Hall of Fame: Mickey Cochrane (1947)

He never wanted any of it, but he took it all on anyway.
 Year Ag Tm  Lg  G   AB    R    H   2B 3B  HR  RBI  SB CS  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG *OPS+  TB   SH
+--------------+---+----+----+----+---+--+---+----+---+--+---+---+-----+-----+-----+----+----+---+
1925 22 PHA AL 134 420 69 139 21 5 6 55 7 4 44 19 .331 .397 .448 108 188 8
1926 23 PHA AL 120 370 50 101 8 9 8 47 5 2 56 15 .273 .369 .408 98 151 26
1927 24 PHA AL 126 432 80 146 20 6 12 80 9 6 50 7 .338 .409 .495 128 214 23
1928 25 PHA AL 131 468 92 137 26 12 10 57 7 7 76 25 .293 .395 .464 122 217 21
1929 26 PHA AL 135 514 113 170 37 8 7 95 7 6 69 8 .331 .412 .475 124 244 21
1930 27 PHA AL 130 487 110 174 42 5 10 85 5 0 55 18 .357 .424 .526 135 256 18
1931 28 PHA AL 122 459 87 160 31 6 17 89 2 3 56 21 .349 .423 .553 149 254 3
1932 29 PHA AL 139 518 118 152 35 4 23 112 0 1 100 22 .293 .412 .510 133 264 3
1933 30 PHA AL 130 429 104 138 30 4 15 60 8 6 106 22 .322 .459 .515 157 221 4
1934 31 DET AL 129 437 74 140 32 1 2 76 8 4 78 26 .320 .428 .412 117 180 5
1935 32 DET AL 115 411 93 131 33 3 5 47 5 5 96 15 .319 .452 .450 137 185 11
1936 33 DET AL 44 126 24 34 8 0 2 17 1 1 46 15 .270 .465 .381 111 48 6
1937 34 DET AL 27 98 27 30 10 1 2 12 0 1 25 4 .306 .452 .490 135 48 2
+--------------+---+----+----+----+---+--+---+----+---+--+---+---+-----+-----+-----+----+----+---+
13 Seasons 5169 1652 64 832 46 217 .320 .419 .478 128 151
1482 1041 333 119 64 857 2470

2 MVP awards (1928, 1934)
2 All-Star Games (1934, 1935)
Gordon Stanley Cochrane was born on April 6, 1903 in Bridgewater, Massachusetts to Scottish immigrants. His nickname “Mickey” comes from the term for an Irishman, “Mick”, but no one close to him called him that, instead calling him “Mike” (which is still odd). Cochrane went on to attend Boston University before breaking into the big leagues in 1925. At Boston University, he played basketball and football as well, and it is believed he was better at those than at baseball. Cochrane, however, realized he would make more money playing baseball. He wasn’t even a catcher in college, playing shortstop and outfield instead, but he filled in there in the minors because the team lacked a catcher.

In 1925, he broke into the majors with the Philadelphia Athletics, led by Connie Mack. Known for having a bad temper, he was influenced by several players, the main one being Ty Cobb, who played for the A’s from 1927-1928, and Lefty Grove, known for tearing up the locker room after a tough loss. Cochrane instantly became one of the best offensive players at his position, and he was a key cog in the amazing teams in Philadelphia that captured three straight pennants and two World Series from 1929-1931. With the coming of the Great Depression, Mack began selling off those key players, and Cochrane was sent to the Detroit Tigers.

His first season there was a great one as he won the MVP Award, and he would later help the Tigers win two pennants. However, the limelight and the increased responsibility of being player, manager, and general manager caused Cochrane to have a meltdown in 1936, and soon after recovering, he was beaned in the head by bump Hadley. The injury nearly killed him, and he was forced to retire. However, Cochrane’s greatest achievement may have been how much he helped out the city of Detroit, a city hit hard by the Great Depression. He would be an inspiration to the city, and it is believed the increased pressure this brought on him helped cause his breakdown.
One of the best catchers of all-time, Cochrane could do it all (his 64 career triples lead all Hall of Fame catchers in the 20th century). He would be enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 1947 with 128 of the 161 votes (79.5%). In honor of what he meant to the Tigers and Detroit, Detroit renamed the street down the third base line of Tiger Stadium, Cochrane Avenue.
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