk "chocolatey."

Minor league career

The St. Louis Cardinals selected Crisp in the seventh round of the 1999 MLB Draft. In his minor league career, Crisp played for Cardinals affiliates in four different leagues from 1999 to 2001 and was the Cardinals 2001 Minor League Player of the Year. He opened the 2002 season with the New Haven Ravens, then the Double-A Eastern League affiliate of the Cardinals. He was traded to the Cleveland Indians on August 7, 2002, to complete an earlier trade for pitcher Chuck Finley. In the Indians organization, he played for their Double-A affiliate, the Akron Aeros, and their Triple-A affiliate, the Buffalo Bisons. Crisp had 69 hits, one home run, and 24 RBI before being called up by the Indians. Crisp never had any major league experience with the Cardinals.

St. Louis Cardinals Major League Baseball team in St. Louis, Missouri, United States

The St. Louis Cardinals are an American professional baseball team based in St. Louis, Missouri. The Cardinals compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) Central division. Busch Stadium has been their home ballpark since 2006. One of the most successful franchises in baseball history, the Cardinals have won 11 World Series championships, the second-most in Major League Baseball and the most in the National League. Their 19 National League pennants rank third in NL history. In addition, St. Louis has won 13 division titles in the East and Central divisions.

Cleveland Indians Baseball team and Major League Baseball franchise in Cleveland, Ohio, United States

The Cleveland Indians are an American professional baseball team based in Cleveland, Ohio. The Indians compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League (AL) Central division. Since 1994, they have played at Progressive Field. The team's spring training facility is at Goodyear Ballpark in Goodyear, Arizona. Since their establishment as a major league franchise in 1901, the Indians have won two World Series championships: in 1920 and 1948, along with 10 Central Division titles and six American League pennants. The Indians' current World Series championship drought is the longest active drought.

Pitcher the player responsible for throwing ("pitching") the ball to the batters in a game of baseball or softball

In baseball, the pitcher is the player who throws the baseball from the pitcher's mound toward the catcher to begin each play, with the goal of retiring a batter, who attempts to either make contact with the pitched ball or draw a walk. In the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the pitcher is assigned the number 1. The pitcher is often considered the most important player on the defensive side of the game, and as such is situated at the right end of the defensive spectrum. There are many different types of pitchers, such as the starting pitcher, relief pitcher, middle reliever, lefty specialist, setup man, and the closer.

Major league career

Cleveland Indians

Crisp became the starting center fielder with the Indians in mid-2002, replacing the injured Matt Lawton. For the next few seasons, Crisp established a reputation as an excellent fielder and speedy baserunner. Despite his success, Crisp had to fight for his roster spot each spring. In 2005, Crisp moved to left field following the emergence of another young outfielder, Grady Sizemore. In his final two seasons with the Indians, Crisp showcased his offensive talent by batting .297 and .300 with 31 total home runs and 35 steals.

Matthew Lawton, Jr. is an American former professional baseball player whose career spanned 15 seasons, including 12 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB). Lawton, an outfielder, made his major league debut September 5, 1995, with the Minnesota Twins, who signed him four years prior. He also played in the majors with the New York Mets (2001), the Cleveland Indians (2002–04), the Pittsburgh Pirates (2005), the Chicago Cubs (2005), the New York Yankees (2005), and the Seattle Mariners (2006). Over his major league career, Lawton compiled a .267 batting average with 1,273 hits, 267 doubles, 17 triples, 138 home runs, 631 runs batted in (RBIs), 165 stolen bases, and 681 walks in 1,334 games played.

Spring training training during the spring season, in baseball

In Major League Baseball (MLB), spring training is a series of practices and exhibition games preceding the start of the regular season. Spring training allows new players to try out for roster and position spots, and gives established players practice time prior to competitive play. Spring training has always attracted fan attention, drawing crowds who travel to the warm climates of Arizona and Florida to enjoy the weather and watch their favorite teams play, and spring training usually coincides with spring break for many US college students.

Grady Sizemore American professional baseball outfielder

Grady Sizemore is an American former professional baseball outfielder. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Cleveland Indians from 2004 through 2011, but did not play in the majors for the following two years after back and knee injuries. He returned in 2014 with the Boston Red Sox and played for the Philadelphia Phillies from 2014 to 2015 before finishing 2015 with the Tampa Bay Rays. He was a three-time MLB All-Star and a two-time Gold Glove Award winner. He also won a Silver Slugger Award.

Boston Red Sox

After Johnny Damon signed with the New York Yankees, the Red Sox sought Crisp to fill Damon's role as both leadoff hitter and in center field. In January 2006, the Red Sox sent prospect third baseman Andy Marte, pitcher Guillermo Mota, catcher Kelly Shoppach, a player to be named later (Minor Leaguer Randy Newsom), and cash considerations to the Indians for Crisp, catcher Josh Bard and pitcher David Riske.[ citation needed ] [6]

Johnny Damon American professional baseball outfielder

Johnny David Damon is a former American professional baseball outfielder who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1995 to 2012. In his MLB career, Damon played for the Kansas City Royals (1995–2000), Oakland Athletics (2001), Boston Red Sox (2002–05), New York Yankees (2006–09), Detroit Tigers (2010), Tampa Bay Rays (2011) and Cleveland Indians (2012). Damon also played for the Thailand national baseball team and was a member of the squad for the 2013 World Baseball Classic qualifiers.

