Image of COCO   Nickname:   COCO Position:   OF/Runnig Coord
Home: N/A Team:   NATIONALS Org.
Height: 5' 11" Bats:   S
Weight: 185 Throws:   R
DOB: 11/1/1979 Agent: Steve Comte
Birth City: Los Angeles, CA Draft: Cardinals #7 - 1999 - Out Pierce JUCO (CA)
Uniform #: N/A  
1999 APP JOHNSON CITY   65 229 55 59 5 4 3 22 27   44 41     .258
2000 NYP NEW JERSEY   36 134 18 32 5 0 0 14 25   11 22     .239
2000 MWL PEORIA   27 98 14 27 9 0 0 7 7   16 15     .276
2001 CAR POTOMAC   139 530 80 162 23 3 11 47 39   52 64     .306
2002 EL NEW HAVEN-AKRON   96 387 70 120 17 1 10 51 30   39 59     .310
2002 IL BUFFALO   4 21 3 5 1 0 0 2 1   0 2     .238
2002 AL INDIANS $200.00 32 127 16 33 9 2 1 9 4 1 11 19 .314 .386 .260
2003 IL BUFFALO   56 225 42 81 19 6 1 24 20   26 24     .360
2003 AL INDIANS   99 414 55 110 15 6 3 27 15 9 23 51 .302 .353 .266
2004 AL INDIANS $319.00 139 491 78 146 24 2 15 71 20 13 36 69 .344 .446 .297
2005 AL INDIANS $365.00 145 594 86 178 42 4 16 69 15 6 44 81 .345 .465 .300
2006 AL RED SOX $2,750.00 105 413 58 109 22 2 8 36 22 4 31 67 .317 .385 .264
2007 AL RED SOX $3,833.00 145 526 85 141 28 7 6 60 28 6 50 84 .330 .382 .268
2008 AL RED SOX $5,083.00 118 361 55 102 18 3 7 41 20 7 35 59 .344 .407 .283
2009 AL ROYALS $6,083.00 49 180 30 41 8 5 3 14 13 2 29 23 .336 .378 .228
2010 PCL SACRAMENTO   6 22 7 13 2 1 0 5 2 1 2 3 .625 .773 .591
2010 CAL STOCKTON   2 6 2 5 0 1 1 3 0 0 1 0 .857 1.667 .833
2010 AL ATHLETICS   75 290 51 81 14 4 8 38 32 3 30 49 .342 .438 .279
2011 AL ATHLETICS $5,750.00 136 531 69 140 27 5 8 54 49 9 41 65 .314 .379 .264
2012 AL ATHLETICS $6,000.00 120 455 68 118 25 7 11 46 39 4 45 64 .325 .418 .259
2013 AL ATHLETICS $7,000.00 131 513 93 134 22 3 22 66 21 5 61 65 .335 .444 .261
2014 AL ATHLETICS $7,500.00 126 463 68 114 21 3 9 47 19 5 66 66 .336 .363 .246
2015 CAL STOCKTON   7 27 6 6 1 0 2 4 0 0 4 3 .323 .481 .222
2015 AL ATHLETICS $11,000.00 44 126 11 22 6 0 0 6 2 0 13 25 .252 .222 .175
2016 AL ATHLETICS $11,000.00 102 393 45 92 24 4 11 47 7 5 37 65 .299 .399 .234
2016 AL INDIANS   20 53 9 11 3 0 2 8 3 0 9 13 .323 .377 .208
  • Coco's real name is Covelli Loyce Crisp. His father, Loyce, was a boxer. He got KO'd, saw hamburgers floating around his head, and decided the restaurant business might promise a better and definitely less painful future. Coco's Dad owned a hamburger place called "Quick N Split."

  • As a kid, Loyce was called Covelli—short for "Machiavelli."

  • Crisp likes to tell the story about his Dad, the boxer, and his one-fight professional career. "Sugar" Crisp came along in the wake of Sugar Ray Robinson and Sugar Ray Leonard and Sugar-this and Sugar-that.

    "He was supposed to be the next Sugar to fill in that void, but he ended up retiring after he lost his first fight," his son recounted.

