Ty Cobb
Overview
 
Tyrus Raymond "Ty" Cobb (December 18, 1886 – July 17, 1961), nicknamed "The Georgia Peach," was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

 outfielder
Outfielder
Outfielder is a generic term applied to each of the people playing in the three defensive positions in baseball farthest from the batter. These defenders are the left fielder, the center fielder, and the right fielder...

. He was born in Narrows, Georgia
Narrows, Georgia
Narrows is an unincorporated community in Banks County, Georgia. Located on present day state Highway 105 on the Baldwin mail route, it was the birthplace of Ty Cobb. A roadside marker describes the original location of the cabin in which the Cobb family lived and where Ty was born....

. Cobb spent 22 seasons with the Detroit Tigers
Detroit Tigers
The Detroit Tigers are a Major League Baseball team located in Detroit, Michigan. One of the American League's eight charter franchises, the club was founded in Detroit in as part of the Western League. The Tigers have won four World Series championships and have won the American League pennant...

, the last six as the team's player-manager, and finished his career with the Philadelphia Athletics
Oakland Athletics
The Oakland Athletics are a Major League Baseball team based in Oakland, California. The Athletics are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League. From to the present, the Athletics have played in the O.co Coliseum....

.
Cobb is widely regarded as one of the best players of all time. In 1936, Cobb received the most votes of any player on the inaugural Baseball Hall of Fame ballot
Baseball Hall of Fame balloting, 1936
The first elections to select inductees to the Baseball Hall of Fame were held in 1936. Members of the Baseball Writers Association of America were given authority to select individuals from the 20th century; while a special Veterans Committee, made up of individuals with greater familiarity with...

, receiving 222 out of a possible 226 votes.
Cobb is widely credited with setting 90 Major League Baseball records during his career.
Quotations

Ty was an intellectual giant. He was the most fascinating personality I ever met in baseball. To him, a ball game wasn't a mere athletic contest. It was a knock-'em-down, crush-'em, relenteless war. He was their enemy, and if they got in his way he ran right over them.

Moe Berg|Moe Berg

He had a screw loose. I never knew anyone like him. It was like his brain was miswired so that the least damned thing would set him off.

Ernest Hemingway, 1954

Ty was an intellectual giant. He was the most fascinating personality I ever met in baseball. To him, a ball game wasn't a mere athletic contest. It was a knock-'em-down, crush-'em, relenteless war. He was their enemy, and if they got in his way he ran right over them.

Moe Berg|Moe Berg

He had a screw loose. I never knew anyone like him. It was like his brain was miswired so that the least damned thing would set him off.

Ernest Hemingway, 1954

Encyclopedia
Tyrus Raymond "Ty" Cobb (December 18, 1886 – July 17, 1961), nicknamed "The Georgia Peach," was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

 outfielder
Outfielder
Outfielder is a generic term applied to each of the people playing in the three defensive positions in baseball farthest from the batter. These defenders are the left fielder, the center fielder, and the right fielder...

. He was born in Narrows, Georgia
Narrows, Georgia
Narrows is an unincorporated community in Banks County, Georgia. Located on present day state Highway 105 on the Baldwin mail route, it was the birthplace of Ty Cobb. A roadside marker describes the original location of the cabin in which the Cobb family lived and where Ty was born....

. Cobb spent 22 seasons with the Detroit Tigers
Detroit Tigers
The Detroit Tigers are a Major League Baseball team located in Detroit, Michigan. One of the American League's eight charter franchises, the club was founded in Detroit in as part of the Western League. The Tigers have won four World Series championships and have won the American League pennant...

, the last six as the team's player-manager, and finished his career with the Philadelphia Athletics
Oakland Athletics
The Oakland Athletics are a Major League Baseball team based in Oakland, California. The Athletics are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League. From to the present, the Athletics have played in the O.co Coliseum....

.
Cobb is widely regarded as one of the best players of all time. In 1936, Cobb received the most votes of any player on the inaugural Baseball Hall of Fame ballot
Baseball Hall of Fame balloting, 1936
The first elections to select inductees to the Baseball Hall of Fame were held in 1936. Members of the Baseball Writers Association of America were given authority to select individuals from the 20th century; while a special Veterans Committee, made up of individuals with greater familiarity with...

, receiving 222 out of a possible 226 votes.
Cobb is widely credited with setting 90 Major League Baseball records during his career. He still holds several records as of 2011, including the highest career batting average
Batting average
Batting average is a statistic in both cricket and baseball that measures the performance of cricket batsmen and baseball hitters. The two statistics are related in that baseball averages are directly descended from the concept of cricket averages.- Cricket :...

 (.366 or .367, depending on source) and most career batting titles with 11 (or 12, depending on source). He retained many other records for almost a half century or more, including most career hits
Hit (baseball)
In baseball statistics, a hit , also called a base hit, is credited to a batter when the batter safely reaches first base after hitting the ball into fair territory, without the benefit of an error or a fielder's choice....

 until 1985 (4,189 or 4,191, depending on source), most career runs
Run (baseball)
In baseball, a run is scored when a player advances around first, second and third base and returns safely to home plate, touching the bases in that order, before three outs are recorded and all obligations to reach base safely on batted balls are met or assured...

 (2,245 or 2,246 depending on source) until 2001, most career games played
Games played
Games played is a statistic used in team sports to indicate the total number of games in which a player has participated ; the statistic is generally applied irrespective of whatever portion of the game is contested.-Baseball:In baseball, the statistic applies also to players who, prior to a game,...

 (3,035) and at bats (11,429 or 11,434 depending on source) until 1974, and the modern record for most career stolen base
Stolen base
In baseball, a stolen base occurs when a baserunner successfully advances to the next base while the pitcher is delivering the ball to home plate...

s (892) until 1977. He committed 271 errors in his career, the most by any American League
American League
The American League of Professional Baseball Clubs, or simply the American League , is one of two leagues that make up Major League Baseball in the United States and Canada. It developed from the Western League, a minor league based in the Great Lakes states, which eventually aspired to major...

 outfielder.

Cobb's legacy as an athlete has sometimes been overshadowed by his surly temperament and aggressive playing style, which was described by the Detroit Free Press
Detroit Free Press
The Detroit Free Press is the largest daily newspaper in Detroit, Michigan, USA. The Sunday edition is entitled the Sunday Free Press. It is sometimes informally referred to as the "Freep"...

as "daring to the point of dementia."

Early life and baseball career

Ty Cobb was born in Narrows
Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta is the capital and most populous city in the U.S. state of Georgia. According to the 2010 census, Atlanta's population is 420,003. Atlanta is the cultural and economic center of the Atlanta metropolitan area, which is home to 5,268,860 people and is the ninth largest metropolitan area in...

, Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

, in 1886, the first of three children to Amanda Chitwood Cobb and William Herschel Cobb.

Cobb spent his first years in baseball as a member of the Royston Rompers, the semi-pro Royston Reds, and the Augusta Tourists of the South Atlantic League
South Atlantic League
The South Atlantic League is a minor league baseball league based chiefly in the Southeastern United States, with the exception of three teams in the Mid-Atlantic States...

. However, the Tourists released Cobb two days into the season. He then tried out for the Anniston
Anniston, Alabama
Anniston is a city in Calhoun County in the state of Alabama, United States.As of the 2000 census, the population of the city is 24,276. According to the 2005 U.S. Census estimates, the city had a population of 23,741...

 Steelers of the semi-pro Tennessee-Alabama League, with his father's stern admonition ringing in his ears: "Don't come home a failure." After joining the Steelers for a monthly salary of $50, Cobb promoted himself by sending several postcards written about his talents under different aliases to Grantland Rice
Grantland Rice
Grantland Rice was an early 20th century American sportswriter known for his elegant prose. His writing was published in newspapers around the country and broadcast on the radio.-Biography:...

, the sports editor of the Atlanta Journal
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is the only major daily newspaper in Atlanta, Georgia, United States, and its suburbs. The AJC, as it is called, is the flagship publication of Cox Enterprises. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is the result of the merger between The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta...

. Eventually, Rice wrote a small note in the Journal that a "young fellow named Cobb seems to be showing an unusual lot of talent." After about three months, Ty returned to the Tourists. He finished the season hitting .237 in 35 games. In August 1905, the management of the Tourists sold Cobb to the American League
American League
The American League of Professional Baseball Clubs, or simply the American League , is one of two leagues that make up Major League Baseball in the United States and Canada. It developed from the Western League, a minor league based in the Great Lakes states, which eventually aspired to major...

's Detroit Tigers
Detroit Tigers
The Detroit Tigers are a Major League Baseball team located in Detroit, Michigan. One of the American League's eight charter franchises, the club was founded in Detroit in as part of the Western League. The Tigers have won four World Series championships and have won the American League pennant...

 for $
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

750.

On August 8, 1905, Ty's mother fatally shot his father. William Cobb suspected his wife of infidelity, and was sneaking past his own bedroom window to catch her in the act; she saw the silhouette of what she presumed to be an intruder, and, acting in self-defense, shot and killed her husband. Mrs. Cobb was charged with murder and then released on a $7,000 recognizance
Recognizance
In some common law nations, a recognizance is a conditional obligation undertaken by a person before a court. It is an obligation of record, entered into before a court or magistrate duly authorized, whereby the party bound acknowledges that he owes a personal debt to the state...

 bond
Bail
Traditionally, bail is some form of property deposited or pledged to a court to persuade it to release a suspect from jail, on the understanding that the suspect will return for trial or forfeit the bail...

. She was acquitted
Acquittal
In the common law tradition, an acquittal formally certifies the accused is free from the charge of an offense, as far as the criminal law is concerned. This is so even where the prosecution is abandoned nolle prosequi...

 on March 31, 1906. Cobb later attributed his ferocious play to the death of his father, saying, "I did it for my father. He never got to see me play ... but I knew he was watching me, and I never let him down."

The early years

Three weeks after his mother killed his father, Cobb debuted in center field
Center fielder
A center fielder, abbreviated CF, is the outfielder in baseball who plays defense in center field – the baseball fielding position between left field and right field...

 for the Detroit Tigers. On August 30, 1905, in his first major league at-bat, Cobb doubled off the New York Highlanders's
New York Yankees
The New York Yankees are a professional baseball team based in the The Bronx, New York. They compete in Major League Baseball in the American League's East Division...

