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Ty Cobb

Tyrus Raymond „Ty” Cobb (December 18, 1886 – July 17, 1961), nicknamed „The Georgia Peach,” was an American Major League Baseball outfielder. He was born in rural Narrows, Georgia. Cobb spent 22 seasons with the Detroit Tigers, the last six as the team’s player-manager, and finished his career with the Philadelphia Athletics. In 1936 Cobb received the most votes of any player on the inaugural Baseball Hall of Fame ballot, receiving 222 out of a possible 226 votes ; no other player received a higher percentage of votes until 1992. In 1999, editors at The Sporting News ranked Ty Cobb 3rd on their list of „Baseball’s 100 Greatest Players”. Cobb is widely credited with setting 90 MLB records during his career. He still holds several records as of the end of the 2014 season, including the highest career batting average (.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 until 1985 (4,189 or 4,191, depending on source), most career runs (2,245 or 2,246 depending on source) until 2001, most career games played and at bats (11,429 or 11,434 depending on source) until 1974, and the modern record for most career stolen bases (892) until 1977. He still holds the career record for stealing home (54 times) and for stealing second base, third base, and home in succession (5 times), and as the youngest player ever to compile 4,000 hits and score 2,000 runs. Cobb ranks fifth all-time in number of games played and committed 271 errors, the most by any American League 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 as „daring to the point of dementia. ” Cobb himself wrote shortly before his death, „In legend I am a sadistic, slashing, swashbuckling despot who waged war in the guise of sport. ” Cobb was notorious for sliding into bases feet first, with his spikes high. Cobb’s legacy, which includes a large college scholarship fund for Georgia residents financed by his early investments in Coca-Cola and General Motors, has been tarnished by allegations of racism and violence, largely stemming from a couple of biographies that were released following his death. Cobb’s reputation as an extremely violent man was fanned by his first biographer, sportswriter Al Stump whose stories about Cobb have been discredited as sensationalized and, in some part, proven to be entirely fictional. while Cobb’s views on race evolved and mellowed after his retirement from baseball.

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