    The story goes that Loyce "Sugar" Crisp was undefeated in about 50 fights as an amateur and he turned pro for a fight in Los Angeles.

    "It was only a three-rounder and he got cute toward the end and he threw a lazy jab out," Coco said. "The guy slipped it and gave him an overhand right and ended up knocking him out."

    It was a short career, but the son learned something.

    "He taught me how to defend myself," Coco said. (Dick

  • When Coco was 7 years old he was entered into a karate tournament in Las Vegas against kids three and four years older than he. It was no accident, even though he looked out of place. The sensei at Crisp's dojo believed he could handle the bigger stage, and he was right.

    "I was kicking butt," Coco said.

    He was one victory away from taking the title. But there would be no happy ending. With several generations of his family watching, Crisp was pitted against a much older and bigger rival. They split the first two points, but then, "he does some side stop, kicks me in the stomach, and 'down goes Frazier!'"

    "I ron't really remember any of the fights I won," Coco says, "but I remember the one I lost."

  • Growing up in Los Angeles, all Crisp wanted to do was play baseball. But school kept getting in the way. In four years at four different high schools, another year at Southern University, and another year at Pierce Junior College, Crisp played only two seasons. He didn't play at all in his first three years of high school. He changed school several times—a problem with a grade at this school, a conflict with a coach at that one, an undeserved (he insists) ''F" in Spanish at another school . . . there was hardly a chance to get noticed playing baseball, even though Coco, by his own reckoning, was the best Little League player in California.

    Crisp finally settled in long enough at Inglewood High, a long bounce pass from the Forum where another Inglewood High grad, Byron Scott, played guard for the Lakers, and close to his father's burger place, Quick N Split, to play well enough his senior year to attract the attention of Southern University.

    Along the way, he was signed illegally by the Anaheim Angels and had the contract voided by Major League Baseball. In the end, Crisp said that was the best thing that ever happened to him.

    "The last time I've been guaranteed a job was in Little League," Crisp said.

  • If the problem wasn't school, it was coaches. In his freshman year at Peninsula High School in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., Crisp failed English and couldn't play. Since the baseball coach was Crisp's English teacher, he did not see a bright future. The Crisp family moved from Los Angeles to Palos Verdes so his younger sister, an aspiring ice skater, could be closer to her training facility.

    "It was different than what I was used to," Crisp said. "I was from the inner city. I went to school where it was all black kids. I went out there and it was mostly Asian and white kids. . . . It was no problem . . . just different."

    Crisp's competitiveness may have hurt him. As a freshman, he figured he already was better than the varsity second baseman, even though he couldn't make the starting lineup on the freshman-sophomore team.

    At the end of the year, the family moved back to Los Angeles and Crisp transferred to Westchester High School. A clash with the coaching staff ended that season before it started.

    Crisp transferred to St. Bernard, a Catholic High School across the street. Spanish did him in this time.

    "I got an F in Spanish and I wasn't eligible to play," Crisp said. "I thought I should have at least gotten a D."

    Crisp was going to return to St. Bernard for his senior year, but transferred to Inglewood High School because a friend on the team told him they needed an infielder. Crisp wanted to play shortstop, his first love, but the position belonged to the coach's son. For once, the drama of high school sports did not engulf Crisp. He moved to third base and played his first and last season of high school ball. He hit .444 and stole more than 50 bases at Inglewood, but it wasn't enough to get drafted by the pros or recruited by a college.

    "I had good enough grades to get into just about any school," Crisp said. "I got 1,070 on my SAT. But I didn't have any rep."

  • Crisp sent tapes and letters to colleges seeking a scholarship. Southern University in Baton Rouge, La., finally bit, offering Crisp an 85 percent scholarship. When Southern couldn't untangle the knot of high school transcripts left in Crisp's wake, he was declared ineligible for baseball. Crisp stayed at Southern, but didn't go to class and eventually faced expulsion.

    "Basically, I ended up messing up," he said. Roger Cador, Southern's baseball coach, saved Crisp. He convinced the administration to let him redshirt the switch-hitting freshman if he attended summer school. Crisp passed the required courses, but never played at Southern. He went home that summer and played for a team sponsored by the Angels. The players used wood bats instead of aluminum so scouts could gauge them as potential pros.

