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Is what you know about Ty Cobb all (or mostly) wrong?

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  • Is what you know about Ty Cobb all (or mostly) wrong?

    Charles Leerhsen wrote a recent book entitled Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty and the video below is a talk he gave about it. It sounds a bit like hagiography. Nonetheless, the author has done a great deal of research and paints a very different picture about Cobb's life than the normal story.

    For instance, the author claims that, far from being the racist caricature of popular myth, in fact, Cobb's family were abolitionists. His grandfather refused to join the Confederate army because he was against slavery issue. The first time Cobb himself spoke publicly about race, he supported integration (and was a fan of Willie Mays). The famous tale of Cobb fighting and possibly killing a black hotel employee is just wrong according to Leerhsen - he said that no one died and the employee was white.

    Anyway, the video contains an hour discussion of one of the great ballplayers of all time, as well as a fascinating tale of how history can be distorted.



    Streamed live on Mar 7, 2016

    Charles Leerhsen, Author, Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty
    If you'd like to read a further description of the book, here is an article: http://nypost.com/2015/05/31/how-ty-...d-as-a-racist/
    Last edited by The Ibis; 13 Mar 16, 15:47.

  • #2
    I will check out the book, sounds like an interesting read.
    "Stand for the flag ~ Kneel for the fallen"

    "A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer." ~ Bruce Lee

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    • #3
      In other Ty Cobb news...did you hear about the prized Ty Cobb baseball cards that were found in a crumpled paper bag in a dilapidated house?



      The cards with the famed Detroit Tigers slugger come from a lot known as T206, the group most prized by collectors that also includes the Honus Wagner card, arguably the most famous sports card ever.

      They say on the back "TY COBB - KING OF THE SMOKING TOBACCO WORLD" in green ink.

      The cards' value is sure to shift now that there are so many more in existence, and an exact figure is difficult to pin down. But Orlando said the total worth of the whole cache should exceed $1 million. It's not yet clear what the family who found them intends to do with them.

      On a scale of 1-10, 10 being mint condition, the cards range from 3.5 to 4.5, which is high for cards that are more than a century old.

      http://abc7chicago.com/sports/ty-cob...r-bag/1234368/
      "Stand for the flag ~ Kneel for the fallen"

      "A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer." ~ Bruce Lee

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      • #4
        I will definitely give the book a read! Any changes to the popular belief that he was not well liked by his peers?

        Regards,
        Dennis
        If stupid was a criminal offense Sea Lion believers would be doing life.

        Shouting out to Half Pint for bringing back the big mugs!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by The Ibis
          According to the author, that is very much the case. The author doesn't paint him to be Derek Jeter, but nothing stands out from contemporary sources indicating that Cobb was liked any less than anyone else. On the other hand, he was greatly respected by his peers. Watch the video if you can. He tells some interesting stories in this regard.
          I might buy that Cobb wasn't a racist -- when I recall the common perception that he had a chip on his shoulder the size of a California redwood. He didn't hate blacks, but he hated everybody. He definitely played baseball like it was hockey, and apparently he lived his life that way too. This new book would have to go an awfully long way to debunk that. What kind of sources are available fifty years after Cobb's deah?
          I was married for two ******* years! Hell would be like Club Med! - Sam Kinison

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          • #6
            Originally posted by D1J1 View Post
            I will definitely give the book a read! Any changes to the popular belief that he was not well liked by his peers?

            Regards,
            Dennis
            According to the author, that is very much the case. The author doesn't paint him to be Derek Jeter, but nothing stands out from contemporary sources indicating that Cobb was liked any less than anyone else. On the other hand, he was greatly respected by his peers. Watch the video if you can. He tells some interesting stories in this regard.


            Originally posted by slick_miester View Post
            I might buy that Cobb wasn't a racist -- when I recall the common perception that he had a chip on his shoulder the size of a California redwood. He didn't hate blacks, but he hated everybody. He definitely played baseball like it was hockey, and apparently he lived his life that way too. This new book would have to go an awfully long way to debunk that. What kind of sources are available fifty years after Cobb's deah?
            He had the chip you describe but it seems he didn't hate everyone. As to what kind of sources are available, apparently a treasure trove if someone was willing to look. Unfortunately for Cobb's reputation, no one ever bothered before and just took Al Stump's word for it.

            The book is not without its flaws, however. Here is the NY Times review if the Post doesn't do it for you.
            http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/31/bo...-leerhsen.html
            Last edited by The Ibis; 13 Mar 16, 18:03.

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            • #7
              For many racism needs to be alive and well so there can be profit in it.
              My worst jump story:
              My 13th jump was on the 13th day of the month, aircraft number 013.
              As recorded on my DA Form 1307 Individual Jump Log.
              No lie.

              ~
              "Everything looks all right. Have a good jump, eh."
              -2 Commando Jumpmaster

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              • #8
                Originally posted by The Ibis View Post
                He had the chip you describe but it seems he didn't hate everyone. As to what kind of sources are available, apparently a treasure trove if someone was willing to look. Unfortunately for Cobb's reputation, no one ever bothered before and just took Al Stump's word for it.

                The book is not without its flaws, however. Here is the NY Times review if the Post doesn't do it for you.
                http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/31/bo...-leerhsen.html
                Old letters, diaries? Interviews might be tough.
                I was married for two ******* years! Hell would be like Club Med! - Sam Kinison

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by slick_miester View Post
                  Old letters, diaries? Interviews might be tough.
                  Davy Jones and Sam Crawford who were teammates of Ty Cobb are interviewed in the book The Glory of Their Times and talk about Ty Cobb.
                  “When you're in jail, a good friend will be trying to bail you out. A best friend will be in the cell next to you saying, 'Damn, that was fun'.”
                  ― Groucho Marx

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