 Jack Chesbro
Jack Chesbro
John Dwight Chesbro was a Major League Baseball pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates , New York Highlanders , and Boston Red Sox . His 41 wins during the 1904 season remains an MLB record for the modern era...

 who had won a record 41 games the previous season. That season Cobb was 18 years old, the youngest player in the league by almost a year, and he batted .240 in 41 games, enough to win a lucrative $1,500 contract from the Tigers for 1906.

Although rookie hazing was customary, Cobb could not endure it in good humor, and he soon became alienated from his teammates. He later attributed his hostile temperament to this experience: "These old-timers turned me into a snarling wildcat." Tigers manager Hughie Jennings
Hughie Jennings
Hugh Ambrose Jennings was a Major League Baseball player and manager from 1891 to 1925. Jennings was a leader, both as a batter and as a shortstop, with the Baltimore Orioles teams that won National League championships in 1894, 1895, and 1896. During the three championship seasons, Jennings had...

 later acknowledged that Cobb was targeted for abuse by veteran players, some of whom sought to force him off the team. "I let this go for awhile because I wanted to satisfy myself that Cobb has as much guts as I thought in the very beginning", Jennings recalled. "Well, he proved it to me, and I told the other players to let him alone. He is going to be a great baseball player and I won't allow him to be driven off this club."

The following year, 1906, Cobb became the Tigers' full-time center fielder and hit .316 in 98 games, the second highest batting average ever for a 19-year-old. He would never hit below that mark again. Cobb, following a move to right field, led the Tigers to three consecutive American League pennants
American League pennant winners 1901-68
Each season in Major League Baseball , one American League team wins the pennant, signifying that they are the league's champion and have the right to play in the World Series. The pennant was presented to the team with the best win–loss record each year through the 1968 season, after which the...

 from 1907–1909. Detroit would lose each World Series
World Series
The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball, played between the American League and National League champions since 1903. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff and awarded the Commissioner's Trophy...

, however, with Cobb's post-season
World Series
The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball, played between the American League and National League champions since 1903. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff and awarded the Commissioner's Trophy...

 numbers being much below his career standard.

Four times in his career, the first in 1907, Cobb reached first, stole second, stole third, and then stole home. He finished the 1907 season with a league high .350 batting average, 212 hits, 49 steals and 119 runs batted in
Run batted in
Runs batted in or RBIs is a statistic used in baseball and softball to credit a batter when the outcome of his at-bat results in a run being scored, except in certain situations such as when an error is made on the play. The first team to track RBI was the Buffalo Bisons.Common nicknames for an RBI...

 (RBI). At age 20, Cobb became the youngest player to win a batting championship and held this record until 1955 when fellow Detroit Tiger Al Kaline
Al Kaline
Albert William "Al" Kaline is a former Major League Baseball right fielder. He is a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Kaline played his entire 22-year baseball career with the Detroit Tigers. Kaline still works for the Tigers as a front office official. Because of his lengthy career and...

 won the batting title when he was twelve days younger than Cobb had been. Reflecting on his career in 1930, Cobb told Grantland Rice
Grantland Rice
Grantland Rice was an early 20th century American sportswriter known for his elegant prose. His writing was published in newspapers around the country and broadcast on the radio.-Biography:...

, "The biggest thrill I ever got came in a game against the Athletics in 1907 [on September 30]... The Athletics had us beaten, with Rube Waddell
Rube Waddell
George Edward Waddell was an American southpaw pitcher in Major League Baseball. In his thirteen-year career he played for the Louisville Colonels , Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Orphans in the National League, and the Philadelphia Athletics and St. Louis Browns in the American League...

 pitching. They were two runs ahead in the 9th inning, when I happened to hit a home run that tied the score. This game went 17 innings to a tie, and a few days later, we clinched our first pennant. You can understand what it meant for a 20-year-old country boy to hit a home run off the great Rube, in a pennant-winning game with two outs in the ninth."

Despite great success on the field, Cobb was no stranger to controversy off it. Cobb fought a groundskeeper over the condition of the Tigers' field in Augusta, Georgia
Augusta, Georgia
Augusta is a consolidated city in the U.S. state of Georgia, located along the Savannah River. As of the 2010 census, the Augusta–Richmond County population was 195,844 not counting the unconsolidated cities of Hephzibah and Blythe.Augusta is the principal city of the Augusta-Richmond County...

 at Spring Training
Spring training
In Major League Baseball, spring training is a series of practices and exhibition games preceding the start of the regular season. Spring training allows new players to try out for roster and position spots, and gives existing team players practice time prior to competitive play...

 in 1907. Cobb also ended up choking the man's wife when she intervened.

In September 1907, Cobb began a relationship with The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company is an American multinational beverage corporation and manufacturer, retailer and marketer of non-alcoholic beverage concentrates and syrups. The company is best known for its flagship product Coca-Cola, invented in 1886 by pharmacist John Stith Pemberton in Columbus, Georgia...

 that would last the remainder of his life. By the time he died, he owned over 20,000 shares of stock and three bottling plants
Bottling company
A bottling company is a commercial enterprise whose output is the bottling of beverages for distribution.Many bottling companies are franchisees of corporations such as Coca-Cola and PepsiCo who distribute the beverage in a specific geographic region...

: one in Santa Maria
Santa Maria, California
Santa Maria is a city in Santa Barbara County, on the Central Coast of California. The 2010 census population was 100,062, putting it ahead of Santa Barbara for the first time and making it the largest city in the county...

, California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

; one in Twin Falls
Twin Falls, Idaho
Twin Falls is the county seat and largest city of Twin Falls County, Idaho, United States. The population was 44,125 at the 2010 censusTwin Falls is the largest city of Idaho's Magic Valley region...

, Idaho
Idaho
Idaho is a state in the Rocky Mountain area of the United States. The state's largest city and capital is Boise. Residents are called "Idahoans". Idaho was admitted to the Union on July 3, 1890, as the 43rd state....

; and one in Bend
Bend, Oregon
Bend is a city in and the county seat of Deschutes County, Oregon, United States, and the principal city of the Bend, Oregon Metropolitan Statistical Area. Bend is Central Oregon's largest city, and, despite its modest size, is the de facto metropolis of the region, owing to the low population...

, Oregon
Oregon
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

. He was also a celebrity spokesman for the product.

In the off-season between 1907 and 1908, Cobb negotiated with Clemson Agricultural College of South Carolina, offering to coach baseball there "for $250 a month, provided that he did not sign with Detroit that season." This did not come to pass, however.

The following season, the Tigers defeated the Chicago White Sox
Chicago White Sox
The Chicago White Sox are a Major League Baseball team located in Chicago, Illinois.The White Sox play in the American League's Central Division. Since , the White Sox have played in U.S. Cellular Field, which was originally called New Comiskey Park and nicknamed The Cell by local fans...

 for the pennant. Cobb again won the batting title with a .324 batting average. Despite another loss in the Series, Cobb had something to celebrate. In August 1908, he married Charlotte "Charlie" Marion Lombard, the daughter of prominent Augustan
Augusta, Georgia
Augusta is a consolidated city in the U.S. state of Georgia, located along the Savannah River. As of the 2010 census, the Augusta–Richmond County population was 195,844 not counting the unconsolidated cities of Hephzibah and Blythe.Augusta is the principal city of the Augusta-Richmond County...

 Roswell Lombard. In the offseason, Cobb and his wife lived in his father-in-law's Augusta estate, The Oaks. In November 1913, the couple moved into their own house on Williams Street.

The Tigers won the American League pennant again in . During the Series, Cobb stole home in the second game, igniting a three-run rally, but that was the high point for Cobb. He ended batting a lowly .231 in his last World Series, as the Tigers lost in seven games. Although he performed poorly in the post-season, Cobb won the Triple Crown
Triple crown (baseball)
In Major League Baseball, a player earns the Triple Crown when he leads a league in three specific statistical categories. For batters, a player must lead the league in home runs, run batted in , and batting average; pitchers must lead the league in wins, strikeouts, and earned run average...

 by hitting .377 with 107 RBI and nine home runs – all inside-the-park
Inside-the-park home run
In baseball parlance, an inside-the-park home run, "leg home run", or "quadruple", is a play where a batter hits a home run without hitting the ball out of play.-Discussion:...

. Cobb thus became the only player of the modern era to lead his league in home runs in a season without hitting a ball over the fence.

It was also in 1909 that Charles M. Conlon
Charles M. Conlon
Charles Martin Conlon was an American photographer. He worked for New York City newspapers in the early 1900s, as a proof-reader with a photographic hobby before editor John B...

 snapped the famous photograph of a grimacing Cobb sliding into third base amid a cloud of dirt, which visually captured the grit and ferocity of his playing style.

1910: Chalmers Award controversy

Going into the final days of the season, Cobb had an .004 lead on Nap Lajoie for the American League batting title. The prize for the winner of the title was a Chalmers Automobile
Chalmers Automobile
Chalmers Motor Car Company was a United States based automobile company located in Detroit, Michigan. It was named after Hugh Chalmers of the National Cash Register Company. The brand is currently owned by Chrysler.-History:...

. Cobb sat out the final games to preserve his average. Nap Lajoie hit safely eight times in his teams' doubleheader
Doubleheader (baseball)
A doubleheader is a set of two baseball games played between the same two teams on the same day in front of the same crowd. In addition, the term is often used unofficially to refer to a pair of games played by a team in a single day, but in front of different crowds and not in immediate...

. However, six of those hits were bunt singles, and later came under scrutiny. Regardless, Cobb was credited with a higher batting average. However it was later found out that one game was counted twice and so Cobb technically lost to Nap Lajoie.

As a result of the incident, Ban Johnson
Ban Johnson
Byron Bancroft "Ban" Johnson , was an American executive in professional baseball who served as the founder and first president of the American League ....

 was forced to arbitrate the situation. He declared Cobb the rightful owner of the title. However, the Chalmers company elected to award a car to each of the players.

1911 season and onward

Cobb regarded baseball as "something like a war," Charlie Gehringer
Charlie Gehringer
Charles Leonard Gehringer , nicknamed “The Mechanical Man,” was a German-American Major League Baseball second baseman who played 19 seasons for the Detroit Tigers...

 said. "Every time at bat for him was a crusade." Baseball historian John Thorn
John Thorn
John Thorn is a noted sports historian, and the Official Baseball Historian for Major League Baseball.-Early life:Thorn was born in Stuttgart, West Germany. His Polish Jewish parents had come there as refugees. He immigrated to the United States in 1949...

 has said, "He is testament to how far you can get simply through will... Cobb was pursued by demons."

