Fred Cochrane - Baseball's Greatest Sacrifice

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Fred Cochrane

Ballplayers Wounded in Combat

 

Date and Place of Birth: May 19, 1920 Los Angeles, CA
Date and Place of Death:    December 4, 2014 Riverton, UT
Baseball Experience: Minor League
Position: Outfield
Rank: Unknown
Military Unit:  US Army Air Force
Area Served: European Theater of Operations

Fred C. Cochrane, the son of George and Alice Cochrane, was born on May 19, 1920, in Los Angeles, California. He was awarded “Most Beautiful Baby in LA” at the age of one. From an early age, Cochrane had a love of airplanes and collected bottles to save the $4 needed for his first ride in a biplane at just eight years old. But Cochrane also loved baseball and signed with the Salina Milers of the Class C Western Association, aged 20, in 1940. A left-handed hitting outfielder, Cochrane played 106 games and batted .229. In 1941, he played for the San Bernardino Stars of the Class C California League until the team folded in July, finishing the season with the Anaheim Aces. He appeared in 135 games.

Cochrane entered military service in November 1941. Not surprisingly, he served with the Army Air Force, initially stationed in the quartermaster's department at an army air field in Wyoming, before training as a gunner on a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, and serving in Europe, where he received the Purple Heart for wounds received in combat.

After the war, Cochrane became an officer in the Los Angeles Police Department, and was a hard-hitting centerfielder on the LAPD baseball team. He retired from the LAPD after 25 years and became Chief of the Volunteer Fire Department in Green Valley, California. Cochrane was an avid volunteer, helping in many capacities, including assisting with the building of a life-size replica of the Spirit of St. Louis (the plane flown by Charles Lindbergh in 1927, on the first solo non-stop transatlantic flight), which can be seen at the San Diego Aerospace Museum.

Fred Cochrane passed away on December 4, 2014, in Riverton, Utah. He was 94 years old and is buried at Greenwood Memorial Park, San Diego, California.

Date Added February 3, 2018

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