Mickey Cochrane, one of the greatest catchers, exemplifies what it means to act with valor. He experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows throughout his professional and personal life.
Cochrane’s professional MLB career consisted of 13 seasons, with five World Series appearances. He was one of the best catchers the league had seen.
However, his baseball career did not come without adversity and struggle. In 1937, he was hit in the head with a fastball, knocking him unconscious for ten days. After that hit, he never played Major League Baseball again.
In 1942, Cochrane joined the U.S. Navy. He was stationed at the Great Lakes Naval Station and coached their baseball team until 1944.
Tragedy struck again in his life in 1944. His son, Gordon Jr., was killed in Normandy on D-Day on June 6, 1944. Those who knew Mickey also knew that this was the day his spirit was also killed. Some said that D-Day claimed the life of Mickey because of the loss of his son.
Cochrane continued his military service in Gab Gab Beach, Guam, where he went in 1945 to head the Navy’s fleet recreational center. Despite the loss of his son to the war, Mickey did not stop making sacrifices for his country.
In 1947, Cochrane was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. After completing his service, he was the General Manager of the Athletics and then Vice President of the Tigers.
It is an honor to showcase Mickey Cochrane in our Hall of Fame Military Spotlight Series. He made many sacrifices for his country, including his military service and the loss of his son, and demonstrated the principles embodied by Bob Feller.