Cobb was having a tremendous year in , which included a 40-game hitting streak
Hitting streak
In baseball, a hitting streak refers to the number of consecutive official games in which a player gets at least one base hit.According to the Official Baseball Rules, such a streak is ended when a player has at least 1 plate appearance and no hits...

. Still, "Shoeless" Joe Jackson
Shoeless Joe Jackson
Joseph Jefferson Jackson , nicknamed "Shoeless Joe", was an American baseball player who played Major League Baseball in the early part of the 20th century...

 had a .009 point lead on him in batting average. What happened next is discussed in Cobb's autobiography. Near the end of the season, Cobb’s Tigers had a long series against Jackson and the Cleveland Naps
Cleveland Indians
The Cleveland Indians are a professional baseball team based in Cleveland, Ohio. They are in the Central Division of Major League Baseball's American League. Since , they have played in Progressive Field. The team's spring training facility is in Goodyear, Arizona...

. Fellow Southerners, Cobb and Jackson were personally friendly both on and off the field. Cobb used that friendship for his advantage. Whenever Jackson said anything to him, he ignored him. When Jackson persisted, Cobb snapped angrily at Jackson, making him wonder what he could have done to enrage Cobb. Cobb felt that it was these mind games that caused Jackson to "fall off" to a final average of .408, while Cobb himself finished with a .420 average.
Cobb led the AL that year in numerous categories besides batting average, including 248 hits, 147 runs scored, 127 RBI, 83 stolen bases, 47 doubles, 24 triples, and a .621 slugging percentage. The only major offensive category in which Cobb did not finish first was home runs, where Frank Baker
Frank Baker
John Franklin "Home Run" Baker was an American third baseman in Major League Baseball from 1908 to 1922, and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1955. As a member of the famed $100,000 infield, Baker helped the Philadelphia Athletics win the 1910, 1911 and 1913 World Series...

 surpassed him 11–8. He was awarded another Chalmers, this time for being voted the AL MVP by the Baseball Writers Association of America
Baseball Writers Association of America
The Baseball Writers' Association of America is a professional association for baseball journalists writing for daily newspapers, magazines and qualifying Web sites. The BBWAA was founded on October 14, 1908, to improve working conditions for sportswriters in the early part of the 20th century...

.

A game that illustrates Cobb's unique combination of skills and attributes occurred on May 12, 1911. Playing against the New York Highlanders
New York Yankees
The New York Yankees are a professional baseball team based in the The Bronx, New York. They compete in Major League Baseball in the American League's East Division...

, Cobb scored a run from first base on a single to right field, then scored another run from second base on a wild pitch. In the 7th inning, he tied the game with a two-run double. The Highlanders catcher vehemently argued the call with the umpire
Umpire (baseball)
In baseball, the umpire is the person charged with officiating the game, including beginning and ending the game, enforcing the rules of the game and the grounds, making judgment calls on plays, and handling the disciplinary actions. The term is often shortened to the colloquial form ump...

, going on at such length that the other Highlanders infielders gathered nearby to watch. Realizing that no one on the Highlanders had called time, Cobb strolled unobserved to third base, and then casually walked towards home plate as if to get a better view of the argument. He then suddenly slid into home plate for the game's winning run. It was performances like this that led Branch Rickey
Branch Rickey
Wesley Branch Rickey was an innovative Major League Baseball executive elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1967...

 to say later that "[Cobb] had brains in his feet."

While taking advantage of the moment, Cobb also had an eye on the long view. Describing his strategy in 1930, Cobb said, "My system was all offense. I believed in putting up a mental hazard for the other fellow. If we were five or six runs ahead, I'd try some wild play, such as going from first to home on a single. This helped to make the other side hurry the play in a close game later on. I worked out all the angles I could think of, to keep them guessing and hurrying." In the same interview, Cobb talked about having noticed a throwing tendency of first baseman Hal Chase
Hal Chase
Harold Homer Chase , nicknamed "Prince Hal", was a first baseman in Major League Baseball, widely viewed as the best fielder at his position...

, but having to wait two full years until the opportunity came to exploit it. By unexpectedly altering his own baserunning
Baserunning
In baseball, baserunning is the act of running around the bases performed by members of the team at bat.In general, baserunning is a tactical part of the game with the goal of eventually reaching home to score a run. In fact, the goal of batting is generally to produce baserunners, or help move...

 tendencies, Cobb was able to surprise Chase and score the game's winning run.

On May 15, 1912, Cobb assaulted a heckler, Claude Lueker, in the stands in New York. Lueker and Cobb had traded insults with each other through the first three innings, and the situation climaxed when Lueker called Cobb a "half-nigger." Cobb, in his discussion of the incident , avoided such explicit words, but alluded to it by saying the man was "reflecting on my mother's color and morals." Cobb stated in the book that he warned Highlanders manager Harry Wolverton
Harry Wolverton
Harry Sterling Wolverton , nicknamed "Fighting Harry", was a third baseman who played for the Chicago Orphans, Philadelphia Phillies, Washington Senators, Boston Beaneaters, and New York Highlanders.-Biography:...

 that if something wasn't done about the man, there would be trouble. No action was taken. At the end of the sixth inning, after being challenged by teammates Sam Crawford
Sam Crawford
Samuel Earl Crawford , nicknamed "Wahoo Sam", was a Major League Baseball player who played outfield for the Cincinnati Reds and Detroit Tigers. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1957....

 and Jim Delahanty
Jim Delahanty
James Christopher Delahanty was a second baseman in Major League Baseball. He played thirteen seasons with eight clubs: the Chicago Orphans , New York Giants , Boston Beaneaters , Cincinnati Reds , St. Louis Browns , Washington Senators , Detroit Tigers , and Brooklyn Tip-Tops...

 to do something about it, Cobb climbed into the stands and attacked Lueker, who it turns out was handicapped (he had lost all of one hand and three fingers on his other hand in an industrial accident). When onlookers shouted at Cobb to stop because the man had no hands, Cobb reportedly replied, "I don't care if he got no feet!"

The league suspended him, and his teammates, though not fond of Cobb, went on strike to protest the suspension, and the lack of protection of players from abusive fans, prior to the May 18 game in Philadelphia. For that one game, Detroit fielded a replacement team made up of college and sandlot ballplayers, plus two Detroit coaches, and lost, 24–2. Some of Major League Baseball's modern era (post-1901) negative records were established in this game, notably the 26 hits in a nine-inning game allowed by Allan Travers
Allan Travers
Aloysius Joseph "Allan" Travers, aka Rev. Aloysius Stanislaus Travers was a Major League Baseball pitcher who made a one-game appearance during the 1912 strike of the Detroit Tigers....

, who pitched one of the sport's most unlikely complete game
Complete game
In baseball, a complete game is the act of a pitcher pitching an entire game without the benefit of a relief pitcher.As demonstrated by the charts below, in the early 20th century, it was common for most good Major League Baseball pitchers to pitch a complete game almost every start. Pitchers were...

s.

The strike ended when Cobb urged his teammates to return to the field. According to Cobb, this incident led to the formation of a players' union, the "Ballplayers' Fraternity" (formally the Fraternity of Professional Baseball Players of America), an early version of what is now called the Major League Baseball Players Association
Major League Baseball Players Association
The Major League Baseball Players Association is the union of professional major-league baseball players.-History of MLBPA:The MLBPA was not the first attempt to unionize baseball players...

, and garnered some concessions from the owners.
During Cobb's career, he was involved in numerous fights, both on and off the field, and several profanity-laced shouting matches. For example, Cobb and umpire Billy Evans
Billy Evans
William George Evans , nicknamed "The Boy Umpire," was an American umpire in Major League Baseball who worked in the American League from 1906 to 1927...

 arranged to settle their in-game differences through fisticuffs, to be conducted under the grandstand after the game. Members of both teams were spectators, and broke up the scuffle after Cobb had knocked Evans down, pinned him, and began choking him. Cobb once slapped a black elevator operator for being "uppity." When a black night watchman intervened, Cobb pulled out a knife and stabbed him. The matter was later settled out of court.

"Sure, I fought," said an unrepentant Cobb in a revealing quote. "I had to fight all my life just to survive. They were all against me. Tried every dirty trick to cut me down, but I beat the bastards and left them in the ditch."

1915–1921

In 1915, Cobb set the single-season record with 10 punch out at 10 years and for stolen bases, with 96. This record stood until Maury Wills
Maury Wills
Maurice Morning "Maury" Wills is a former Major League Baseball shortstop and switch-hitting batter who played most prominently with the Los Angeles Dodgers , and also with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Montreal Expos...

 broke it in 1962. Cobb’s streak of five batting titles (believed at the time to be nine straight) ended the following year when he finished second with .371 to Tris Speaker
Tris Speaker
Tristram E. Speaker , nicknamed "Spoke" and "The Grey Eagle", was an American baseball player. Considered one of the best offensive and defensive center fielders in the history of Major League Baseball, he compiled a career batting average of .345 , and still holds the record of 792 career doubles...

’s .386.

In 1917, Cobb hit in 35 consecutive games; he remains the only player with two 35-game hitting streaks to his credit (Cobb had a 40-game hitting streak in 1911). Over his career, Cobb had six hitting streaks of at least 20 games, second only to Pete Rose
Pete Rose
Peter Edward Rose , nicknamed "Charlie Hustle", is a former Major League Baseball player and manager. Rose played from 1963 to 1986, and managed from 1984 to 1989....

's seven.

Also in 1917, Cobb starred in the motion picture Somewhere in Georgia
Somewhere in Georgia
Somewhere in Georgia is a 1917 silent film, starring baseball great Ty Cobb. It was based on a short story by sports columnist Grantland Rice.-Plot:Cobb stars as a small-town Georgian bank clerk with a talent for baseball...

for a sum of $25,000 plus expenses. Based on a story by sports columnist Grantland Rice
Grantland Rice
Grantland Rice was an early 20th century American sportswriter known for his elegant prose. His writing was published in newspapers around the country and broadcast on the radio.-Biography:...

, the film casts Cobb as "himself", a small-town Georgian bank clerk with a talent for baseball. Broadway
Broadway theatre
Broadway theatre, commonly called simply Broadway, refers to theatrical performances presented in one of the 40 professional theatres with 500 or more seats located in the Theatre District centered along Broadway, and in Lincoln Center, in Manhattan in New York City...

 critic Ward Morehouse
Ward Morehouse
Ward Morehouse was an American theater critic, newspaper columnist, playwright, and author.-Biography:...

 called the movie "absolutely the worst flicker I ever saw, pure hokum."

