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A's select Crisp for 'Catfish' Hunter Award

OAKLAND -- As voted on by his teammates, coaches and staff, Coco Crisp was named the recipient of the 2013 Jim "Catfish" Hunter Award, which annually honors an A's player whose competitive and inspirational spirit best resembles that of the late Hall of Fame pitcher.

The voting wasn't unanimous, as Crisp said, smiling, that he didn't vote for himself, but it was probably close.

"I voted for him, absolutely," Eric Sogard said. "Definitely well deserved. What he's done this year and throughout his career, but this year especially, what he's done for our team has been unbelievable. He's been a role model for all of us, somebody you can always look to because he's playing hard, playing the game the right way, always has that energy for our team. He's the sparkplug for our team, no doubt."

"Very deserving," added manager Bob Melvin. "He's been, since I've been here, one of the, if not the most respected guys in the clubhouse on a daily basis for us. He could've won it last year, the year before probably. And very deserving this year. He was the guy for it this year."

Crisp said the honor "caught me by surprise" but assured, "I am grateful that everyone feels I'm deserving of this award. It's a pretty amazing feeling coming from the team."

"I go out there and try my best, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't but I try to give 100 percent," he said. "I think that's what our team's all about, so hopefully that's one of the major reasons why they selected me."

"Guys are just trying to be like him and trying to play like him every day," Sogard said. "It doesn't matter how he feels that day, he's going to go out there and give everything he has. You can tell, by the end of the day, he's given everything he had that day, left it out there on the field. As players, that's what we strive to do."

Crisp, 33, is in his fourth season with the A's and entered the day one stolen base shy of becoming the 10th player in club history with 20 homers and 20 steals in a season. The 20 home runs are a career high for Crisp, who is batting .255 with 59 RBIs in 123 games and has not committed an error in 102 games.

Previous winners of the award, presented to Crisp in an on-field presentation prior to Thursday's game, include Tim Hudson (2004), Mark Ellis (2005, 2007), Jason Kendall (2006), Mike Sweeney (2008), Kurt Suzuki (2009), Ben Sheets (2010), Josh Willingham (2011) and Jonny Gomes (2012).

Jane Lee is a reporter for Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB.
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