Mickey Cochrane was a great hitter, and retired with a lifetime batting average of .320 (tops among HOF catchers). He was also a great team leader and fierce competitor, helping the Philadelphia Athletics to three championships between 1929 and 1931. Although that team had two other great hitters - Al Simmons and Jimmie Foxx - Cochrane often hit third in the order.
As a player-manager from 1934 to 1938, he also directed the Detroit Tigers to two league championships and to a World Series title.
Black Mike's playing career ended abruptly on May 25, 1937, when his skull was fractured by a pitch from Yankee pitcher Bump Hadley.
He and longtime battery mate Lefty Grove were elected to the Hall of Fame in 1947 by the BBWAA. Another Hall of Famer, Mickey Mantle, was named after Mickey Cochrane, his father's favorite player.
"Lose a one-to-nothing game, and you didn't want to get into the clubhouse with Grove and Cochrane.
You'd be ducking stools and gloves and bats and whatever else would fly."
— Doc Cramer, teammate of Mickey Cochrane and Lefty Grove
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