In October 1918, Cobb enlisted in the Chemical Corps branch of the United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 and was sent to the Allied Expeditionary Forces
American Expeditionary Force
The American Expeditionary Forces or AEF were the United States Armed Forces sent to Europe in World War I. During the United States campaigns in World War I the AEF fought in France alongside British and French allied forces in the last year of the war, against Imperial German forces...

 headquarters in Chaumont, France
Chaumont, Haute-Marne
Chaumont is a commune of France, and the capital of the Haute-Marne department. , it has a of 24,039.The city stands on the Marne River and is situated on the railway linking Paris and Basel, which runs over a 52 m tall and 600 m long viaduct built in 1856.- History :Historically the...

. He served approximately 67 days overseas before receiving an honorable discharge and returning to the United States. Cobb served as a captain underneath the command of Major Branch Rickey
Branch Rickey
Wesley Branch Rickey was an innovative Major League Baseball executive elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1967...

, the president of the St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louis Cardinals
The St. Louis Cardinals are a professional baseball team based in St. Louis, Missouri. They are members of the Central Division in the National League of Major League Baseball. The Cardinals have won eleven World Series championships, the most of any National League team, and second overall only to...

. Other baseball players serving in this unit included Captain Christy Mathewson
Christy Mathewson
Christopher "Christy" Mathewson , nicknamed "Big Six", "The Christian Gentleman", or "Matty", was an American Major League Baseball right-handed pitcher. He played his entire career in what is known as the dead-ball era...

 and Lieutenant George Sisler
George Sisler
George Harold Sisler , nicknamed "Gentleman George" and "Gorgeous George," was an American professional baseball player for 15 seasons, primarily as first baseman with the St. Louis Browns...

. All of these men were assigned to the Gas and Flame Division where they trained soldiers in preparation for chemical attacks
Chemical warfare
Chemical warfare involves using the toxic properties of chemical substances as weapons. This type of warfare is distinct from Nuclear warfare and Biological warfare, which together make up NBC, the military acronym for Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical...

 by exposing them to gas chambers in a controlled environment.

On August 19, 1921, in the second game of a double header against Elmer Myers
Elmer Myers
Elmer Glenn Myers , was a professional baseball player who played in the Major Leagues primarily as a pitcher from 1915-1922.-Teams:...

 of the Boston Red Sox
Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox are a professional baseball team based in Boston, Massachusetts, and a member of Major League Baseball’s American League Eastern Division. Founded in as one of the American League's eight charter franchises, the Red Sox's home ballpark has been Fenway Park since . The "Red Sox"...

, Cobb collected his 3,000th hit. Aged 34 at the time, Cobb is the youngest ballplayer to reach the milestone, and in the fewest at-bats (8,093).

By , Babe Ruth
Babe Ruth
George Herman Ruth, Jr. , best known as "Babe" Ruth and nicknamed "the Bambino" and "the Sultan of Swat", was an American Major League baseball player from 1914–1935...

 had established himself as a power hitter, something Cobb was not considered to be. When Cobb and the Tigers showed up in New York to play the Yankees for the first time that season, writers billed it as a showdown between two stars of competing styles of play. Ruth hit two homers and a triple during the series, compared to Cobb's one single.

As Ruth's popularity grew, Cobb became increasingly hostile toward him. Cobb saw Ruth not only as a threat to his style of play, but also to his style of life. While Cobb preached ascetic self-denial, Ruth gorged on hot dogs, beer, and women. Perhaps what angered him the most about Ruth was that despite Ruth's total disregard for his physical condition and traditional baseball, he was still an overwhelming success and brought fans to the ballparks in record numbers to see him set his own records.

After enduring several years of seeing his fame and notoriety usurped by Ruth, Cobb decided that he was going to show that swinging for the fences was no challenge for a top hitter. On May 5, 1925, Cobb began a two-game hitting spree better than any even Ruth had unleashed. He was sitting in the dugout
Dugout (baseball)
In baseball, the dugout is a team's bench area and is located in foul territory between home plate and either first or third base. There are two dugouts, one for the home team and one for the visiting team. In general, the dugout is occupied by all players not prescribed to be on the field at that...

 talking to a reporter and told him that, for the first time in his career, he was going to swing for the fences. That day, Cobb went 6 for 6, with two singles, a double, and three home runs. His 16 total bases set a new AL record. The next day he had three more hits, two of which were home runs. His single his first time up gave him 9 consecutive hits over three games. His five homers in two games tied the record set by Cap Anson
Cap Anson
Adrian Constantine Anson , nicknamed "Cap" and "Pop", was a National Association and Major League Baseball first baseman...

 of the old Chicago NL team in 1884. Cobb wanted to show that he could hit home runs when he wanted, but simply chose not to do so. At the end of the series, 38-year-old Cobb had gone 12 for 19 with 29 total bases, and then went happily back to bunting and hitting-and-running. For his part, Ruth's attitude was that "I could have had a lifetime .600 average, but I would have had to hit them singles. The people were paying to see me hit home runs."

However, when asked in 1930 by Grantland Rice
Grantland Rice
Grantland Rice was an early 20th century American sportswriter known for his elegant prose. His writing was published in newspapers around the country and broadcast on the radio.-Biography:...

 to name the best hitter he'd seen, Cobb answered "You can't beat the Babe. Ruth is one of the few who can take a terrific swing and still meet the ball solidly. His timing is perfect. [No one has] the combined power and eye of Ruth."

Cobb as player/manager

Frank Navin
Frank Navin
Francis Joseph Navin was the principal owner of the Detroit Tigers in Major League Baseball for 27 years, from 1909 to 1935. He also served as vice president and acting president of the American League....

, the Detroit Tigers owner, signed Cobb to take over for Hughie Jennings as manager for the season. Cobb signed the deal on his 34th birthday for $32,500 (or $398,000 in 2008 dollars). The signing surprised the baseball world. Although Cobb was a legendary player, he was disliked throughout the baseball community, even by his own teammates; and he expected as much from his players as he gave, a standard most players couldn't meet.

The closest Cobb came to winning the pennant race was in , when the Tigers finished in third place, six games behind the pennant-winning Washington Senators
Minnesota Twins
The Minnesota Twins are a professional baseball team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They play in the Central Division of Major League Baseball's American League. The team is named after the Twin Cities area of Minneapolis and St. Paul. They played in Metropolitan Stadium from 1961 to 1981 and the...

. The Tigers had finished second in , but were 16 games behind the Yankees.

Cobb blamed his lackluster managerial record (479 wins-444 losses) on Navin, who was arguably an even more frugal man than Cobb. Navin passed up a number of quality players that Cobb wanted to add to the team. In fact, Navin had saved money by hiring Cobb to manage the team.

Also in 1922, Cobb tied a batting record set by Wee Willie Keeler
Willie Keeler
William Henry Keeler in Brooklyn, New York, nicknamed "Wee Willie", was a right fielder in professional baseball who played from 1892 to 1910, primarily for the Baltimore Orioles and Brooklyn Superbas in the National League, and the New York Highlanders in the American League.- Biography :Keeler's...

, with four five-hit games in a season. This has since been matched by Stan Musial
Stan Musial
Stanley Frank "Stan" Musial is a retired professional baseball player who played 22 seasons in Major League Baseball for the St. Louis Cardinals . Nicknamed "Stan the Man", Musial was a record 24-time All-Star selection , and is widely considered to be one of the greatest hitters in baseball...

, Tony Gwynn
Tony Gwynn
Anthony Keith "Tony" Gwynn, Sr. , nicknamed Mr. Padre and Captain Video, is a former Major League Baseball right fielder. He is statistically one of the best and most consistent hitters in baseball history. He played his entire 20-year baseball career for the San Diego Padres...

, and Ichiro Suzuki
Ichiro Suzuki
, usually known simply as is a Major League Baseball right fielder for the Seattle Mariners. Ichiro has established a number of batting records, including the sport's single-season record for hits with 262...

.

At the end of Cobb was once again embroiled in a batting title race, this time with one of his teammates and players, Harry Heilmann
Harry Heilmann
Harry Edwin Heilmann , nicknamed “Slug,” was a Major League Baseball player who played 17 seasons with the Detroit Tigers and Cincinnati Reds . He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1952.Heilmann was a line drive hitter who won four American League batting crowns: in 1921, 1923, 1925 and...

. In a doubleheader against the St. Louis Browns
Baltimore Orioles
The Baltimore Orioles are a professional baseball team based in Baltimore, Maryland in the United States. They are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's American League. One of the American League's eight charter franchises in 1901, it spent its first year as a major league...

 on October 4, 1925, Heilmann got six hits to lead the Tigers to a sweep of the doubleheader and beat Cobb for the batting crown, .393 to .389. Cobb and Browns manager George Sisler
George Sisler
George Harold Sisler , nicknamed "Gentleman George" and "Gorgeous George," was an American professional baseball player for 15 seasons, primarily as first baseman with the St. Louis Browns...

 each pitched in the final game. Cobb pitched a perfect inning.

Move to Philadelphia

Cobb finally called it quits from a 22-year career as a Tiger in November 1926. He announced his retirement and headed home to Augusta, Georgia. Shortly thereafter, Tris Speaker also retired as player-manager of the Cleveland team. The retirement of two great players at the same time sparked some interest, and it turned out that the two were coerced into retirement because of allegations of game-fixing brought about by Dutch Leonard
Dutch Leonard (left-handed pitcher)
Hubert Benjamin "Dutch" Leonard, was an American left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball who had an 11-year career from 1913–1921, 1924-1925. He played for the Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers, and holds the major league modern-era record for the lowest single-season ERA of all time — 0.96...

, a former pitcher of Cobb's.

Leonard accused former pitcher and outfielder Smoky Joe Wood and Cobb of betting on 1919 Get 7 pounch out in 10 season a Tiger-Cleveland game played in Detroit on September 25, 1919, in which they allegedly orchestrated a Detroit victory to win the bet. Leonard claimed proof existed in letters written to him by Cobb and Wood. Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis
Kenesaw Mountain Landis
Kenesaw Mountain Landis was an American jurist who served as a federal judge from 1905 to 1922 and as the first Commissioner of Baseball from 1920 until his death...

 held a secret hearing with Cobb, Speaker, and Wood. A second secret meeting amongst the AL directors led to Cobb and Speaker resigning with no publicity; however, rumors of the scandal led Judge Landis to hold additional hearings. Leonard subsequently refused to appear at the hearings. Cobb and Wood admitted to writing the letters, but they claimed it was a horse racing bet, and that Leonard's accusations were in retaliation for Cobb's having released Leonard from the Tigers to the minor leagues
Minor league baseball
Minor league baseball is a hierarchy of professional baseball leagues in the Americas that compete at levels below Major League Baseball and provide opportunities for player development. All of the minor leagues are operated as independent businesses...

