But Cochrane worked to get back. By the next season, he was playing at AAA.
"Without a doubt, Dave is one of our best prospects, definitely among our top five," Mitch Lukevics, a White Sox administrative assistant for scouting, told The Times in August 1986. "He's proved he can play and he overcame some real adversity."
Cochrane soon got the chance to prove he could play in the majors, making his major league debut in September. Cochrane went on to a career that saw time in five seasons, his second big league look, though, not coming until 1989.
Cochrane's career began in 1981, taken by the Mets in the fourth round of the draft, out of Troy High School in Fullerton, Calif.
Cochrane's first season came in 1982, at short-season Little Falls. He hit .301, with 22 home runs. He made AA Jackson in 1984, hitting .267, with 22 home runs. He returned to Jackson for 1985, but that early-season injury ended his tenure with the Mets. Cochrane was traded to the White Sox.
Cochrane then played 1986 at AA Birmingham and AAA Buffalo. He debuted with the White Sox Sept. 2, against the Royals. Another player debuting in that game was Bo Jackson.
Helping Cochrane get to the majors was his manager at AA, Bob Bailey, Cochrane told The Tribune. It was Bailey who helped Cochrane cut down on his strikeouts.
Cochrane got into 19 games for the White Sox that September, getting 12 hits in 62 at bats. Cochrane, though, spent the next two seasons in the minors, at AAA Hawaii with the White Sox and then moving to the Mariners at AAA Calgary.
In the meantime, Cochrane learned to play other positions, The Times wrote. He returned to the majors in 1989, with 54 games as a Mariner. In June, Cochrane hit a ninth-inning, game-winning home run.
"It was frustrating, but I didn't want to give up," Cochrane told The Times in August 1989. "I was close enough to making it and I wasn't doing too badly in triple A so I kept trying."
Cochrane played in the majors each of the next three seasons, 15 games in 1990, and 65 each in 1991 and 1992. He spent all of 1992 with the Mariners in Seattle.
In 1991, Cochrane learned how to catch. "I found I really enjoy catching," Cochrane told The Associated Press that June. "Now I'm hoping it will help me stay here with Seattle."
His final year came in 1992, with those last 65 games in Seattle. Cochrane returned in spring 1993 with the Reds, but he didn't make the team, ending his career.
- Los Angeles Times, Aug. 14, 1986: Cochrane's Comeback
- Chicago Tribune, Sept. 3, 1986: Fregosi Takes Fast Look At Future
- Los Angeles Times, Aug. 9, 1989: Cochrane Catches On With the Mariners
- Ellensburg Daily Record, Associated Press, June 18, 1991: Ninth-inning rally gives Mariners 2-1 win over Red Sox
1990 CMC Tally
Cards Featured: 623/880 - 70.8%
Players/Coaches Featured: 634
Made the Majors: 426 - 67%-X
Never Made the Majors:208-33%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 182-X
10+ Seasons in the Minors: 133