33¢ Mickey Cochrane
Legends of Baseball
Issue Date: July 6, 2000
City: Atlanta, GA
Printed by: Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method: Lithographed
Perforations: Serpentine die cut 11.25
The Legends of Baseball issue honors 20 baseball greats who were named to the "All-Century Team," announced after the 1999 season. Votes from fans, as well as members of a special panel, selected the team.
“A catcher’s best work appears not so much in what he does, as in what never happens,” according to Mickey Cochrane (1903-1962). In the late 1920s and early 1930s, “Black Mike” was one of the best catchers in baseball. His dedication to the game and fiercely competitive spirit often carried his team to victory.
Born in Massachusetts, the hard-working Cochrane was brought up from the minor leagues in 1925 by the Philadelphia Athletics. A skilled handler of pitchers, Cochrane caught a record number of games as a rookie. In 1928, he won the American League’s Most Valuable Player award by two votes. With a lifetime average of .320, Cochrane was an equally talented batter. Cochrane and the A’s played in three consecutive World Series, winning the titles in 1929, 1930, and 1931.
During the Depression, the A’s were forced to sell their star players. The Detroit Tigers paid $100,000 for Cochrane, and he served both as catcher and manager. In 1934, he was again named MVP of the American League.
Cochrane’s career ended suddenly in May of 1937 when he lost sight of a pitch and was struck on the head. The blow knocked him unconscious for 10 days, and he never batted again. In 1947, Cochrane was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.