David Cooper is one of the greatest baseball players Windsor and Essex County has ever produced. Lofty statement? Well, as that ol’ baseball sage Casey Stengel may have put it, when it comes to Cooper’s place in the history of the local game, “You can look it up!” The proof is in the numbers, and they are simply too many to list.
Born and raised in Belle River, Cooper took to the game of baseball immediately, starring at the minor youth level before becoming an ongoing fixture of numerous Windsor-area provincial and national champion teams. One of the best pure hitters local baseball has ever seen, Cooper batted for average and power at every level he played – on both sides of the border. He was a clutch pitcher as well. From the late 1970s to 2000, Cooper appeared in 20 and 18 consecutive Canadian and Ontario Junior and Senior Baseball Championships, respectively. He was on the winning side for 9 Canadian and 13 Ontario titles with the Windsor Chiefs, Tecumseh Green Giants, and Windsor Mic Macs. He was a nine-time All-Star selection at both the National and Provincial Championships, and he routinely ranked among the leaders in batting average, home runs, and runs batted in. Across the border, Cooper also starred with the Troy Jet Box club in the Detroit Federal League, competing in three NABF World Series and consistently batting in the .400 range.
Like fine wine, Cooper got better with age, batting .415 at the age of 43 while player/manager with the Tecumseh Thunder in 2000. Over the past decade, Cooper has shared his wealth of baseball knowledge with area youth as a manager and coordinator in the Tecumseh Thunder baseball program, and now as the head coach of the St. Clair College men’s baseball team. While managing and teaching the game is now Cooper’s focus, the sweet swing is still there, as evidenced by his continued .400-plus batting averages posted in the Senior-Master tournaments he continues to play.
For sustained brilliance playing and managing in local baseball ranks for five decades, David Cooper deservedly takes his place in the Windsor/Essex County Sports Hall of Fame in the Athletes category.