View Full Version : Coco Crisp

06-19-2009, 05:39 PM
Coco shares a knockout story of his dad on Father's Day.

KANSAS CITY -- The first thing you need to know is that Coco Crisp smiles when he talks about his father.

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Crisp smiles when he thinks about his father, Loyce Crisp, whose professional boxing career lasted one fight. He smiles when he thinks about the hours his father spent at his L.A.-area fast food restaurants. He smiles when he thinks about his own baseball career and his sister's figure skating career and all the sacrifices Loyce made to help them succeed.

"I don't know how you can tell his story," Crisp says, "You could write a book about his life."

Here's the book on Loyce Crisp. It's a story about a young man from South Central Los Angeles. A young man from a family with eight kids. A young man who grew up in neighborhoods in Compton and Inglewood and Watts.

"He came from Watts, really," Crisp says.

The second thing you need to know is Loyce's boxing story.

Loyce used to tell Crisp this story all the time.

Loyce was the youngest of six brothers. He tried a little bit of everything growing up. Coco says his father even considered being a jockey.

"In high school, he was no taller than a light switch." Crisp says. "Seriously, he had a growth spurt shortly after high school, and now he's at a stout 5-foot-7. But he was about 5-foot-4 coming out of high school."

You see, Loyce's brother Marshall was a boxer -- an Army champion.

So Loyce entered the ring. He had a little talent and, of course, he had the name for it.

"They called him Sugar Crisp," Crisp says.

And Loyce was supposed to be the next great Sugar.

Loyce had an outstanding career as an amateur. Then finally, the day came. His first professional fight.

Crisp has seen the old slide-show reels of his father's fight. He's seen it so many times that he can provide the play-by-play from memory.

"You see him going through punches," Coco says. You see him looking around at his brothers. He was fighting, right. He was whuppin' the guy up, right. He was hitting him, playing with 'em.

"Third round, there's about 50 seconds left in the fight. He got careless.

"The guy slipped one his jabs, and at the same time threw an overhand right. Pop!"

Crisp pauses.

"Down goes Frazier."

Loyce would always tell his kids that as he sat on that canvas, dazed from the knockout, he had a vision. He looked up into the lights. But he didn't see stars. He saw hamburgers.

It was a sign, he would tell Crisp.

A sign that he should give up boxing.

Soon after, Loyce went into the fast-food business with two of his brothers. They opened a restaurant called Quick N Split -- an L.A. burger joint.

Loyce would stay in the fast-food business for 30 years. He'd provide for his family and raise two kids.

"With the restaurant business, it's 24/7 all the time," Crisp says.

"But with that, he found a lot of time for the family, for myself, my sister, our individual sports, which were very demanding."

The third thing you need to know is that, according to Crisp, he isn't the best athlete in his family.

He comes from a family of athletes. His mom, Pamela, was a championship sprinter. His grandpa is in the U.S. Track and Field Masters Hall of Fame. But it is his sister, Sheileah Crisp, who is the best. Sheileah is a professional ice skater who could have made it big, Crisp says. And would have made it big if it wasn't for injuries.

While Sheileah skated, Crisp fell in love with baseball, and Loyce nurtured both their talents.

"Waking up early in the morning, taking my sister ice skating, to be there by six, taking us to school after that, going to the restaurant business, coaching Little League," Crisp says, describing a normal day. "And not just coaching me. That was the crazy thing. He wasn't just coaching me. He was on the board of the Little League that we we're playing at.

"It was just very impressive really, what one man was capable of doing."

It wasn't just sports, though. It was life. And everyone in the neighborhood knew Loyce. If somebody needed advice, favors -- any kind of help. His dad would be there, Crisp says.

"My dad didn't have to have a big circle. But he probably had one of the biggest circles of family members and friends," Crisp says. "He would be that chord, the middle of that circle.

"He is so unselfish. Even in times when he doesn't feel like doing things. He'll still go out of his way to do them."

The fourth thing you need to know is Crisp hears his family when he plays.

Well, he doesn't hear one specific voice or any specific words. He feels their competitive spirit.

Crisp has played for three different Major League teams. He's made the playoffs twice. He won a World Series with the Red Sox in 2007.

He's tried to bring his competitive mentality to Kansas City.

Some Royals players mention how he runs every ball out. Some just talk about his blazing speed.

"Watching him play, day in and day out, he flies around the field," third baseman Mark Teahen said.

Crisp said he doesn't know any other way. His family of athletes was too competitive.