. Speaker denied any wrongdoing.

On January 27, 1927, Judge Landis cleared Cobb and Speaker of any wrongdoing because of Leonard's refusal to appear at the hearings. Landis allowed both Cobb and Speaker to return to their original teams, and both became free agent
Free agent
In professional sports, a free agent is a player whose contract with a team has expired and who is thus eligible to sign with another club or franchise....

s. Speaker signed with the Washington Senators
Minnesota Twins
The Minnesota Twins are a professional baseball team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They play in the Central Division of Major League Baseball's American League. The team is named after the Twin Cities area of Minneapolis and St. Paul. They played in Metropolitan Stadium from 1961 to 1981 and the...

 for 1927; Cobb signed with the Philadelphia Athletics
Oakland Athletics
The Oakland Athletics are a Major League Baseball team based in Oakland, California. The Athletics are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League. From to the present, the Athletics have played in the O.co Coliseum....

. Speaker then joined Cobb in Philadelphia for the 1928 season. Cobb said he came back only to seek vindication, and so that he could say he left baseball on his own terms.

Cobb played regularly in 1927 for a young and talented team that finished second to one of the greatest teams of all time, the 1927 Yankees, which won 110 games. He returned to Detroit to a tumultuous welcome on May 11, 1927. Cobb doubled in his first at bat, to the cheers of Tiger fans. On July 18, 1927, Cobb became the first player to enter the 4000 hit club when he doubled off former teammate Sam Gibson
Sam Gibson
Samuel Braxton Gibson was an American right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball who played five seasons with the Detroit Tigers , New York Yankees and New York Giants ....

 of the Detroit Tigers at Navin Field.

1927 was also the final season of Washington Senators
Minnesota Twins
The Minnesota Twins are a professional baseball team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They play in the Central Division of Major League Baseball's American League. The team is named after the Twin Cities area of Minneapolis and St. Paul. They played in Metropolitan Stadium from 1961 to 1981 and the...

 pitcher Walter Johnson
Walter Johnson
Walter Perry Johnson , nicknamed "Barney" and "The Big Train", was a Major League Baseball right-handed pitcher. He played his entire 21-year baseball career for the Washington Senators...

's career. With their careers largely overlapping, Ty Cobb faced Johnson more times than any other batter-pitcher matchup in baseball history. Cobb also got the first hit allowed in Johnson's career. After Johnson hit Detroit's Ossie Vitt
Ossie Vitt
Oscar Joseph "Ossie" Vitt , was a Major League Baseball third baseman in the American League for the Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox . Vitt later became manager of the Cleveland Indians , where he sometimes clashed with his players.-Playing career:Ossie Vitt was a product of the sandlots of...

 with a pitch in August 1915, seriously injuring him, Cobb realized that Johnson was fearful of hitting opponents. He used this knowledge to his advantage, by standing closer to the plate.

Cobb returned for the 1928 season. He played less frequently due to his age and the blossoming abilities of the young A's, who were again in a pennant race with the Yankees. On September 3, 1928, Ty Cobb pinch hit
Pinch hitter
In baseball, a pinch hitter is a substitute batter. Batters can be substituted at any time while the ball is dead ; the manager may use any player that has not yet entered the game as a substitute...

 in the 9th inning of the first game of a double-header against the Senators and doubled off Bump Hadley for his last career hit. Against the Yankees on September 11, 1928, Cobb had his last at bat popping
Types of batted balls in baseball
In baseball, a batted ball is any ball that, after a pitch, is contacted by the batter's bat. One or more of several terms are used to describe a batted ball, depending on how it comes off the bat and where in the field it lands....

 out
Out (baseball)
In baseball, an out occurs when the defensive, or fielding, team effects any of a number of different events, and the umpire rules a batter or baserunner out. When a player is called out, he is said to be retired...

 against pitcher Hank Johnson, grounding out to shortstop
Shortstop
Shortstop, abbreviated SS, is the baseball fielding position between second and third base. Shortstop is often regarded as the most dynamic defensive position in baseball, because there are more right-handed hitters in baseball than left-handed hitters, and most hitters have a tendency to pull the...

 Mark Koenig as a 9th-inning pinch hitter. He then announced his retirement, effective at the end of the season. Cobb ended his career with 23 consecutive seasons batting .300 or better (the only season under .300 being his rookie season), a major league record not likely to be broken.

Post professional career

Cobb retired a very rich and successful man. He toured Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 with his family, went to Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

 for some time then returned to his farm in Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

. He spent his retirement pursuing his off-season activities of hunting, golfing, polo and fishing. His other pastime was trading stocks and bonds
Bond (finance)
In finance, a bond is a debt security, in which the authorized issuer owes the holders a debt and, depending on the terms of the bond, is obliged to pay interest to use and/or to repay the principal at a later date, termed maturity...

, increasing his immense personal wealth. Among his other holdings, Cobb was a major stockholder in the Coca-Cola Corporation, which by itself would have made him a wealthy man.

In the winter of 1930, Cobb moved into a Spanish
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 ranch estate on Spencer Lane in the millionaire's community of Atherton
Atherton, California
Atherton is an incorporated town in San Mateo County, California, United States. Its population was 6,914 at the 2010 census. In September 2010, Forbes magazine placed Atherton's zip code of 94027 at #2 on its annual list of America's most expensive zip codes, with a median home price of $4,010,200...

 outside San Francisco, California
San Francisco, California
San Francisco , officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the financial, cultural, and transportation center of the San Francisco Bay Area, a region of 7.15 million people which includes San Jose and Oakland...

. At that same time, his wife Charlie filed the first of several divorce suits; however, she withdrew that suit shortly thereafter. Charlie finally divorced Cobb in 1947, after 39 years of marriage, the last few of which she lived in nearby Menlo Park
Menlo Park, California
Menlo Park, California is a city at the eastern edge of San Mateo County, in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, in the United States. It is bordered by San Francisco Bay on the north and east; East Palo Alto, Palo Alto, and Stanford to the south; Atherton, North Fair Oaks, and Redwood City...

. The couple had three sons and two daughters: Tyrus Raymond, Jr., Shirley Marion, Herschel Roswell, James Howell, and Beverly.

Cobb never had an easy time being a father and husband. His children found him to be demanding, yet also capable of kindness and extreme warmth. Cobb expected his boys to be exceptional athletes, especially baseball players. Cobb, Jr. flunked out of Princeton
Princeton University
Princeton University is a private research university located in Princeton, New Jersey, United States. The school is one of the eight universities of the Ivy League, and is one of the nine Colonial Colleges founded before the American Revolution....

  (where he had played on the varsity tennis team), much to the dismay of Cobb, Sr. The elder Cobb subsequently traveled to the Princeton campus and beat his son with a whip
Whip
A whip is a tool traditionally used by humans to exert control over animals or other people, through pain compliance or fear of pain, although in some activities whips can be used without use of pain, such as an additional pressure aid in dressage...

 to ensure against future academic failure. Cobb, Jr. then entered Yale University
Yale University
Yale University is a private, Ivy League university located in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States...

 and became captain of the tennis team while improving his academics; however, he was arrested twice in 1930 for drunkenness and left Yale without graduating. Cobb, Sr. helped his son address the pending legal problems and then permanently broke off ties with the younger Cobb. Though Cobb Jr. eventually earned an M.D.
Doctor of Medicine
Doctor of Medicine is a doctoral degree for physicians. The degree is granted by medical schools...

 in obstetrics
Obstetrics
Obstetrics is the medical specialty dealing with the care of all women's reproductive tracts and their children during pregnancy , childbirth and the postnatal period...

 from the Medical College of South Carolina and practiced in Dublin, Georgia
Dublin, Georgia
Dublin is a city in Laurens County, Georgia, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 16,201. The city is the county seat of Laurens County.-History:The original settlement was named after the city Dublin, Ireland....

, until his death at the age of forty-two on September 9, 1952, from a brain tumor
Brain tumor
A brain tumor is an intracranial solid neoplasm, a tumor within the brain or the central spinal canal.Brain tumors include all tumors inside the cranium or in the central spinal canal...

, his father remained distant.

A personal achievement came in February 1936, when the first Hall of Fame election results were announced. Cobb had been named on 222 of 226 ballots, outdistancing Babe Ruth
Babe Ruth
George Herman Ruth, Jr. , best known as "Babe" Ruth and nicknamed "the Bambino" and "the Sultan of Swat", was an American Major League baseball player from 1914–1935...

, Honus Wagner
Honus Wagner
-Louisville Colonels:Recognizing his talent, Barrow recommended Wagner to the Louisville Colonels. After some hesitation about his awkward figure, Wagner was signed by the Colonels, where he hit .338 in 61 games....

, Christy Mathewson
Christy Mathewson
Christopher "Christy" Mathewson , nicknamed "Big Six", "The Christian Gentleman", or "Matty", was an American Major League Baseball right-handed pitcher. He played his entire career in what is known as the dead-ball era...

 and Walter Johnson
Walter Johnson
Walter Perry Johnson , nicknamed "Barney" and "The Big Train", was a Major League Baseball right-handed pitcher. He played his entire 21-year baseball career for the Washington Senators...

, the only others to earn the necessary 75% of votes to be elected in that first year. His 98.2 percentage stood as the record until Tom Seaver
Tom Seaver
George Thomas "Tom" Seaver , nicknamed "Tom Terrific" and "The Franchise", is a former Major League Baseball pitcher. He pitched from 1967-1986 for four different teams in his career, but is noted primarily for his time with the New York Mets...

 received 98.8% of the vote in 1992 (Nolan Ryan
Nolan Ryan
Lynn Nolan Ryan, Jr. , nicknamed "The Ryan Express", is a former Major League Baseball pitcher. He is currently principal owner, president and CEO of the Texas Rangers....

 and Cal Ripken
Cal Ripken, Jr.
Calvin Edwin "Cal" Ripken, Jr. , nicknamed "Iron Man", is a former Major League Baseball shortstop and third baseman. He played his entire 21-year baseball career for the Baltimore Orioles ....

 have also surpassed Cobb, with 98.79% and 98.53% of the votes, respectively). Those incredible results show that although many people disliked him personally, they respected the way he played and what he accomplished. In 1998, The Sporting News
The Sporting News
Sporting News is an American-based sports magazine. It was established in 1886, and it became the dominant American publication covering baseball — so much so that it acquired the nickname "The Bible of Baseball"...

 ranked him as third on the list of 100 Greatest Baseball Players.

