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Birth:
06 Apr 1903 1
Death:
Jun 1962 1
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Mickey Cochrane
Mickey Cochrane
Grove-Cochrane
Grove-Cochrane
World Series Program
World Series Program
World Series Program
World Series Program
World Series Program
World Series Program
World Series Program
World Series Program
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Corbis-VV10158.jpg
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Shibe Park
Shibe Park
Philadelphia’s Shibe Park, was the home to both the Philadelphia Athletics and Philadelphia Phillies . The stadium opened in 1909 and was the first concrete-and-steel baseball stadium. The stadium hosted eight World Series and Major League Baseball all-star games, the second of which (1952) the only one to be shortened by rain.
Mickey Cochrane Stamp
Mickey Cochrane Stamp
Mickey Cochrane batted .320 during his 13-year career and excelled behind the plate, but he also possessed that special trait -- a fierce, competitive spirit -- which gave him exceptional leadership qualities. Black Mike was the spark of the Athletics' pennant-winning teams of 1929, '30 and '31, hitting .331, .357 and .349, respectively. As player-manager for the Detroit Tigers from 1934-37, he directed them to a league championship in 1934 and the World Series title in '35.

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Personal Details

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Full Name:
Gordon Stanley Cochrane 2
Also known as:
"Mickey" Cochrane Black Mike 2
Full Name:
Gordon Cochrane 1
Birth:
06 Apr 1903 1
Death:
Jun 1962 1
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Social Security:
Social Security Number: ***-**-3960 1

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Bio

Gordon Stanley "Mickey" Cochrane (April 6, 1903 – June 28, 1962) was a professional baseball player and manager.[1] He played inMajor League Baseball as a catcher for the Philadelphia Athletics and Detroit Tigers. Cochrane was considered one of the best catchers in baseball history and is a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Philadelphia Athletics[edit] Mickey Cochrane (right), with Jimmie FoxxBabe Ruth and Lou Gehrig

Cochrane was born in Bridgewater, Massachusetts to Northern Irish immigrant John Cochrane, whose father had immigrated to Ulster from Scotland and Scottish immigrant Sadie Campbell.[2] He was also known as "Black Mike" because of his fiery, competitive nature.[2][3] Cochrane was educated at Boston University, where he played five sports, excelling at football and basketball.[5]Although he considered himself a better football player than a baseball player, professional football wasn't as established as major league baseball at the time, so he signed with the Portland Beaversof the Pacific Coast League in 1924.[6]

After just one season in the minor leagues, Cochrane was promoted to the major leagues, making his debut with the Philadelphia Athletics on April 14, 1925 at the age of 22.[1] He made an immediate impact by becoming Connie Mack's starting catcher in place of Cy Perkins, who was considered one of the best catchers in the major leagues at the time.[7] A left-handed batter, he ran well enough that manager Mack would occasionally have him bat leadoff. He hit third more often, but whatever his place in the order his primary role was to get on base so that hard-hitting Al Simmons and Jimmie Foxx could drive him in. In May, he tied a twentieth-century major league record by hitting three home runs in a game.[8] He ended his rookie season with a .331 batting average and a .397 on base percentage, helping the Athletics to a second place finish.

By the start of the 1926 season, Cochrane was already considered the best catcher in the major leagues.[9] He won the 1928 American League Most Valuable Player Award, mostly for his leadership and defensive skills, when he led the American League in putouts and hit .293 along with 10 home runs and 58 runs batted in.[2][10] He was a catalyst in the Athletics' pennant-winning years of 19291930 and 1931when he hit .331, .357 and .349 respectively.[1][5] He played in those three World Series, winning the first two, but was sometimes blamed for the loss of the 1931 World Series, when the St. Louis Cardinals, led by Pepper Martin, stole eight bases and the Series, although, in his book, The Life of a Baseball Hall of Fame Catcher, author Charlie Bevis cites the Philadelphia pitching staff's carelessness in holding runners as a contributing factor.[11][12] But notwithstanding this, the blame for the 1931 World Series loss would dog Cochrane for the rest of his life.[11]

In 1934, Connie Mack started to disassemble his dynasty for financial reasons and sold Cochrane to the Detroit Tigers, who made him player-manager.[5] It was as a Tiger that he cemented his reputation as a team leader.[5] His competitive nature drove the Tigers, who had been picked to finish in fourth or fifth place, to the 1934 American League championship, their first pennant in 25 years.[5][13][14] His leadership skills won him the 1934 Most Valuable Player Award, remarkable considering that Lou Gehrig had won the Triple Crown and finished with a much higher W.A.R. (10.7 versus 4.3).[5][15] He followed this by leading the Tigers to another American League pennant in 1935 and a victory over the Chicago Cubs in the 1935 World Series.[16] Due in part to his high-strung nature, however, he suffered a nervous breakdown during the 1936 season.[5]

Cochrane's playing career came to a sudden end on May 25, 1937 when he was hit in the head by a pitch by Yankees pitcher Bump Hadley. Hospitalized for seven days, the injury nearly killed him. His accident generated a call for protective helmets for batters, but tradition won out at that time.[17] Ordered by doctors not to play baseball again (he was just 34 years old), he returned to the dugout to continue managing the Tigers but had lost his competitive fire.[14]He managed for the remainder of the 1937 season, but was replaced midway through the 1938 season.[5] His all-time managerial record was 348-250, for a .582 winning percentage.[18]

Despite his head injury, Cochrane served in the United States Navy during World War II[3][5] as did Bill Dickey of the Yankees, giving the Navy the two greatest catchers baseball had yet seen; with Yogi Berra also serving but not yet having reached the major leagues, there were actually three possible "greatest catchers ever" in the WWII-era Navy. A heavy smoker, Cochrane was only 59 when he died in 1962 in Lake Forest, Illinois of lymphatic cancer.

 

Career statistics and honors

Cochrane compiled a .320 batting average while hitting 119 home runs over a 13 year playing career.[1] His .320 batting average was the highest career mark for catchers until Joe Mauer surpassed it in 2009.[19] His .419 on-base percentage is among the best in baseball history, and is the highest all-time among catchers.[2][20] In 1932, he became the first major league catcher to score 100 runs and produce 100 RBI in the same season.[21] He hit for the cycle twice in his career, on July 22, 1932 and August 2,1933.[22][23] In his first 11 years, he never caught fewer than 110 games.[2] He led American League catchers six times in putouts and twice each in double plays assists andfielding percentage.[23][24]

In 1947, Cochrane became the third catcher enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame after Roger Bresnahan and Buck Ewing.[4][25] Long after the Athletics left Philadelphia forKansas City in 1954 without retiring his uniform number 2, the Philadelphia Phillies honored him by electing him to the Philadelphia Baseball Wall of Fame at Veterans Stadium,[26] although the Athletics' plaques from that display have been moved to the Philadelphia Athletics Museum in HatboroPennsylvania. The Tigers honored him by renaming National Avenue (behind the third-base stands of the old Tiger Stadium) Cochrane Avenue, but have never retired the uniform number 3 he wore with them.

In 1999, he was ranked 65th on The Sporting News list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players, and was a nominee for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.[27][28]Yankee Hall of Fame slugger Mickey Mantle was named after him

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