Cecil Celester Cooper, nicknamed "Coop," is a former first baseman in Major League Baseball and the former manager of the Houston Astros. From 1971 through 1987, Cooper played for the Boston Red Sox and Milwaukee Brewers. He batted and threw left-handed, and attended Prairie View A&M University in Prairie View, Texas.
Cecil Cooper was born on December 20, 1949, in Brenham, Texas, a city with a population of 13,000 and located 70 miles northwest of Houston. Raised in nearby Independence, Cooper was the youngest of 13 children, seven boys and six girls. Cooper's mother Ocie died when he was just 10. His ball-playing father, Roy, worked with a nearby Department of Public Works. A 6 ft 2 in left-hander, Cecil was taught baseball by his brothers John, Sylvester, and Jessie. John and Sylvester later played with the barnstorming Indianapolis Clowns of the Negro Leagues.* John as a pitcher while Sylvester was a catcher who according to Cecil once caught Satchel Paige According to a 1980 Sports Illustrated story, father Roy also played in the Negro Leagues.
Cooper followed his brothers, playing ball for three years at the all-black Pickard High School, transferring his senior year to the integrated Brenham High School. At Pickard High, he won two state championships under coach Henry Rogers.
This all happened so fast, I was trying to keep my emotions in check. It really kind of stays on. I'm just tickled that the guys played well. The ingredients for winning a ball game are pitching, defense and key base hits. And we got them all.