New York Yankees Baseball team and Major League Baseball franchise in the Bronx, New York, United States

The New York Yankees are an American professional baseball team based in the New York City borough of the Bronx. The Yankees compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League (AL) East division. They are one of two major league clubs based in New York City, the other being the New York Mets of the National League. In the 1901 season, the club began play in the AL as the Baltimore Orioles. Frank Farrell and Bill Devery purchased the franchise and moved it to New York City, renaming the club the New York Highlanders. The Highlanders were officially renamed the Yankees in 1913.

Third baseman defensive position in baseball and softball, played on the far left end of the infield near third base

A third baseman, abbreviated 3B, is the player in baseball whose responsibility is to defend the area nearest to third base — the third of four bases a baserunner must touch in succession to score a run. In the scoring system used to record defensive plays, the third baseman is assigned the number '5'.

Crisp playing for the Boston Red Sox in 2007. Coco Crisp on September 9, 2007 (2).jpg
Crisp playing for the Boston Red Sox in 2007.

Crisp signed a three-year contract extension worth $15.5 million.[ citation needed ] [7] Crisp broke his left index finger attempting to steal third base and spent the next 42 games on the disabled list and then finished the season with a broken left index finger. After returning to the Red Sox outfield on May 28, Kevin Youkilis had taken over the leadoff spot, and Crisp usually batted 7th or 8th in the line-up for the rest of the year. In 105 games, he had a .264 batting average with 8 home runs and 36 RBI. Besides his injury, Crisp's 2006 season may be best remembered for a catch against the New York Mets on June 29.

2007 season

Crisp began the 2007 season struggling offensively due to lingering effects of off season surgery to his left index finger . On April 20, 2007, Crisp fell over a short wall at Fenway Park while trying to catch a home run by Alex Rodriguez. Although he was unable to make the catch, missing by inches, he hit a game-tying triple off Mariano Rivera in the bottom of the eighth, then scored the go-ahead run on Alex Cora's soft line drive single. The Red Sox went on to win 7–6. During this season, he made numerous impressive catches in the outfield. It has even been claimed by one major league club that Crisp is easily the best defensive center fielder in all of Major League Baseball. [8] Although he struggled at the plate throughout much of the season, between June 13 and July 23, Crisp raised his batting average from .221 to .284, a .402 average during that span. On June 18, entering the game with only two home runs in the season, Crisp belted two homers in the first multi-HR game of his career in a 9–4 loss to the Atlanta Braves.

On August 5, Crisp was almost run over by the Seattle Mariners' mascot, the Mariner Moose. The Moose, driving a lap around Safeco Field's warning track on an ATV, nearly collided with Crisp as he was leaving the dugout for his position in the middle of the fifth inning; Crisp had to jump out of the way to avoid being hit. Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell was incensed by the mascot's actions and voiced his displeasure to both the mascot and Seattle's head groundskeeper. Immediately following the incident, the Red Sox received an apology from Mariners GM Bill Bavasi. [9]

On October 21, in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series, Crisp made the catch that sent Boston to their second World Series in four seasons. He hit the wall shortly after making the catch, minorly injuring himself in the process. Despite this, he was well enough to play in the World Series.

Although he was the team's starting center fielder throughout the 2007 season, he was benched mid-series during the ALCS for rookie Jacoby Ellsbury. He remained benched for the 2007 World Series, only appearing late in games for defensive substitutions.

2008 season

Bench-clearing brawl on June 5, 2008. Massive fenway brawl.jpg
Bench-clearing brawl on June 5, 2008.

On June 4, Crisp was the center of controversy in a game against the Tampa Bay Rays. While Crisp was trying to steal second base in the bottom of the sixth inning, Rays shortstop Jason Bartlett purposely placed his knee in front of the bag in an attempt to prevent Crisp from stealing the base. [10] Crisp stole the base, but was not happy with this. On base again in the bottom of the eighth inning, he attempted another steal, this time taking out second baseman Akinori Iwamura on a hard slide. His slide was controversial and catalyzed the "payback pitch" the following game. During a pitching change in that inning, Rays manager Joe Maddon and Crisp argued, with Crisp in the dugout and Maddon on the pitching mound. After the game, Crisp said that he thought Bartlett would cover the bag, instead he (Bartlett) chose to tell Iwamura to take the throw in the eighth inning. Crisp described Bartlett's knee in front of the bag as a "Dirty" play. [11] The very next game, in Crisp's first at bat in the bottom of the second, leading off the inning with the Sox up 3–1, Rays starter James Shields hit him on the thigh on the second pitch. Crisp charged the mound and first dodged a punch from Shields, and then threw a glancing punch at Shields, which set off a bench-clearing brawl. Crisp, Jonny Gomes, and Shields were ejected from the game. [12] [13] Major League Baseball suspended Crisp for seven games due to his actions in the brawl. [14] Upon appeal, the suspension was reduced to five games, which he had served as of June 28, 2008. [15] In Game 5 of the ALCS, Coco Crisp had a game-tying hit in the bottom of the 8th inning to cap Boston's 7-run comeback. Boston would go on to win the game 8–7 with a walk-off single in the ninth inning by J. D. Drew, but lose the series in 7 games.

