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Mickey Cochrane

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Cochrane Mickey

Full Name: Gordon Stanley Cochrane Primary Position: C
Height/Weight: 5' 10.5"/180 First Game: April 14, 1925
Birthdate: April 6, 1903 Final Game: May 25, 1937
Birthplace: Bridgewater, Massachusetts MLB Experience: 13 years
Died: June 28, 1962
Deathplace: Lake Forest, Illinois
Bat/Throw: Left/Right
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Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1947


Biography

Born as Gordon Stanley Cochrane in Bridgewater, MA on April 6, 1903. He was the fifth of seven children of John and Sadie Cochrane. His parents were both immigrants of Scottish descent. He attended college close to his home at Boston University. He would played football in college as a quarterback, running back, and punter and also excelled in basketball. Baseball was probably his weakest sport.

He was a born leader known for his fiery temper and his extremely competitive nature. His former teammate Doc Cramer once said, "Lose a 1-0 game and you didn't want to get into the clubhouse with Grove and Cochrane. You'd be ducking stools and gloves and bats and whatever else would fly."

Cochrane played the outfield while in college, but began catching when he starting playing for Dover of the Class-D Eastern Shore League while he was still in college. The team needed a catcher and Cochrane stepped in despite the fact that he did not like the position and was not very good at it. He grew comfortable with the role as he began to excel at it. Cy Perkins, the catcher for the Philadelphia A's taught him a lot before Cochrane took over his job as the regular catcher for the A's in 1925. His defense behind the plate improved dramatically until he was known as one of the better catchers in the league.

Cochrane immediately made an impact with his bat. In his rookie year batted .331/.397/.448 in 420 AB's. In his 13 years as a big league catcher he failed to hit .290 just twice. His best year came in 1930 when he hit .357/.424/.526 with 10 HR and 85 RBI. His biggest power year came in 1932 when he batted .293 with 23 HR and 112 RBI. It was the only time in his career that he topped 20 HR or 100 RBI.

The man had no weaknesses. He had a great arm, blocked the plate well, and called a good game. He was great with people so he handled his pitching staff well. He hit for average, drew walks, and had a little bit of power. He was also fast for a catcher. Connie Mack would sometimes insert him into the leadoff spot because of his above average speed and ability to get on base, but he spent most of his career batting third.

The A's would make the playoffs for 3 straight years with Mickey behind the plate. He would score 113 runs in 1929, the first of their three playoff appearances, while batting in front of Jimmie Foxx and Al Simmons. The same trio also lead one of the league's best offenses for the next two playoff runs. The team would win the World Series in '29 and '30 beating the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals.

Mostly because of financial difficulties, Connie Mack was forced to sell Cochrane to the Detroit Tigers. The move was one of the best that Detroit has ever made. Cochrane took over the managerial job in Detroit and acted as a player/manager leading the team to consecutive World Series appearances in 1934 and 1935. The Tigers won their first World Series under his control in '35.

His playing career was cut short when he was hit in the head by a Bump Hadley pitch on May 25, 1937. He spent two days in intensive care and nearly died. When he recovered his confidence was shaken. That, combined with the stress of managing, lead to his dismissal from the Tigers on August 6, 1938.

He spent most of his days after his playing career relaxing at his Montana ranch with his wife, Mary and his two daughters, Joan and Sara. His only son, Gordon Jr., died while serving in World War II. He enjoying music and dancing and was always willing to help out a friend in need. He died of lympatic cancer at the age of 59 in Lake Forest, Illinois. His wife lived on another 37 years before dying on June 16, 1999.


