Detroit Tigers All-Time Lists

Detroit Tigers: Top Ten Catchers in Franchise History

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CLEARWATER, FL - MARCH 3: Catcher Ivan Rodriguez #7 of the Detroit Tigers waits for a pitch against the Philadelphia Phillies during MLB Spring Training action at the Bright House Networks Field on March 3, 2005 in Clearwater, Florida. Detroit Tigers defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 9-1. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
CLEARWATER, FL - MARCH 3: Catcher Ivan Rodriguez #7 of the Detroit Tigers waits for a pitch against the Philadelphia Phillies during MLB Spring Training action at the Bright House Networks Field on March 3, 2005 in Clearwater, Florida. Detroit Tigers defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 9-1. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Tigers
During the World Series, American baseball player Pepper Martin (1904 – 1965) of the St. Louis Cardinals slides into home plate as Detroit Tigers catcher Mickey Cochrane (1903 – 1962) yells in frustration, early October 1934. The Cardinals won the series 4-3. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images) /

Mickey Cochrane

Detroit Tigers: 1934-1937

Mickey Cochrane is regarded as one of the greatest catchers to play the game, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame way back in 1947. The reason he ends up at No. 7 on this list is simply the amount of time he spent in Detroit. Cochrane played with the Philadelphia Athletics from 1925-1933, only spending the last four years of his career in the Motor City.

It was a heck of a four years though. Cochrane slashed .313/.444/.430 with a 126 OPS+ and an 11.4 bWAR during his time in Detroit. He walked 245 times and only struck out 60.

Cochrane was one of Detroit’s best players on their World Series winning 1935 team. On a roster loaded with Hall of Famers Hank Greenberg and Charlie Gehringer, Cochrane paced the team with a .452 on-base percentage and had a 5.0 bWAR.

Cochrane only played in 71 games between 1936-1937, still managing to post a .286/.459(!)/.429 slash line. He was out of the game for good after the 1937 season.

The Hall of Fame voting rules were different back then, and Cochrane first appeared on the ballot in 1936, before his playing career was over. He was on the ballot six times before earning 79.5% of the  votes in 1947.

Cochrane is one of the greatest catchers in baseball history. His 52.1 career bWAR is 11th all-time among catchers, and his JAWS score ranks him ninth. While the majority of his career was not spent with the Tigers, he was still good enough in his brief time in Detroit to crack the list.

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