Crisp with the Kansas City Royals in 2009 spring training. Coco Crisp 2009 spring (1).jpg
Crisp with the Kansas City Royals in 2009 spring training.

Kansas City Royals

On November 19, 2008, Crisp was traded to the Kansas City Royals for relief pitcher Ramón Ramírez. [16]

During his lone season with the Royals, Crisp's started off hot hitting well over .300 before his batting average fell to a career low .228 due to shoulder injuries. On June 23, 2009, Royals manager Trey Hillman announced that Crisp would receive season ending surgeries to repair a labrum tear in both shoulders. [17]

Oakland Athletics

After the 2009 season, Crisp signed a one-year contract with the Oakland Athletics worth $5 million, with a club option for 2011. [18] [19] Crisp began the 2010 season on the 15-day DL with a fractured left pinkie finger. [20]

Crisp entered the 2011 season exercising his one-year option with the Oakland Athletics. On August 24, Crisp homered from both sides of the plate against the New York Yankees. In that game, he hit a game-winning three-run home run in the top of the 10th inning on the first pitch he saw against reliever Rafael Soriano. [21]

Crisp re-signed with Athletics on January 3, 2012, on a two-year, $14 million deal with a club option for 2014. Crisp had received other offers from clubs such as the Baltimore Orioles and Chicago White Sox as well, but declined them both. [22]

On October 10, 2012, in Game 4 of the 2012 American League Division Series against the Detroit Tigers, Crisp came to bat in the bottom of the ninth inning. The score was tied 3–3, there were 2 outs and a runner on second base (Seth Smith). The A's were down 3–1 entering the inning, but subsequently tied the game with three straight hits off Detroit pitcher José Valverde, thus setting the stage for Crisp. He came through with a walk-off single to right field that scored Smith, giving the A's a 4–3 win and forcing a decisive Game 5. On October 11, 2012 the Tigers finished off the series with a 6–0 victory over the A's.

After the 2013 season, the Athletics exercised their club option on Crisp for the 2014 season. [23] Before the 2014 season, Crisp signed an extension with the Athletics covering the 2015 and 2016 seasons. The contract guaranteed him $11 million in each of the 2015 and 2016 seasons, and had a vesting option for the 2017 season. [24] Crisp's playing time was reduced in 2016, leading him to believe that the Athletics were intentionally preventing his 2017 option from vesting. [25]

In 2015, he batted a career-low .175 and had the lowest on-base percentage (.252) and slugging percentage (.222) of his career, as on defense he played exclusively in left field. [26]

Return to Cleveland

Crisp taking batting practice before game three of the 2016 American League Division Series 2016-10-10 Coco Crisp with Cleveland 02.jpg
Crisp taking batting practice before game three of the 2016 American League Division Series

On August 31, 2016, the Athletics traded Crisp with cash considerations to the Indians for Colt Hynes. Before he agreed to waive his no-trade clause, Chris Antonetti, the Indians' general manager, spoke with Crisp to tell him that he would not receive enough playing time in Cleveland for his option to vest. [27] In 2016, he batted .208 for Cleveland. [28]

On October 10, 2016, against the Boston Red Sox in Game 3 of the ALDS, Crisp hit a go-ahead two-run home run, which would eventually be the game-winner after the Indians won 4-3. The Indians' win propelled them to the ALCS against the Toronto Blue Jays. It was Crisp's second career postseason home run. However, he and the Cleveland Indians could not hold on in the World Series, losing the Series in Game 7 to the Chicago Cubs.


Crisp became a free agent following the 2016 season after he failed to meet the contractual incentives that would have caused his vesting option for 2017 to trigger. In July 2017, Crisp became the head coach of the Shadow Hills High School baseball team. [29]

In February 2019, it was announced that Crisp would be joining the Oakland Athletics Radio Network as a part-time color analyst, working alongside Ken Korach and Vince Cotroneo in the booth for 33 games in the 2019 season. [30]

Playing style

Crisp was known for having great range in center field, but also for having a below average throwing arm. At the height of his career, Crisp was considered one of the best base-stealers in the game and a generally aggressive baserunner. He owns the Athletics franchise record for most consecutive stolen bases without being caught. [31] He was known to be a good "small-ball" type player because of his good bunting skills but also had respectable power. Crisp had also only been hit by a pitch five times in his fifteen-year career. [32]

Personal life

Crisp is of Italian, African American and Puerto Rican descent. His father is of Puerto Rican and Italian descent and his mother is African American. He is married and has four children: three sons and a daughter. He and his family used to live in Desert Hot Springs, California but now they all live in Rancho Mirage, California. [33]

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