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Mickey Cochrane

Profiles of Valor

Lieutenant Gordon Stanley “Mickey” Cochrane, born on April 6, 1903, has a long baseball and military history and left an impact on both communities.


Over the course of thirteen seasons in Major League Baseball, Cochrane played for both the Philadelphia Athletics and Detroit Lions as a catcher and is still today considered one of the best catchers in the history of baseball. After only one season in the minor leagues, Cochrane made his debut in 1925 with the Athletics. A few seasons after his debut, he was named the American League’s Most Valuable Player in 1928.


Over his career, Cochrane appeared in five World Series Championships and multiple All-Star Games,  setting a 309 batting average among catchers that stood until 2009. He even scored the run that clinched the 1935 World Series with the Detroit Tigers. In 1934, he took the role of player-manager for the Tigers, and Elden Aucker, the pitcher for the Tigers at the time, called him the greatest player-manager in the history of baseball. Unfortunately, Mickey’s playing career came to an end following a pitch to the head that left him unconscious for ten days in 1937.


In 1942, Cochrane was commissioned in the United States Navy, where he was stationed at Great Lakes Naval Training Station. There he was able to coach their baseball team until 1944, managing an All-Service team that played against an American League team. Just a few years later he was again struck by another tragedy, this time it was the death of his only son, Gordon Jr, who was killed at Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944. In 1945, Mickey was stationed in Guam in order to manage the fleet recreation center.


Mickey Cochrane was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1947, and then went on to serve as general manager of the Athletics and later the Vice President of the Tigers. We are honored to share the honorable history and courage that Lieutenant Cochrane displayed in both his baseball and his Military career. 

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