Primary Position: Outfield
First, Middle Names: Allen Lindsey Nicknames: Dusty
Date of Birth: June 23, 1907 Date and Place of Death: Nov. 21, 1987, Raleigh, NC
Burial: Westview Memorial Gardens, Lillington, NC
High School: Durham High School, Durham, NC
Bats: L Throws: R Height and Weight: 6-1, 205
Debut Year: 1930 Final Year: 1938 Years Played: 8
Team(s) and Years: New York Yankees, 1930-32; Boston Red Sox, 1933-36; Cincinnati Reds, 1938
G AB H R RBI HR BA. OBP. SLG. WAR
608 1745 489 324 229 24 .280 .384 .416 +7.1
Awards/Honors: Boys of Summer Top 100
Life had been good to Dusty Cooke as he trotted out to right field at Griffith Stadium in Washington on that Sunday afternoon in April 1931. He was 24 years old, a kid from the sticks of Alamance County, batting third for the great New York Yankees, and playing in place of The Babe himself, who was nursing an injury. In his second year as a big leaguer, Cooke was beginning to show why one of his managers down in the minors called him “the game wrecker.” Through the first week of the new season, he was playing every day, hitting a torrid .353 and stealing bases with abandon. The kid had greatness written all over him, and his time had come.
Ossie Bluege, the Senators’ leadoff hitter that inning, lofted a flyball to shallow right. Cooke showed his dazzling speed by almost reaching the spot where the ball would land. He dove to make up the last couple of feet, and, in the instant it took to hit the ground, life turned mean. Cooke writhed in pain on the freshly mowed grass. The ball bounced toward the wall. No one thought to chase it down, as worried teammates gathered around the prone kid in obvious pain. Bluege was credited with an inside-the-park home run.
They carried a broken Dusty Cooke off the sun-drenched field that afternoon. Doctors later determined that his shoulder was separated and his collarbone splintered. Surgery would be required.