MLB: Mickey Cochrane Does Belong in the Hall of Fame, Plain and Simple

Rich StoweAnalyst IIIAugust 3, 2011

This is my second article today written to counter a player mentioned in the 25 Players Who Should Not Be in the Hall of Fame article.

When I first read that article this morning, I was just going to stop when he mentioned Ozzie Smith in his second slide. However, I decided to continue reading to see who else he decided to include on the list.

While some of the players he included I did agree with, I noticed one thing; the writer depended heavily on batting average, RBI or total hits and thus a lot of shortstops were included and he apparently didn't take into account a player's total package when making the decision.

While I thought his inclusion of Ozzie Smith as number 25 was wrong, when I got to his number 10, my jaw actually hit the floor.  Who did he have as number 10? 

The Philadelphia Athletics and Detroit Tigers great catcher, Mickey Cochrane.

You read that right. One of the best catchers in baseball history, and arguably the greatest catcher ever along with Bill Dickey until Yogi Berra and Johnny Bench came along, was included on the list. 

The writer's justification for including Mickey?  He "amassed only 832 RBI."

What the writer failed to realize was, just like in his inclusion of Ozzie Smith, catchers in Major League Baseball up to that point were defensive players first and anything offensive was simply a bonus. 

First and foremost, Mickey was one of the best defensive catchers in the game's history.  However, unlike most of the catchers before him, Mickey was also one of the first "offensive" catchers.  He had a career .320 batting average, an on-base percentage of .419 and an OPS+ of 128. 

He was top-10 in Offensive WAR eight time in his 13 seasons. He was the first catcher in history to drive in 100 runs while also scoring 100 runs in the same season.

It was this combination of offense and defense which helped him win two MVP awards in his career (1928 and 1934). In 1999, he also finished 65th on the Sporting News' 100 Greatest Baseball Players.

Does Mickey Cochrane really deserve to be on a list of players that don't deserve to be in the Baseball Hall of Fame?

No, he does not deserve to be anywhere near a list like that. Mickey is one of the best catchers ever in baseball history and his place among the game's immortals is one of the things in baseball that should never be questioned.