Tuesday, September 5, 2017

My Catching College BUddy 9/5/17

Hey baseball fans!

I start my classes at Boston University today and there is a member of the Hall of Fame who also attended BU. The only thing is, he went to college almost a century ago: Mickey Cochrane!

Cochrane played for the then-Philadelphia Athletics and Detroit Tigers from 1924-1937 and quickly in his career became one of the premier catchers of his era in Major League Baseball. Although he didn't have that long a career, his biggest claim to fame is his career batting average, which was a miraculous .320. Yes, there have been plenty of hitters with higher lifetime batting averages, but none of them are catchers. So essentially, the best hitting catcher in baseball history shares an alma mater with me, so that's cool. Nicknamed "Black Mike" for his "fierce, competitive spirit" according to the Hall of Fame's website, Cochrane batted over his lifetime batting average in seven seasons and batted over .300 in two more seasons. The two-time MVP has a ton of seasons that can be argued were his best, but in only one season did he lead the league in on-base percentage. That year was 1933 and his OBP was an astounding .459, but his highest single-season batting average was a "measly" .357, which he accomplished in 1930.

Cochrane's fiery attitude helped lead his teams to five pennants and three World Series championships. With the A's, he went to the Fall Classic from 1929-1931 and with the Tigers in 1934 and 1935. His batting average during his World Series appearances dropped significantly compared to his career average, but he made up for that while in Detroit when he was the team's player-manager. In fact, Cochrane was such a good manager that even Hall of Fame Hank Greenberg called him "inspirational." That's high praise coming from one of the game's best sluggers.


The legendary catcher's career came to an abrupt end on May 25, 1937, when he was struck in the head by a pitch thrown by Yankees pitcher Bump Hadley. It is that injury that sparked conversation about making wearing a helmet while batting mandatory. However, despite retiring at the age of 34, Cochrane was still rightfully inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1947 with 79.5% of the vote. Thanks for reading this post and I hope you enjoyed it. Check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

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