Statistics

Batting Stats

Year Team G AB R H HR RBI AVG OBP SLG 2B 3B BB SO HBP SH SB IBB GDP
1925 PHI A 134 420 69 139 6 55 .331 .397 .448 21 5 44 19 2 8 7 0 0
1926 PHI A 120 370 50 101 8 47 .273 .369 .408 8 9 56 15 0 26 5 0 0
1927 PHI A 126 432 80 146 12 80 .338 .409 .495 20 6 50 7 2 23 9 0 0
1928 PHI A 131 468 92 137 10 57 .293 .395 .464 26 12 76 25 3 21 7 0 0
1929 PHI A 135 514 113 170 7 95 .331 .412 .475 37 8 69 8 2 21 7 0 0
1930 PHI A 130 487 110 174 10 85 .357 .424 .526 42 5 55 18 1 18 5 0 0
1931 PHI A 122 459 87 160 17 89 .349 .423 .553 31 6 56 21 3 3 2 0 0
1932 PHI A 139 518 118 152 23 112 .293 .412 .510 35 4 100 22 4 3 0 0 0
1933 PHI A 130 429 104 138 15 60 .322 .459 .515 30 4 106 22 3 4 8 0 0
1934 DET A 129 437 74 140 2 76 .320 .428 .412 32 1 78 26 4 5 8 0 0
1935 DET A 115 411 93 131 5 47 .319 .452 .450 33 3 96 15 4 11 5 0 0
1936 DET A 44 126 24 34 2 17 .270 .465 .381 8 0 46 15 0 6 1 0 0
1937 DET A 27 98 27 30 2 12 .306 .452 .490 10 1 25 4 1 2 0 0 0
Total 1482 5169 1041 1652 119 832 .320 .419 .478 333 64 857 217 29 151 64 0 0

Fielding Stats

Year Team POS G GS INN PO A ERR DP TP PB SB CS PkO AVG
1925 PHI A C 133 0 0 419 79 8 9 0 12 0 0 0 .984
1926 PHI A C 115 0 0 502 90 15 9 0 8 0 0 0 .975
1927 PHI A C 123 0 0 559 85 9 11 0 8 0 0 0 .986
1928 PHI A C 130 0 0 645 71 25 8 0 8 0 0 0 .966
1929 PHI A C 135 0 0 659 77 13 9 0 9 0 0 0 .983
1930 PHI A C 130 0 0 654 69 5 11 0 7 0 0 0 .993
1931 PHI A C 117 0 0 560 63 9 9 0 6 0 0 0 .986
1932 PHI A C 137 0 0 652 94 5 15 0 11 0 0 0 .993
1932 PHI A OF 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
1933 PHI A C 128 0 0 476 67 6 8 0 6 0 0 0 .989
1934 DET A C 124 0 0 517 69 7 7 0 3 0 0 0 .988
1935 DET A C 110 0 0 504 50 6 6 0 6 0 0 0 .989
1936 DET A C 42 0 0 159 13 3 1 0 4 0 0 0 .983
1937 DET A C 27 0 0 108 13 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
Total OF 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Total C 1451 0 0 6414 840 111 104 0 88 0 0 0 .985

Transactions

  • Traded by Portland (PCL) to Philadelphia Athletics in exchange for Harry Riconda, Dennis Burns, Bob Hasty, Ed Sherling, Charles Rowland and $50000 (November 17, 1924).
  • Traded by Philadelphia Athletics to Detroit Tigers in exchange for Johnny Pasek and $100000 (December 12, 1933).

Trivia

  • Cochrane hit a home run in his last major league at bat
  • Hall of Famer, Mickey Mantle was named after Cochrane
  • In his debut, Cochrane caught Lefty Grove who was also making his MLB debut. They are the only battery to make their debut together and both get into the Hall of Fame
  • On May 21, 1925, Cochrane hit 3 HR in one game. That day made up half of his home run production for the year as he finished with 6.
  • His Detroit Tigers went 348-250 when he was the manager for a .582 WPCT
  • Won the AL MVP in 1928 and 1934
  • All-Star Games: 1934 and 1934
  • World Series Champion: 1929, 1930, and 1935
  • His .320 career AVG is good enough for 56th best, all-time
  • His .419 career OBP is good enough for 20th best, all-time



See also

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