    "I had some good games," Crisp said. "The Angels sent out some of their head scouts to see me. They signed me as a free agent."

    Why didn't Crisp tell them he was enrolled at Southern?

    "I didn't know anything about rules and regulations," he said.

    When other clubs protested, saying Crisp was a college freshman enrolled at a four-year college and ineligible to sign a pro contract, the deal was voided.

    "I lucked out when the Angels messed up," Crisp said. "I'd been off the radar . . . way off. But even though they did it illegally, probably not on purpose, it put me back on the radar."

    A couple of Crisp's workout buddies, guys who'd been drafted and were playing pro ball, said he should attend Pierce Junior College in nearby Woodland Hills, Calif. They said if he had a good season, he could be eligible for the June 1999 draft. Crisp's parents agreed. So did coach Cador when Crisp called and told him about his plan.

    Former Angels catcher Darryl Miller, meanwhile, called Pierce's baseball coach, Bob Lafrano, and told him, "I've got a kid for you." Miller was one of the Angels scouts who followed Crisp.

    Once again, there was a hitch. Crisp wanted to play third base, but the spot already was taken. Lafrano watched Crisp take infield, saw an outfielder in the making, and asked Crisp to play center.

    "He reminded me of Spider-Man when we put him in the outfield," Lafrano said. "All that athletic ability just came out."

    In 1999, St. Louis drafted Crisp in the 7th round as a second baseman, but moved him to the outfield. He finally was getting paid to do what he wanted to do. (Paul Hoynes-Cleveland Plain Dealer-9/14/04)

  • Coco is a product of baseball's RBI program, which builds baseball in major inner-cities in the USA.

  • Covelli says he was destined for success in sports. "It's in the blood," he said. "We're all into sports. And the Crisp family doesn't like to lose." Loyse Crisp, Covelli's father, starred as a baseball player but made his name in Southern California as a prize fighter before starting a restaurant business.

    His Mom was a sprinter who did not participate in the Olympics even though she qualified. "My grandfather was training her for the junior Olympics and pushed her so hard, she gave up," Coco said. "It's hard when your dad is telling you to run up hills until you throw up."

    His grandfather, Nick Newton, invented the Newton starting blocks that are used by sprinters in Olympic track events.  And his sister is an ice skater with a goal of competing in the Olympic Games, but she broke her ankle. So she turned pro and does ice shows, lik Ebony on Ice.

    How about his ice skating ability? "I can do a waltz jump. I can skate backwards, but I'm not graceful. On the ground, I can do a double Axel, no problem," Coco said.


  • Covelli is known as "Coco" by his friends and teammates. He he's heard all the heckling. "Hey Coco, are you coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs?" But he doesn't take offense. "I hear it all the time and I just laugh; it's no big deal," Crisp said.

    Crisp got his nickname when his grandmother started calling him "Co," short for Covelli, his given name. His cousins, brother, sister, and buddies altered it to "Coco." And that stuck.

    ''My brother and sister got a whiff of the cereal [Cocoa Krispies] and called me Coco. As a kid, you don't like it too much. They asked me what my nickname was when I was in Double A. I said it was Coco."

    The team thought it was funny, so they put it up on the scoreboard. Nobody thought to switch back until a month later, and by then Crisp was on a tear, his batting average up a few dozen points, and he didn’t want to change. It wasn’t too much longer before he was in the big leagues, and he couldn’t have gone back if he tried.

    “From that day, I’ve just been Coco,” he says. “It doesn’t matter. I’m used to it now. They put it on the scoreboard. I got traded [in August 2002] and was up in the big leagues a week and a half later. And I was 'Coco.' When I saw it up there, I thought it was terrible because they used to joke with me when I was a kid."

  • The man with the best name in the big leagues is a mixture of a touch of cockiness and restraint. He endeavors to keep himself under control. He is a good teammate and loves playing the game.

  • He spent the winter before the 2001 season working hard, building his strength and refining his swing from the right side. Then, in 2001, he led the Carolina League in hits.
  • His favorite movie: "The Last Dragon." 

    TV Show: Seinfeld.

    Favorite musical group: Outkast.

    His favorite athlete: Rickey Henderson. 