By the time he was elected into the Hall of Fame, Cobb drank and smoked heavily, and spent a great deal of time complaining about modern-day players' lack of fundamental skills. Cobb had positive things to say about Stan Musial
Stan Musial
Stanley Frank "Stan" Musial is a retired professional baseball player who played 22 seasons in Major League Baseball for the St. Louis Cardinals . Nicknamed "Stan the Man", Musial was a record 24-time All-Star selection , and is widely considered to be one of the greatest hitters in baseball...

, Phil Rizzuto
Phil Rizzuto
Philip Francis Rizzuto , nicknamed "The Scooter", was an American Major League Baseball shortstop. He spent his entire 13-year baseball career for the New York Yankees...

, and Jackie Robinson
Jackie Robinson
Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson was the first black Major League Baseball player of the modern era. Robinson broke the baseball color line when he debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947...

, but few others. However, Cobb was known to help out young players. He was instrumental in helping Joe DiMaggio
Joe DiMaggio
Joseph Paul "Joe" DiMaggio , nicknamed "Joltin' Joe" and "The Yankee Clipper," was an American Major League Baseball center fielder who played his entire 13-year career for the New York Yankees. He is perhaps best known for his 56-game hitting streak , a record that still stands...

 negotiate his rookie contract with the New York Yankees
New York Yankees
The New York Yankees are a professional baseball team based in the The Bronx, New York. They compete in Major League Baseball in the American League's East Division...

, but ended his friendship with Ted Williams
Ted Williams
Theodore Samuel "Ted" Williams was an American professional baseball player and manager. He played his entire 21-year Major League Baseball career as the left fielder for the Boston Red Sox...

 when the latter suggested to him that Rogers Hornsby
Rogers Hornsby
Rogers Hornsby, Sr. , nicknamed "The Rajah", was an American baseball infielder, manager, and coach who played 23 seasons in Major League Baseball . He played for the St. Louis Cardinals , New York Giants , Boston Braves , Chicago Cubs , and St. Louis Browns...

 was a greater hitter than Cobb.

Cobb's competitive fires continued to burn after retirement. In 1941, Cobb faced Babe Ruth
Babe Ruth
George Herman Ruth, Jr. , best known as "Babe" Ruth and nicknamed "the Bambino" and "the Sultan of Swat", was an American Major League baseball player from 1914–1935...

 in a series of charity golf matches at courses outside New York, Boston and Detroit. Cobb won. At the 1947 Old Timers Game in Yankee Stadium, Cobb warned catcher Benny Bengough
Benny Bengough
Bernard Oliver "Benny" Bengough was a major league baseball catcher who played for ten seasons for the New York Yankees and St. Louis Browns. He was born in Niagara Falls, New York...

 to move back, claiming he was rusty and hadn't swung a bat in almost 20 years. Bengough stepped back, to avoid being struck by Cobb's backswing. Having repositioned the catcher, Cobb cannily laid down a perfect bunt in front of the plate, and easily beat the throw from a surprised Bengough.

Another bittersweet moment in Cobb's life reportedly came in the late 1940s when he and sportswriter Grantland Rice were returning from the Masters golf tournament. Stopping at a Greenville, South Carolina
Greenville, South Carolina
-Law and government:The city of Greenville adopted the Council-Manager form of municipal government in 1976.-History:The area was part of the Cherokee Nation's protected grounds after the Treaty of 1763, which ended the French and Indian War. No White man was allowed to enter, though some families...

 liquor store, Cobb noticed that the man behind the counter was "Shoeless" Joe Jackson
Shoeless Joe Jackson
Joseph Jefferson Jackson , nicknamed "Shoeless Joe", was an American baseball player who played Major League Baseball in the early part of the 20th century...

, who had been banned from baseball almost 30 years earlier following the Black Sox Scandal
Black Sox Scandal
The Black Sox Scandal took place around and during the play of the American baseball 1919 World Series. Eight members of the Chicago White Sox were banned for life from baseball for intentionally losing games, which allowed the Cincinnati Reds to win the World Series...

. But Jackson did not appear to recognize him, and finally Cobb asked, "Don't you know me, Joe?" "Sure I know you, Ty," replied Jackson, "but I wasn't sure you wanted to know me. A lot of them don't."

Cobb was mentioned in the poem "Line-Up for Yesterday
Line-Up for Yesterday
Line-Up for Yesterday: An ABC of Baseball Immortals is a poem written by Ogden Nash for the January 1949 issue of SPORT Magazine. In the poem, Nash dedicates each letter of the alphabet to an iconic Major League Baseball player...

"
by Ogden Nash
Ogden Nash
Frederic Ogden Nash was an American poet well known for his light verse. At the time of his death in 1971, the New York Times said his "droll verse with its unconventional rhymes made him the country's best-known producer of humorous poetry".-Early life:Nash was born in Rye, New York...

:

Later life

At 62, Cobb married a second time in 1949. His new wife was 40-year-old Frances Fairbairn Cass, a divorcee
Divorcee
Divorcee, refers to a person whose marriage has ended in divorce, a legal dissolution of marriage before death by either spouse. The feminine form is "divorcée", and the masculine "divorcé". At one time the term had negative cultural and religious associations...

 from Buffalo, New York
Buffalo, New York
Buffalo is the second most populous city in the state of New York, after New York City. Located in Western New York on the eastern shores of Lake Erie and at the head of the Niagara River across from Fort Erie, Ontario, Buffalo is the seat of Erie County and the principal city of the...

. This childless marriage also failed, and they divorced in 1956.

When two of his three sons died young, Cobb was alone, with few friends left. He began to be generous with his wealth, donating $100,000 in his parents' name for his hometown to build a modern 24-bed hospital, Cobb Memorial Hospital, which is now part of the Ty Cobb Healthcare System
Ty Cobb Healthcare System
The Ty Cobb Healthcare System began as only a single hospital. Cobb Memorial Hospital was dedicated in Royston, Georgia, on January 22, 1950, to the glory of God and in loving memory of Ty Cobb's parents, William Herschel Cobb and Amanda Cobb...

. He also established the Cobb Educational Fund, which awarded scholarships to needy Georgia students bound for college, by endowing it with a $100,000 donation in 1953 (or $820,000 in 2008 dollars).

Cobb knew that another way he could share his wealth was by having biographies written that would set the record straight and teach young players how to play. John McCallum
John McCallum (author)
John Dennis McCallum was a sportswriter, as well as a writer on strength training topics. McCallum married television and movie actress Marjie Millar in 1960....

 spent some time with Cobb to write a combination how-to and biography titled The Tiger Wore Spikes: An Informal Biography of Ty Cobb that was published in 1956.

After McCallum completed his research for the book, Cobb was again alone and had a longing to return to Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

. In December, 1959, Cobb was diagnosed with prostate cancer
Prostate cancer
Prostate cancer is a form of cancer that develops in the prostate, a gland in the male reproductive system. Most prostate cancers are slow growing; however, there are cases of aggressive prostate cancers. The cancer cells may metastasize from the prostate to other parts of the body, particularly...

, diabetes
Diabetes mellitus
Diabetes mellitus, often simply referred to as diabetes, is a group of metabolic diseases in which a person has high blood sugar, either because the body does not produce enough insulin, or because cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced...

, high blood pressure
Hypertension
Hypertension or high blood pressure is a cardiac chronic medical condition in which the systemic arterial blood pressure is elevated. What that means is that the heart is having to work harder than it should to pump the blood around the body. Blood pressure involves two measurements, systolic and...

 and Bright's disease
Bright's disease
Bright's disease is a historical classification of kidney diseases that would be described in modern medicine as acute or chronic nephritis. The term is no longer used, as diseases are now classified according to their more fully understood causes....

, a degenerative kidney disorder. He did not trust his initial diagnosis, however, so he went to Georgia to seek advice from doctors he knew, and they found his prostate to be cancerous. They removed it at Emory University Hospital
Emory University
Emory University is a private research university in metropolitan Atlanta, located in the Druid Hills section of unincorporated DeKalb County, Georgia, United States. The university was founded as Emory College in 1836 in Oxford, Georgia by a small group of Methodists and was named in honor of...

 in Atlanta, but that did little to help Cobb. From this point until the end of his life, Cobb criss-crossed the country, going from his lodge in Tahoe
Tahoe
Tahoe, or Lake Tahoe, is a large freshwater lake on the California–Nevada border.Tahoe may also refer to:* Tahoe, California* Chevrolet Tahoe, a sport utility vehicle...

 to the hospital in Georgia.

It was also during his final years that Cobb began work on his autobiography, My Life in Baseball: The True Record, with writer Al Stump. Their collaboration was contentious, and after Cobb's death, Al Stump's side of the story was described in some of his other works, including the film Cobb
Cobb (film)
Cobb is a 1994 biopic starring Tommy Lee Jones as the famed baseball player Ty Cobb. It was written and directed by Ron Shelton and was based on a book by Al Stump...

. In 2010, an article by William R. "Ron" Cobb (no relation to Ty) in The National Pastime, official publication of the Society for American Baseball Research
Society for American Baseball Research
The Society for American Baseball Research was established in Cooperstown, New York, in August 1971 by Bob Davids of Washington, D.C. The Society's mission is to foster the research and dissemination of the history and record of baseball, while generating interest in the game...

, accused Stump of extensive forgeries of Cobb-related documents and diaries. The article further accused Stump of numerous false statements about Cobb in his last years, most of which were sensationalistic in nature and intended to cast Cobb in an unflattering light.

Cobb is regarded by some historians and journalists as the best player of the dead-ball era
Dead-ball era
The dead-ball era is a baseball term used to describe the period between 1900 and the emergence of Babe Ruth as a power hitter in 1919. In 1919, Ruth hit a then league record 29 home runs, a spectacular feat at that time.This era was characterized by low-scoring games and a lack of home runs...

, and is generally seen as one of the greatest players of all time.

Death

In his last days, Cobb spent some time with the old movie comedian Joe E. Brown
Joe E. Brown (comedian)
Joseph Evans Brown was an American actor and comedian, remembered for his amiable screen persona, comic timing, and enormous smile. In 1902 at the age of nine, he joined a troupe of circus tumblers known as the Five Marvelous Ashtons which toured the country on both the circus and vaudeville...

