Mickey Cochrane began his career in 1925 catching for Connie Mack’s Philadelphia Athletics. He was to appear in three straight World Service with the A’s; 1929-1931. His team wont the first two but lost the last to the Cardinals. Due to financial problems Mr. Mack had to break up his championship team and sent Mickey to the Detroit Tigers in 1934. The Tigers made Mickey their player/manager and he lead them to the World Series his first and second years with the team. The Tigers lost in 1934 but beat the Cubs for the World Championship in 1935. Cochrane’s playing career ended on May 25, 1937 when he was hit in the head by a pitch. He nearly died from the head trauma and was never able to play ball again. His career .320 batting average and his .419 on base percentage are the highest for any catcher in the history of the game. He also was an excellent defensive catcher, leading his league six times in putouts and twice in assists and fielding percentage. He won two MVP awards and played in five World Series. During World War two he directed the Navy baseball team at Great Lakes near Chicago. On October 20, 1931 a miner in Oklahoma named his newborn son Mickey in Cochrane’s honor. We, of course, know that boy as Mickey Mantle.
Cochrane was cremated upon his death and his ashes were spread in Lake Michigan, just like fellow Hall of Famer, Bill Veeck.
November 23, 2010