|Outfielder / Hitting coach|
December 5, 1962 |
Kansas City, Kansas
|September 7, 1996 for the Colorado Rockies|
Last MLB appearance
|September 29, 1996 for the Colorado Rockies|
|Runs batted in||2|
Atlee Alan Cockrell (born December 5, 1962, in Kansas City, Kansas) is a retired Major League Baseball outfielder. Cockrell is an alumnus of Joplin, MO's now-closed Parkwood High School (1981) where he was a standout on their championship football, baseball, and basketball teams, and the University of Tennessee, where he was an all-American outfielder for the baseball team, and played quarterback for the football team.
Twice named first-team all state, Cockrell led Joplin, Missouri's Parkwood High School Bears to a 31–3 record during his three years as starting quarterback. An outstanding athlete, Cockrell's could pass (3,499 yds, 44 TDs), run (1,541 yds, 36 TDs) and even kick (154 PATs, 8 FGs).
Cockrell led the Bears' offensive attack to an undefeated season (14–0 - outscoring opponents 653-33) and the Missouri State Class 4A High School Championship in 1980, despite being one of the smallest schools in Class 4A. That team has recently been inducted into the Joplin Area Sports Hall of Fame, alongside the likes of NASCAR's Jamie McMurray. Heavily recruited by several schools, he chose to attend the University of Tennessee.
Cockrell became the first true freshman ever to start at quarterback for the Volunteers in 1981. Unfortunately it lasted two games as he suffered a major knee injury vs Auburn and his future became uncertain. One of first football players to come back from such major knee damage, he led the Vols for the 1982 (6-5-1) and 1983 (9-3) seasons, culminating in a 30-23 victory over the Maryland Terrapins (led by future NFL standout Boomer Esiason) in the inaugural Florida Citrus Bowl (now Capital One Bowl). The victory was bittersweet for Cockrell, however, as it would be his last game at UT because he would forego his senior year to enter the baseball draft.
Cockrell's first love had always been baseball and he was an even better outfielder than he was a quarterback. An All-American, he was named to the University of Tennessee All-Century Baseball Team in 2009. The San Francisco Giants made Cockrell the ninth pick overall in the 1984 MLB draft so he chose to forgo his senior year in college and play pro baseball.
Unfortunately, Cockrell never met the high expectations he and others had for his baseball career. He played in the minor leagues for nine years (five different organizations), including a five-year stint with the Colorado Springs Sky Sox. He is a member of the Sky Sox Hall of Fame. On September 7, 1996, Cockrell made his Major League Baseball debut with the Colorado Rockies, a pinch hit appearance in which he struck out against All-Star closer Billy Wagner. His first major league hit came three days later in the form of a pinch hit double off Tom Glavine vs. Atlanta at Coors Field. Cockrell appeared in his final game on September 29, 1996, having suited up only nine times in the majors.
His leadership skills and teaching ability, though, shone through and Cockrell spent the next few years working as a manager and hitting coach in various parts of the Colorado Rockies' development system. He returned to MLB when he was named hitting coach for the Rockies November 7, 2006 – his second stint, having previously served as hitting instructor the last five months of the 2002 season when Clint Hurdle was promoted to manager. Under Cockrell's guidance in 2007, the Rockies slugged their way to a National League Championship, leading the circuit in batting, on-base percentage, and total hits. Cockrell was one of three coaches let go by the Rockies after a disappointing 2008 season in which the team won only 74 games.
- Tennessee Volunteers football
- The Official Site of The Colorado Rockies: Team: Manager and Coaches
- Mariners tab Cockrell as hitting coach Official site
- "Seattle Mariners fire hitting coach Alan Cockrell". Associated Press. May 9, 2010.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
|Tennessee Volunteers Starting Quarterbacks