Cobb: A Biography

Was Ty Cobb Really a Nice Guy After All?
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Cobb did brawl often — a pastime so common in his era that Dr. Spock actually recommended little boys enjoy at least one fight a day and the head of the American Psychological Association encouraged fights.

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For his first couple of seasons on the Tigers, Cobb was subjected to sustained hazing by his teammates, several of whom despised him. There is no indication that race had anything to do with the encounter.

A moment later, Cobb was attacked by a catcher on his own team, a much larger man who had a habit of beating up Cobb. The catcher told sportswriters Cobb had previously assaulted the black groundskeeper and his wife, but this story is likely untrue.

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Cobb hotly denied the claim and no one asked the groundskeeper if it was true, nor were charges filed. The catcher, his manager later admitted, was in the midst of a badmouthing campaign intended to get Cobb traded, so he was at best a questionable witness.

How Ty Cobb was framed as a racist

In , among many other brawls Cobb participated in, he ignored an order from a black man laying asphalt in Detroit to stop walking, then after the two argued, Cobb started a vicious fistfight and was overheard to use the N-word against the road paver. Today that behavior would certainly brand you as a racist, but racial slurs were commonplace then, even published in the papers. Ballboys were badly treated at the time, paid pennies and sometimes unceremoniously dumped on road trips if they were thought to be bringing bad luck.

He also let the kid share his room at segregated hotels. After the baseball season, Cobb took Harrison back home to Georgia and gave him a job, and may well have gotten him a permanent job as a chauffeur to a Detroit construction tycoon.

Ty Cobb Biography

In , Cobb got into a fight in a Cleveland hotel that, according to legend, led to the stabbing death of a black man. No one was killed. Cobb fought with the white security guard, whom he claimed he lightly raked across the back of the wrist with a pen knife, though the guard later said Cobb stabbed him in the shoulder and the hand. Cobb may have also struck a bellhop. Race had nothing to do with this incident. On another occasion, Cobb climbed into the stands to argue with a black fan what was said is not recorded and he once, notoriously, beat up a white heckler who was missing seven fingers due to lax safety standards at his employer, the New York Times.

Ty Cobb Biography

Later, Cobb got in a fight with a grocer over an alleged insult to his wife, but the grocer was white, too — and in his biography, Alexander again got it wrong, mistakenly reporting the man was black. The real Cobb, in later years, funded a hospital and started a college-education fund for kids. One kid who wrote him, Koosma Tarasoff, Cobb mentored to the point of getting him a tryout with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Add to Wishlist.

USD Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Now in paperback, the biography that baseball fans all across the country have been talking about.

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Al Stump redefined America's perception of one of its most famous sports heroes with this gripping look at a man who walked the line between greatness and psychosis. Based on Stump's interviews with Ty Cobb while ghostwriting the Hall-of-Famer's autobiography, this award-winning new account of Cobb's life and times reveals both the darkness and the brilliance of the "Georgia Peach.

Product Details About the Author. It was the basis for the motion picture Cobb , directed by Ron Shelton. Average Review. Write a Review.


Related Searches. With a foreword by David Halberstam. He spoke out against player trading.

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He banned Pete In the lateth century, the depiction of an American hero as a vulgar racist fit the progressive template. One thing that stands out in Leerhsen's biography is how often the driven Cobb overcame injuries and ailments.

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One time, while being treated for bronchitis and what some sportswriters thought might be typhoid, Cobb left the hospital to go to the ballpark. He went three-for-three and stole two bases before returning to his doctors. On another occasion, he was stabbed in a shoulder in an attempted carjacking. He got his wound patched up and played that day, again banging out three hits. Once he had to miss a road trip with an inflamed eye, and his eye doctor found that Cobb was near-sighted in the other eye.

He was batting over. Cobb shunned the protection of sliding pads because they might, however slightly, slow him down. Leerhsen convincingly demonstrates that Cobb earned his astonishing success on the diamond through total commitment, study, and hard work. Off the field, he was, in the phraseology of Leerhsen's subtitle, "a terrible beauty"—a unique combination of pugnacity and gentleness, of explosive temperament and a deeply embedded sense of justice, generous in his efforts to help others, but stingy with affection in his own home. This book will henceforth be the definitive biography of the complex man and brilliant baseball player known as "the Georgia Peach.

Having rehabilitated the reputation of a true American hero—thereby correcting a grave historical injustice—Leerhsen merits a place in any future Biographers' Hall of Fame. The Great Cobb.


Cobb: A Biography [Al Stump] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. A New York Times Notable Book; Spitball Award for Best Baseball Book of . Editorial Reviews. Review. Not long before his death, Ty Cobb, as complex and haunted a human being as ever stepped onto a diamond, tapped a .