Former Birmingham baseball coach Hy Cohen dies at age 90

The 1969 Birmingham City championship team coached by Hy Cohen (third row, far right), who died Thursday. He was 90.

Hy Cohen, a former major-league pitcher with the Chicago Cubs who went on to coach Birmingham High to a win in the first City Section championship baseball game played at Dodger Stadium in 1969, died on Thursday at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage. He was 90.

Cohen was diagnosed with COVID-19 several months ago, seemed to get better but continued to suffer physical issues, according to his wife, Terry.

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Jan. 29, 1931, Cohen was signed by the New York Yankees in 1948. He pitched seven games for the Cubs in 1955.


He became a physical education teacher and baseball coach at Birmingham, winning two City titles, 1966 and 1969, and coaching into the 1980s.

He was inducted into the Southern California Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 1996.

Birmingham baseball coach Matt Mowry said Cohen used to be his homeroom teacher. Cohen would call Mowry from his home in Palm Desert to congratulate him after winning each of his four City titles, and Mowry would send him a championship hat. “He was a good guy,” Mowry said.

Cohen is survived by his wife, son Jeff and daughter Jill.