, talking about the choices Cobb had made in his life. He told Brown that he felt that he had made mistakes, and that he would do things differently if he could. He had played hard and lived hard all his life, and had no friends to show for it at the end, and he regretted it. Publicly, however, Cobb claimed not to have any regrets: "I've been lucky. I have no right to be regretful of what I did."

He checked into Emory Hospital for the last time in June, 1961, bringing with him a paper bag with over $1 million in negotiable bonds
Bond (finance)
In finance, a bond is a debt security, in which the authorized issuer owes the holders a debt and, depending on the terms of the bond, is obliged to pay interest to use and/or to repay the principal at a later date, termed maturity...

. His first wife, Charlie, his son Jimmy and other family members came to be with him for his final days. He died a month later, on July 17, 1961, at Emory University Hospital
Emory University Hospital
Emory University Hospital is a 587-bed facility in Atlanta, Georgia, specializing in the care of the acutely ill adult. Emory University Hospital is staffed exclusively by Emory University School of Medicine faculty who also are members of The Emory Clinic...

.
Approximately 150 friends and relatives attended a brief service in Cornelia, Georgia
Cornelia, Georgia
Cornelia is a city in Habersham County, Georgia, United States. The population was 3,834 at the 2010 census. It is home to one of the world's largest apple sculptures, which is displayed on top of an obelisk shaped monument...

, and drove to the Cobb family mausoleum
Mausoleum
A mausoleum is an external free-standing building constructed as a monument enclosing the interment space or burial chamber of a deceased person or persons. A monument without the interment is a cenotaph. A mausoleum may be considered a type of tomb or the tomb may be considered to be within the...

 in Royston for the burial. Baseball's only representatives at his funeral were three old players, Ray Schalk
Ray Schalk
Raymond William Schalk was a professional baseball player, coach, manager and scout. He played as a catcher in Major League Baseball for the Chicago White Sox for the majority of his career. Known for his fine handling of pitchers and outstanding defensive ability, Schalk was considered the...

, Mickey Cochrane
Mickey Cochrane
Gordon Stanley "Mickey" Cochrane was a professional baseball player and manager. He played in Major League Baseball as a catcher for the Philadelphia Athletics and Detroit Tigers...

, and Nap Rucker
Nap Rucker
George Napoleon "Nap" Rucker was a left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball for the Brooklyn Superbas/Dodgers/Robins. He was born in Crabapple, Georgia....

, along with Sid Keener, the director of the Baseball Hall of Fame; however, messages of condolences numbered in the hundreds. Family in attendance included Cobb's former wife, Charlie, his two daughters, his surviving son, Jimmy, his two sons-in-law, his daughter-in-law, Mary Dunn Cobb, and her two children.

At the time of his death, Cobb's estate was reported to be worth at least US$11,780,000, including $10 million worth of General Motors
General Motors
General Motors Company , commonly known as GM, formerly incorporated as General Motors Corporation, is an American multinational automotive corporation headquartered in Detroit, Michigan and the world's second-largest automaker in 2010...

 GM
GM
- Business and industry :* General manager* General merchandise* General Mills* General Motors, an automobile manufacturing company* Gold Master, an original recording from which copies may be made* Gross margin, profit as a percentage of sales price...

 stock and $1.78 million in The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company is an American multinational beverage corporation and manufacturer, retailer and marketer of non-alcoholic beverage concentrates and syrups. The company is best known for its flagship product Coca-Cola, invented in 1886 by pharmacist John Stith Pemberton in Columbus, Georgia...

 Coke
Coke
Coke may refer to:* Coca-Cola, a soft drink originally based on coca leaf extract** The Coca-Cola Company, makers of this drink** Cola, any soft drink similar to Coca-Cola** Soft drink, any non-alcoholic carbonated beverage* Coca, a plant...

 stock. Altogether, the estate was equivalent to $86,320,000 in 2008 dollars. Cobb's will
Will (law)
A will or testament is a legal declaration by which a person, the testator, names one or more persons to manage his/her estate and provides for the transfer of his/her property at death...

 left a quarter of his estate to the Cobb Educational Fund, and distributed the rest among his children and grandchildren. Cobb is interred in the Rose Hill Cemetery in Royston, Georgia
Royston, Georgia
Royston is a city in Franklin, Hart, and Madison counties in the U.S. state of Georgia. The population was 2,493 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Royston is located at ....

. As of 2005 the Ty Cobb Educational Foundation has distributed nearly $11 million in scholarship
Scholarship
A scholarship is an award of financial aid for a student to further education. Scholarships are awarded on various criteria usually reflecting the values and purposes of the donor or founder of the award.-Types:...

s to needy Georgians.

Legacy

Efforts to create a Ty Cobb Memorial in Royston initially failed, primarily because most of the artifacts from his life were sent to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York
Cooperstown, New York
Cooperstown is a village in Otsego County, New York, USA. It is located in the Town of Otsego. The population was estimated to be 1,852 at the 2010 census.The Village of Cooperstown is the county seat of Otsego County, New York...

, and the Georgia town was viewed as too remote to make a memorial worthwhile. However, on July 17, 1998, the 37th anniversary of Cobb's death, the Ty Cobb Museum
Ty Cobb Museum
The Ty Cobb Museum is a museum located in Royston, Georgia, that honors Baseball Hall of Fame player Tyrus Raymond Cobb. The museum contains art and memorabilia, film, video, books and historical archives of Cobb as well as several other notable people from Franklin County, Georgia.Items on...

 and the Franklin County Sports Hall of Fame opened its doors in Royston. On that day, Cobb was one of the first members to be inducted into the Franklin County Sports Hall of Fame. On August 30, 2005, his hometown hosted a 1905 baseball game to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Cobb's first major league game. Players in the game included many of Cobb's descendants as well as many citizens from his hometown of Royston. Another early-1900s baseball game was played in his hometown at Cobb Field on September 30, 2006, with Cobb's descendants and Roystonians again playing. Cobb's personal batboy
Batboy
A batboy is an individual who carries the baseball bats around to a baseball team. A batboy may also lay out the equipment and mud the baseballs to be used in the game.Mascots and batboys had both been part of baseball since the 1880s....

 from his major league years was also in attendance and threw out the first pitch
Ceremonial first pitch
The ceremonial first ball is a longstanding ritual of American baseball in which a guest of honor throws a ball to mark the end of pregame festivities and the start of the game. Originally, the guest threw a ball from his/her place in the grandstand to the pitcher or catcher of the home team...

. A third Ty Cobb Vintage Baseball Game was played on October 6, 2007. Many of Cobb's family and other relatives were in attendance for a "family reunion" theme. Appearing at the game again was Cobb's personal batboy who, with his son and grandson, made a large donation and a plaque to the Ty Cobb Museum in honor of their family's relationship with the Cobb family.
Ty Cobb's legacy also includes legions of collectors of his early tobacco card issues as well as game used memorabilia and autographs. Perhaps the most curious item remains the 1909 Ty Cobb with Ty Cobb Cigarettes pack, leaving some to believe Cobb either had or attempted to have his own brand of cigarettes. Very little about the card is known other than its similarity to the 1909 T206 Red Portrait card published by the American Tobacco Company, and until 2005 only a handful were known to exist. That year, a sizable cache of the cards was brought to auction by the family of a Royston, Georgia man who had stored them in a book for almost 100 years.. The new baseball stadium at Hampden-Sydney College is named Ty Cobb Ballpark.

Crawford-Cobb rivalry

Sam Crawford
Sam Crawford
Samuel Earl Crawford , nicknamed "Wahoo Sam", was a Major League Baseball player who played outfield for the Cincinnati Reds and Detroit Tigers. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1957....

 and Ty Cobb were teammates for parts of thirteen seasons. They played beside each other in right and center field, and Crawford followed Cobb in the batting order
Batting order (baseball)
The batting order, or batting lineup, in baseball is the sequence in which the nine members of the offense take their turns in batting against the pitcher. The batting order is the main component of a team's offensive strategy. The batting order is set by the manager before the game begins...

 year after year. Despite the physical closeness, the two had a complicated relationship.

Initially, they had a student-teacher relationship. Crawford was an established star when Cobb arrived, and Cobb eagerly sought his advice. In interviews with Al Stump
Al Stump
Al Stump , was an American author and Sports writer. Stump spent a great deal of time with Ty Cobb before Cobb's death. Stump wrote one book with Cobb, one book on Cobb and a handful of magazine articles about the time the two men spent together...

, Cobb told of studying Crawford's base stealing technique and of how Crawford would teach him about pursuing fly balls and throwing out base runners. Cobb told Stump he would always remember Crawford's kindness.
The student-teacher relationship gradually changed to one of jealous rivals. Cobb was not popular with his teammates, and as Cobb became the biggest star in baseball, Crawford was unhappy with the preferential treatment given to Cobb. Cobb was allowed to show up late for spring training and was given private quarters on the road – perks not offered to Crawford. The competition between the two was intense. Crawford recalled that, if he went three for four on a day when Cobb went hitless, Cobb would turn red and sometimes walk out of the park with the game still on. When it was initially (and erroneously) reported that Nap Lajoie
Nap Lajoie
Napoléon "Nap" Lajoie , also known as Larry Lajoie, was an American Major League Baseball second baseman. He was born in Woonsocket, Rhode Island...

 had won the batting title, Crawford was alleged to have been one of several Tigers who sent a telegram to Lajoie congratulating him on beating Cobb.

In retirement, Cobb wrote a letter to a writer for The Sporting News
The Sporting News
Sporting News is an American-based sports magazine. It was established in 1886, and it became the dominant American publication covering baseball — so much so that it acquired the nickname "The Bible of Baseball"...

 accusing Crawford of not helping in the outfield and of intentionally fouling off balls when Cobb was stealing a base. Crawford learned about the letter in 1946 and accused Cobb of being a "cheapskate" who never helped his teammates. He said that Cobb had not been a very good fielder, "so he blamed me." Crawford denied intentionally trying to deprive Cobb of stolen bases, insisting that Cobb had "dreamed that up."

When asked about the feud, Cobb attributed it to jealousy. He felt that Crawford was "a hell of a good player," but he was "second best" on the Tigers and "hated to be an also ran." Cobb biographer Richard Bak noted that the two "only barely tolerated each other" and agreed with Cobb that Crawford’s attitude was driven by Cobb’s having stolen Crawford's thunder.

Although they may not have spoken to each other, Cobb and Crawford developed an uncanny ability to communicate nonverbally with looks and nods on the base paths. They became one of the most successful double steal pairings in baseball history.