"It's easy to hit a ball and run it out. And it's easy to hit a ball and jog," says Crisp, who had to go on the disabled list on June 14 after battling a sore right shoulder all season. "Now, which way is the right way to do it. I feel like you hit it and run the ball out.

"There's times when I hit the ball back to the pitcher and I know I'm out. And mentally, I shut down for a split second, but then that competition that I've had throughout my whole life kicks in and says, 'you better run this ball out, cause that's the right thing to do.'"

The last thing you need to know is Crisp smiles when he talks about his children.

Crisp is no longer the kid who needed help with his swing in South Central.

He's 29 now. He's got a daughter and a son.

He can think about his father with a new perspective.

He looks back on all the sacrifices his father made, all the time and energy that Loyce spent on Crisp and Sheileah. And he can smile.

"You learn a lot more," Crisp says. "You feel a sense of, 'How did they do it?'"

Rustin Dodd is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

06-19-2009, 06:02 PM
Good story

Just curious how a boxing "career" lasts one fight, is it really a career

06-20-2009, 01:06 PM
Crisp is a good guy. And a better player than what he's been for the Royals. Hopefully he can get healthy and help us next year. Looks like this year is shot for him.

06-20-2009, 04:48 PM
uh oh

KANSAS CITY -- Center fielder Coco Crisp might face season-ending surgery, pending an examination of his ailing right shoulder early next week.

Royals general manager Dayton Moore confirmed on Friday night that Crisp was flying on Monday to Birmingham, Ala., where he'll be examined by Dr. James Andrews, a renowned specialist on shoulder injuries.

"[Crisp] feels a second opinion is necessary," Moore said.

Crisp went on the 15-day disabled list on June 12 with a strained rotator cuff. The fear, however, is that the injury might be more serious, possibly a torn labrum that could require surgery. An option to surgery could be more rest.

"There's a tear in there," Moore said, noting that many players are able to carry on with tears. "It's just that the severity of it is that he has a lot of pain with it."

Manager Trey Hillman has repeatedly praised Crisp for continuing to try to stay in the lineup despite the pain.

Losing Crisp because of surgery would deprive the Royals of an effective leadoff hitter and a wide-ranging center fielder for an even longer period.

"It's already been a blow. How much more of a blow could it be?" Hillman said. "He's on the DL."

The club had hoped that rest would cure Crisp's shoulder, which began to bother him in early May. But even a six-game rest did not alleviate the problem., which bothered Crisp primarily when he batted left-handed and threw.

Hillman is not jumping to conclusions.

"We'll wait and see," he said. "With all the injuries that we've had -- with the number of Major League guys we've had on this club -- I'm not in the habit of borrowing more trouble than we're already in."

Crisp has been in a complete shutdown mode since being placed on the disabled list. The Royals also have two other players who began the season as regulars, third baseman Alex Gordon and shortstop Mike Aviles, on the disabled list. Those two have been rehabbing in Arizona.

"It's frustrating. This team is a pretty good team on paper. Even with Gordon out, we were still pretty good," Moore said.

Gordon, who had hip surgery, is expected back around the All-Star break. There's no estimate on when Aviles, who had a right forearm strain, might return.

Crisp has been replaced in center field by Mitch Maier and Willie Bloomquist. David DeJesus, who played center field before Crisp was obtained in a trade last offseason with the Boston Red Sox, has remained in left field.

Maier is batting .247 and has played center the past three games, while the versatile Bloomquist has played shortstop. Bloomquist is batting 289.

In 49 games, Crisp's batting average was just .228, but he had 29 walks and a .336 on-base percentage with 13 stolen bases in the leadoff spot.

Now shoulder surgery looms as a possibility.

"If it happens, we'll deal with it the best way we can and keep fighting it the best way we can," Hillman said.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

NYK Lebron NYK
06-20-2009, 06:26 PM
Ive always liked CoCo Crisp

06-24-2009, 11:43 PM
Crisp has successful surgery

HOUSTON -- Surgery on center fielder Coco Crisp's right shoulder was successful Wednesday, according to Royals manager Trey Hillman.

Crisp underwent surgery for repair of a torn labrum by Dr. James Andrews, a renowned orthopedic surgeon, at Birmingham, Ala.

"He's definitely out for the rest of the season, as we thought," Hillman said. "They felt like the surgery went well."

Recovery from such surgery requires several months, but Hillman had no timetable for Crisp.

"As far as length of rehab and into the offseason beyond the next spring, I don't know," Hillman said.

Crisp went on the disabled list on June 14. He was batting .228 in 49 games in his first season with the Royals.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.