  • In his spare time, Coco likes to play video games.
  • July 30, 2005: Coco and his wife, Maria, celebrated the birth of their first child, a daughter, Amaile Kamryn.

    "We were watching Harry Potter, and the girl's name is Hermione. We thought they were saying Amailee. I wrote it down because my wife, Maria, was pregnant. When the credits rolled, we realized we were way off, but Amailee stuck. We even like it more since it was different than the movie," Crisp explained.  (Lisa Altobelli-Sports Illustrated-3/06/06)

  • When teammate David Ortiz saw Coco's new hairdo, which makes the outfielder look bigger, Big Papi named the hair-style, "Afro-puff."
  • Coco cut a rap song, ''We Got That Thing," which he wrote for an album featuring big league players (and Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith) called ''Oh Say Can You Sing." Record producer Schorr was impressed. ''Zero hint of ego, laid-back and soft-spoken," he wrote of Crisp, who performed the song at MLB's party at the All-Star Game.
  • He and godbrother Marcus came up with a reality dating show they call ''A Bucket and a Tank of Gas." The gimmick is that a well-heeled guy pretends to be broke; he's given a beat-up car—the bucket—and very little else to try to impress a young woman on a date. At the end of the show, his real identity is revealed—they used actor Rashaan Nall in the pilot—but if the woman had earlier expressed no interest in pursuing the relationship, then it was the guy's call if he'd see her again.  (Gordon Edes-Boston Globe-2/12/06)
  • In the offseason before 2006 spring training, Coco rented a place a half-block off the Strand in Hermosa Beach, California, because his wife, Maria, loves it, and enjoys taking pictures of their new daughter, Amaile Kamryn, with daddy in the sand. But when he sees sand, all he can think of is the running he does daily between the lifeguard shacks, and the sprints up the sand dunes. He says he really doesn't like the beach all that much.
  • June 1, 2009: Coco went on the bereavement list so that he could attend funeral services for his great-grandmother.
  • March 2, 2011: Crisp was arrested by Scottsdale, Arizona police under the suspicion of driving under the influence.
  • Coco, who typically wears his hair in tight braids, showed up at the ballpark sporting a huge Afro that would've impressed former Major League OF Oscar Gamble of the 1970s. Why the 'Fro?

    "My head was itching," Crisp said. "My braids."

  • Crisp is invariably cool and stylish, and his charisma on the field and fashion sense off it have helped make him a fan favorite.

    There's the "Bernie Lean," the dance and hip-hop song inspired by the movie "Weekend at Bernie's" that he helped popularize in 2012 by playing it as his walk-up music.

    And there's his name, which provokes a smile from anyone hearing it for the first time. Then there is his ultimate fashion statement: the "Co-Fro," Crisp's effervescent hairdo.

  • Coco is of Afro-Puerto Rican descent. His mother is of Puerto Rican and Italian descent and his father is African American.

  • By the time he started pro baseball is bowling average was over 200.

    "I once bowled 170 with my left hand," the switch-hitter said. He says his career best bowling score is 273.


  • June 1999: The Cardinals chose Crisp in the 7th round, out of Pierce Jr. College in California. 
  • August 7, 2002: The Cardinals sent Coco to the Indians to complete an earlier deal made on July 19, 2002. The Cardinals had sent Luis Alfonso Garcia and a player to be named later to the Indians for Chuck Finley. 
  • January 27, 2006: The Red Sox sent 3B Andy Marte, P Guillermo Mota, C Kelly Shoppach and cash to the Indians; acquiring Crisp, P David Riske, and C Josh Bard.

    February 6, 2006: Crisp and the Red Sox avoided salary arbitration. They settled at $2.75 million, plus incentives.

  • April 12, 2006: Crisp signed a three-year, $15.5 million contract extension with the Red Sox, taking him through 2009, with an $8 million club option for 2010.
  • November 19, 2008: The Red Sox sent Coco to the Royals, who sent RHP Ramon Ramirez to Boston.
  • November 6, 2009: The Royals paid the $500,000 buyout rather than pick up the $8 million option on Crisp, making him a free agent.
  • December 20, 2009: Crisp signed a one-year contract with the A's, receiving $5.25 million. Coco's contract calls for $4.75 million in 2010, and the team holds a $5.75 million option for 2011 with a $500,000 buyout. And on November 10, 2010, the A's picked up the $5.75 option to keep Crisp through the 2011 season.
  • November 1, 2013: The A's exercised their $7.5 million club option for Crisp.