After Cobb died, a reporter found hundreds of letters in Cobb's home that Cobb had written to influential people lobbying for Crawford's induction into the Hall of Fame. Crawford was reportedly unaware of Cobb's efforts until after Cobb had died. Crawford was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1957, four years before Cobb's death.

Regular season statistics

Both official sources, such as Total Baseball
Total Baseball
Total Baseball is a baseball encyclopedia first compiled by John Thorn and Pete Palmer in 1989. The latest edition, published in 2004, is its eighth...

, and a number of independent researchers, including John Thorn
John Thorn
John Thorn is a noted sports historian, and the Official Baseball Historian for Major League Baseball.-Early life:Thorn was born in Stuttgart, West Germany. His Polish Jewish parents had come there as refugees. He immigrated to the United States in 1949...

, have raised questions about Cobb's exact career totals. Hits have been re-estimated at between 4,189 and 4,191, due to a possible double-counted game in 1910. At-bats estimates have ranged as high as 11,437. The numbers shown below are the figures officially recognized on MLB.com.
G
Games played
Games played is a statistic used in team sports to indicate the total number of games in which a player has participated ; the statistic is generally applied irrespective of whatever portion of the game is contested.-Baseball:In baseball, the statistic applies also to players who, prior to a game,...

AB
At bat
In baseball, an at bat or time at bat is used to calculate certain statistics, including batting average, on base percentage, and slugging percentage. It is a more restricted definition of a plate appearance...

R
Run (baseball)
In baseball, a run is scored when a player advances around first, second and third base and returns safely to home plate, touching the bases in that order, before three outs are recorded and all obligations to reach base safely on batted balls are met or assured...

H
Hit (baseball)
In baseball statistics, a hit , also called a base hit, is credited to a batter when the batter safely reaches first base after hitting the ball into fair territory, without the benefit of an error or a fielder's choice....

2B
Double (baseball)
In baseball, a double is the act of a batter striking the pitched ball and safely reaching second base without being called out by the umpire, without the benefit of a fielder's misplay or another runner being put out on a fielder's choice....

3B
Triple (baseball)
In baseball, a triple is the act of a batter safely reaching third base after hitting the ball, with neither the benefit of a fielder's misplay nor another runner being put out on a fielder's choice....

HR
Home run
In baseball, a home run is scored when the ball is hit in such a way that the batter is able to reach home safely in one play without any errors being committed by the defensive team in the process...

RBI
Run batted in
Runs batted in or RBIs is a statistic used in baseball and softball to credit a batter when the outcome of his at-bat results in a run being scored, except in certain situations such as when an error is made on the play. The first team to track RBI was the Buffalo Bisons.Common nicknames for an RBI...

SB
Stolen base
In baseball, a stolen base occurs when a baserunner successfully advances to the next base while the pitcher is delivering the ball to home plate...

CS
Caught stealing
In baseball, a runner is charged, and the fielders involved are credited, with a time caught stealing when the runner attempts to advance or lead off from one base to another without the ball being batted and then is tagged out by a fielder while making the attempt...

BB
Base on balls
A base on balls is credited to a batter and against a pitcher in baseball statistics when a batter receives four pitches that the umpire calls balls. It is better known as a walk. The base on balls is defined in Section 2.00 of baseball's Official Rules, and further detail is given in 6.08...

SO
Strikeout
In baseball or softball, a strikeout or strike-out occurs when a batter receives three strikes during his time at bat. A strikeout is a statistic recorded for both pitchers and batters....

BA
Batting average
Batting average is a statistic in both cricket and baseball that measures the performance of cricket batsmen and baseball hitters. The two statistics are related in that baseball averages are directly descended from the concept of cricket averages.- Cricket :...

OBP
On base percentage
In baseball statistics, on-base percentage is a measure of how often a batter reaches base for any reason other than a fielding error, fielder's choice, dropped/uncaught third strike, fielder's obstruction, or catcher's interference In baseball statistics, on-base percentage (OBP) (sometimes...

SLG TB
Total bases
In baseball statistics, total bases refers to the number of bases a player has gained with hits, i.e., the sum of his hits weighted by 1 for a single, 2 for a double, 3 for a triple and 4 for a home run.Only bases attained from hits count toward this total....

SH
Sacrifice hit
In baseball, a sacrifice bunt is a batter's act of deliberately bunting the ball in a manner that allows a runner on base to advance to another base. The batter is almost always sacrificed but sometimes reaches base due to an error or fielder's choice...

HBP
Hit by pitch
In baseball, hit by pitch , or hit batsman , is a batter or his equipment being hit in some part of his body by a pitch from the pitcher.-Official rule:...

3,035 11,429 2,245 4,191 723 297 117 1,938 892 --- 1,249 357 .367 .433 .513 5,859 295 94


The figures on Baseball-Reference.com are as follows. Other private research sites may have different figures. Caught Stealing is not shown comprehensively for Cobb's MLB.com totals, because the stat was not regularly captured until 1920.
G
Games played
Games played is a statistic used in team sports to indicate the total number of games in which a player has participated ; the statistic is generally applied irrespective of whatever portion of the game is contested.-Baseball:In baseball, the statistic applies also to players who, prior to a game,...

AB
At bat
In baseball, an at bat or time at bat is used to calculate certain statistics, including batting average, on base percentage, and slugging percentage. It is a more restricted definition of a plate appearance...

R
Run (baseball)
In baseball, a run is scored when a player advances around first, second and third base and returns safely to home plate, touching the bases in that order, before three outs are recorded and all obligations to reach base safely on batted balls are met or assured...

H
Hit (baseball)
In baseball statistics, a hit , also called a base hit, is credited to a batter when the batter safely reaches first base after hitting the ball into fair territory, without the benefit of an error or a fielder's choice....

2B
Double (baseball)
In baseball, a double is the act of a batter striking the pitched ball and safely reaching second base without being called out by the umpire, without the benefit of a fielder's misplay or another runner being put out on a fielder's choice....

3B
Triple (baseball)
In baseball, a triple is the act of a batter safely reaching third base after hitting the ball, with neither the benefit of a fielder's misplay nor another runner being put out on a fielder's choice....

HR
Home run
In baseball, a home run is scored when the ball is hit in such a way that the batter is able to reach home safely in one play without any errors being committed by the defensive team in the process...

RBI
Run batted in
Runs batted in or RBIs is a statistic used in baseball and softball to credit a batter when the outcome of his at-bat results in a run being scored, except in certain situations such as when an error is made on the play. The first team to track RBI was the Buffalo Bisons.Common nicknames for an RBI...

SB
Stolen base
In baseball, a stolen base occurs when a baserunner successfully advances to the next base while the pitcher is delivering the ball to home plate...

CS
Caught stealing
In baseball, a runner is charged, and the fielders involved are credited, with a time caught stealing when the runner attempts to advance or lead off from one base to another without the ball being batted and then is tagged out by a fielder while making the attempt...

BB
Base on balls
A base on balls is credited to a batter and against a pitcher in baseball statistics when a batter receives four pitches that the umpire calls balls. It is better known as a walk. The base on balls is defined in Section 2.00 of baseball's Official Rules, and further detail is given in 6.08...

SO
Strikeout
In baseball or softball, a strikeout or strike-out occurs when a batter receives three strikes during his time at bat. A strikeout is a statistic recorded for both pitchers and batters....

BA
Batting average
Batting average is a statistic in both cricket and baseball that measures the performance of cricket batsmen and baseball hitters. The two statistics are related in that baseball averages are directly descended from the concept of cricket averages.- Cricket :...

OBP
On base percentage
In baseball statistics, on-base percentage is a measure of how often a batter reaches base for any reason other than a fielding error, fielder's choice, dropped/uncaught third strike, fielder's obstruction, or catcher's interference In baseball statistics, on-base percentage (OBP) (sometimes...

SLG TB
Total bases
In baseball statistics, total bases refers to the number of bases a player has gained with hits, i.e., the sum of his hits weighted by 1 for a single, 2 for a double, 3 for a triple and 4 for a home run.Only bases attained from hits count toward this total....

SH
Sacrifice hit
In baseball, a sacrifice bunt is a batter's act of deliberately bunting the ball in a manner that allows a runner on base to advance to another base. The batter is almost always sacrificed but sometimes reaches base due to an error or fielder's choice...

HBP
Hit by pitch
In baseball, hit by pitch , or hit batsman , is a batter or his equipment being hit in some part of his body by a pitch from the pitcher.-Official rule:...

3,035 11,434 2,246 4,189 724 295 117 1,937 892 178 1,249 357 .366 .433 .512 5,854 295 94

See also

  • Allan Travers
    Allan Travers
    Aloysius Joseph "Allan" Travers, aka Rev. Aloysius Stanislaus Travers was a Major League Baseball pitcher who made a one-game appearance during the 1912 strike of the Detroit Tigers....

  • Cobb (film)
    Cobb (film)
    Cobb is a 1994 biopic starring Tommy Lee Jones as the famed baseball player Ty Cobb. It was written and directed by Ron Shelton and was based on a book by Al Stump...

  • Al Stump
    Al Stump
    Al Stump , was an American author and Sports writer. Stump spent a great deal of time with Ty Cobb before Cobb's death. Stump wrote one book with Cobb, one book on Cobb and a handful of magazine articles about the time the two men spent together...

  • 3000 hit club
    3000 hit club
    In Major League Baseball , the 3,000 hit club is a term applied to the group of batters who have collected 3,000 or more regular-season hits in their careers. Cap Anson was the first to join the club on July 18, 1897, although his precise career hit total is unclear. Two players—Nap Lajoie and...

  • List of Major League Baseball stolen base records
  • List of Major League Baseball hit records
  • List of MLB individual streaks
  • Ty Cobb Museum
    Ty Cobb Museum
    The Ty Cobb Museum is a museum located in Royston, Georgia, that honors Baseball Hall of Fame player Tyrus Raymond Cobb. The museum contains art and memorabilia, film, video, books and historical archives of Cobb as well as several other notable people from Franklin County, Georgia.Items on...

  • Baseball record holders
    Baseball record holders
    This is a list of North American Major League Baseball record holders.-Batting records: career :-Batting records: single season :-Pitching records: career :-Live-ball era :...

  • Triple Crown

  • Major League Baseball titles leaders
    Major League Baseball titles leaders
    At the end of each Major League Baseball season, the league leaders of various statistical categories are announced. Leading the league in a particular category is referred to as a title....


External links


The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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