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1928 Spalding Catcher's Trophy Attributed to Mickey Cochrane

1928 Spalding Catcher's Trophy Attributed to Mickey Cochrane

Displayed is an absolutely beautiful, 1920s Spalding figural "Catcher's" Trophy that is attributed to Mickey Cochrane. The trophy has a large metal catcher (approx. 7.75" tall) sitting atop an oversized metal baseball (about 6" in diameter) that rests on a wooden base (approx. 5" in height). The trophy, in total, is about 18" in height and 7.5" in diameter at the base. The trophy was designed by Dieges and Clust, designers of World Series press pins and MLB awards, and in the 1920s, Spalding produced five versions of these high-end trophies, each one with a player in a different pose. Cochrane was a catcher who played in the Major Leagues for 13 years: Philadelphia Athletics (1925-33) and Detroit Tigers (1934-37). He was a superb defensive receiver, and he batted .320 lifetime, with 119 home runs and 830 RBIs. Cochrane was a 2-time American League MVP and a 3-time World Series Champion. Cochrane was a much-admired superstar in his time. In fact, Mickey Mantle was named "Mickey" in honor of Mickey Cochrane because the skilled catcher was Mantle's father's favorite player. The trophy itself is a work of art, with exquisite detail. The depicted catcher is squatting, waiting for a pitch, his heels in the air as his feet rest on their insteps. The catcher's legs even show sinews stretched along the back of the calf muscles. The uniform pants and jersey display the natural folds and wrinkles seen in real life, and the expression on the catcher's face demonstrates his intense concentration, and the catcher's open hand exhibits remarkable detail. The trophy base exhibits some heavy scuffing and areas of paint loss. There are some minor "ding" marks and some small scratches on the "baseball." The small plaque, the baseball, and the figural catcher show some tarnishing, but overall the trophy is in EXCELLENT condition. The wood base has the original black paint, and it is scratched and chipped at places. On the trophy base is a metal, circle wreath plaque that is engraved as "Mickey Cochrane 1928." At the base of the large baseball is a circular trademark notice: "A.G. SPALDING & BROS./Spalding Trade Mark/Made in U.S.A./Reg. U.S. Pat. Off." The gorgeous trophy was purchased from the Barry Halper Collection, and we know that Barry got memorabilia from the Cochrane Family. The reason that we say the trophy is attributed to Mickey Cochrane is because we have no written documentation from the family or any other provenance other than that it came from Barry Halper's Collection. We do believe that the name and year that are engraved on the plate are vintage from the late 1920s. Was this awarded to Cochrane from his AL MVP efforts in 1928, when he batted .293, with ten homers, and 92 runs scored as his Philadelphia Athletics finished in second place? These trophies are very scarce, in large part because they were so expensive to buy that fewer were produced than trophies of lesser value. Is Cochrane's name on the trophy as an award for his 1928 AL MVP performance? We are not sure. What we are sure of is that the trophy on its own is a highly valuable baseball collectible.

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