  • 2014: Crisp has a $7.5 million salary, under a club option exercised Nov. 1. He will earn $11 million per season in 2015 and 2016. And the 2017 option is for $13 million with a $750,000 buyout.

  • Aug. 31, 2016: The Athletics traded Coco and cash to the Indians for LHP Colt Hynes. (Editor's note: The move reunited him with former manager Terry Francona [Red Sox]. And Coco helped the Indians get to the World Series.)
  • Nov 8, 2016: Coco chose free agency.

  • March 14, 2019: Former Cleveland Indians outfielder Coco Crisp is set for a return to the baseball diamond, for a limited engagement.

    Just as they did with former Indians designated hitter Travis Hafner, the Lake Erie Crushers signed Crisp to a one-game contract, and he will suit up for the Frontier League team on Saturday, August 3 at Sprenger Stadium in Avon.

    Along with playing in the game in early August, Crisp will be honored with his own bobblehead on June 22.

    “It’s an honor to have Coco Crisp play for the Crushers this summer, similar to what we did with Travis Hafner in 2018,” Crushers co-owner Tom Kramig said in a release announcing the signing. “We think the fans will really enjoying seeing Coco again, and it should be a great night out at Sprenger Stadium.”

  • Crisp is a switch-hitting leadoff hitter. He tries to hit the ball on the ground so he can take advantage of his superb speed. Coco doesn't walk a lot and isn't going to knock anybody out with his on-base percentage. He hits his way on base.

    He hits with energy and swagger.

  • ''I love the game," said Crisp, just before heading off to his first spring training with the Red Sox in 2006. ''I play hard. I'm not afraid to run into a wall and get hurt, go all out. That's the type of player they love in Boston. I believe that was the type of player Johnny was and why he was so successful. He'll run into walls. If it takes running into walls, that's what I'll do.

    ''As far as going into his shadow, I don't believe it's like that. I think I've established myself slightly. I want to continue to grow as a player and hopefully bring some excitement and enjoyment to the fans."

  • He has pretty good line drive power—enough so that he could bat lower in the batting order. But he gets most of his extra-base hits because of his speed, not his muscle.

    He also is working to improve his eye at the plate, so he can walk more, getting on base and scoring. And he has concentrated on improving his stroke from the right side.

  • Coco now plays with a lot of confidence. He exhibits great hands at the plate. He sprays line drives and steals bases.
  • "He's a throwback to the Cardinals' old Gashouse Gangs of the 1930s," one AL scout said in 2002 to Baseball America. "He's aggressive, athletic and fast. He's the prototypical leadoff hitter who's also an excellent defender. How the Cardinals gave up on him is a mystery to me."
  • Crisp concentrates on hitting line shots or putting the ball on the ground. That is how he maximizes his talent. The ball jumps off his bat and he has learned not to try to do too much.
  • Crisp is one of only a few big league players who does not wear batting gloves. "I stopped wearing them when I turned pro in 1999," Crisp said. "I get a better feel for the bat without them."
  • Coco is a very good bunter. He can drag a bunt down the first base line and beat it out.

    In 2005, according  to the Stat of the Week Web site, Crisp was successful in sacrifice bunt attempts 87 percent of the time—tied with Jamey Carroll, then of the Nationals, for second behind San Francisco's Omar Vizquel's 91 percent among position players.

  • Crisp entered the 2016 season with a career batting average of .265 and 130 home runs and 639 RBI in 5,930 at-bats. His career on-base-percentage is .327.
  • Coco has the speed to cover a whole lot of space in center field. His arm is a little short, but his ability to get rid of the ball quickly helps to make up for some of that lack of arm strength. 
  • He is an exciting player who makes the plays almost nobody else can in the outfield, making incredible diving and sliding catches. He covers a huge amount of territory.

    And Crisp's dazzling basket catches don't occur by happenstance. He works hard at it during batting practice. He takes a lot of pride in his defense. And he has made it an art form.

  • Coco is great at making the basket catch. Why make a basket catch? Red Sox outfield coach Demarlo Hale explained, "It allows him to stay in very good balance while running. He's not trying to turn. And sometimes it's the only way to catch it, when your arm is extended over your head and beyond."
  • Coco is a real stolen base threat every time he gets to first base, or even second base. 
  • With his tremendous speed, Crisp causes havoc when he is on the bases.
  • Crisp runs out every single ground ball and every fly ball—every one—and he runs with intensity. He doesn’t make a show out of it like many do. Just watch.


  • Feb 19, 2019: Coco Crisp is returning to Oakland, this time as an analyst for the radio broadcast team. The former A's fan favorite, who spent parts of seven seasons playing in the green and gold, is set to take part in 33 games next to Ken Korach and Vince Cotroneo in the booth. Crisp will make his A's radio debut when the team squares off against the Giants in Cactus League action on March 10.

  • 2022 Season: Coco was the Nats outfield/baserunning coordinator
    • May 18-June 2, 2005: Coco was on the D.L. with a high-grade sprained right thumb. He tore ligaments in the thumb while trying to stretch a double into a triple, Crisp overslid the bag and jammed his thumb in the dirt. He felt his thumb "pop" but stayed in the game until the seventh inning.

He was in extreme pain after he bent his thumb back grotesquely.

"I was up in the tunnel rolling around in pain," he said. "It was pretty bad. I've played through injuries before. Usually, I can go no matter what."

  • April 8-May 28, 2006: Crisp suffered a fracture on the base of his left index finger (a broken knuckle) when he slid awkwardly into third base during a steal attempt in a game vs. the Orioles.
  • September 25, 2006: Coco had surgery on his left index finger to repair a separation in his left index finger. That is the same finger that had healed up after he missed 42 games earlier in the campaign. But, over the rest of the season, hitting balls off the end of the bat, banging it around, etc., surgery was required to repair it.
  • March 6, 2008: Crisp had a root canal.
  • June 16, 2008: Crisp had discomfort in his left hand. "He strained, when he swung, like right here [at the top of the hand]," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "He iced it. He said he feels OK."

    Really, Coco spent most of the 2006, 2007, and until August 2008 feeling discomfort in his left hand—especially the base of his left index finger that he broke in 2006. And the numbers show it is true. Crisp hit .341 in August and September 2008, then .417 in the playoffs.

  • Mid-May 2009: The back of Crisp's shoulder began hurting him after he made a couple of long distance throws. And by mid-June, he was having to miss games, and his offensive production was dropping. The injury was particularly painful when Crisp, a switch hitter, bats left-handed because it affects his lead hand.

    Coco finally went on the D.L. on June 12. And he had season-ending surgery on his right shoulder to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder.

    Then, the first week of July, Crisp had more surgery, this time on his left shoulder.

  • April 4-May 21, 2010: Crisp broke his left pinkie finger while making a headfirst dive while trying to steal second base against the Giants. He began the season on the D.L.

  • May 23-June 22, 2010: Coco was back on the D.L. with a strained intercostal muscle in his upper right chest. It is a small muscle, but a slow-healing muscle.

  • September 18, 2010: Crisp again fractured his left pinkie finger when he slid into third base while being tagged out after coming around from first on a throwing error by pitcher Kevin Slowey. (He had spent the first six weeks of the season after breaking the same little finger.)

  • May 4-21, 2012: Coco was on the D.L. with an inner-ear infection. He had head congestion and sinus infection.

  • April 30-May 15, 2013: Crisp was on the D.L. with a strained left hamstring he incurred while trying to beat out an infield grounder in the 13th inning of the A's 10-8, 19-inning win over the Angels on April 29.

  • April 1-May 6, 2015: Crisp required arthroscopic surgery on his elbow and missed the first five weeks of the season. Coco had a bone spur and bone chips removed from his right elbow.

  • May 20-Aug. 3, 2015:  The A's placed Coco on the 15-day disabled list with a cervical strain.

Last Updated 3/19/2023 3:37:00 PM. All contents © 2000 by Player Profiles. All rights reserved.