Ty Cobb

Two Biographies—“Our Ty: Ty Cobb’s Life Story” (1924) and “Which Was Greatest: Ty Cobb or Babe Ruth?” (1951)

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About the Book

As sports editor for the Detroit News, H.G. Salsinger reported on Tigers great Ty Cobb for 18 seasons, beginning in 1909 when the outfielder won his only Triple Crown. He would go on to write about Cobb’s career for decades after. This volume presents for the first time together Salsinger’s two books on the Hall of Famer. Part One offers the first authorized biography, Our Ty (1924), while Part Two provides the writer’s take on what, more than 25 years later, had become a familiar question, Which Was Greatest: Ty Cobb or Babe Ruth? (1951). Salsinger’s close personal relationship with Cobb yields insights into the legend’s complex personality, illuminating and sometimes dispelling myths that have risen in the literature since Cobb’s death in 1961.

About the Author(s)

William R. Cobb, a retired engineer and business executive, is the author or editor of several books on baseball history. A member of the board of advisors of the Ty Cobb Museum in Royston, Georgia, he lives in Marietta, Georgia.

Bibliographic Details

H.G. Salsinger. Series Editors Gary Mitchem and Mark Durr
Format: softcover (6 x 8)
Pages: 304
Bibliographic Info: 35 photos, notes, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6546-0
Imprint: McFarland
Series: The McFarland Historical Baseball Library

Table of Contents

Editor’s Note      ix

“Ty Cobb at the Bat” by H.G. Salsinger      xiv

Part One. “Our Ty: Ty Cobb’s Life Story” (1924)

Preface      3

1. Brains      5

2. Cobb’s Secret Ambition      8

3. Ty Cobb as a Boy      12

4. Ty’s Father      15

5. He Takes the Plunge      18

6. Jobless      21

7. Genius Afire      24

8. Hard Work      27

9. The Nut      30

10. Cobb’s Debut      33

11. The Griddle      37

12. A Star Evolves      42

13. Revolution      45

14. New Phases      50

15. The Observer      53

16. Ty’s Opinions      57

17. A Wrong Pitch      60

18. Three Failures      63

19. Confidence      66

20. Features      69

21. Tricks      72

22. Tact      75

23. A New Role      78

24. On the Bases      81

25. Sliding      85

26. His Methods      88

27. Value of Surprise      92

28. Nine Slides      95

29. Stride      98

30. 90 Feet      101

31. Heads Up Baseball      104

32. Headlines      108

33. The Threat      111

34. Ty’s Best      114

35. His Target      118

36. The Umpire Gasps      121

37. Comparisons      124

38. Then and Now      127

39. Spiking      130

40. Fielding      133

41. Ingenuity      136

42. 20 Years      139

43. Keeping Fit      142

44. His Battle      145

45. Ty Cobb, the Man      149

46. His Nature      152

47. Ty’s Hobby      155

48. A Bad Loser      158

49. Ty’s Views      161

50. The Dynamo      165

51. The Old Days      169

52. His Moods      172

53. Rest      175

54. Cobb’s Selections      178

55. In His Wake      181

56. The Dollar      185

57. Records      188

58. 100,000,000 Know Him      192

Part Two. “Which Was Greatest—Ty Cobb or Babe Ruth?” (1951)

1. The Greatest of the Great      197

2. Babe Pleased the Eye—Ty Pleased the Mind and the Eye      202

3. “Be a Success or Don’t Come Home”      208

4. Small-Town Boy Learns of the Big Time      213

5. The Big Persuasion—or How the Tigers Got Ty      217

6. “He’ll Be the Greatest Player”—Hugh Jennings      222

7. A Youngster Remakes the Game      227

8. Like a Thoroughbred in the Stretch      231

9. Creating the Mental Hazard      235

10. When Ty Outguessed Rube and Won the Flag      239

11. Never Tense and Seldom Injured      242

12. “Cobb Carried Brains in His Feet”      247

13. A Born Pitcher, He Thought      250

14. A Fine Man, Kind to Umpires      254

15. First Batter to Study a Pitcher      258

16. His Weaknesses Became His Strength      263

17. Climbed to the Top on Confidence      267

18. Tips to the Kids from the Gods      270

19. When Georgians Went to Bat for the Peach      272

20. From Firebrand to Sentimentalist      278

21. A Man of Many Moods      281

22. “Cobb Did More for the Game Than Any Other Man”      284

Index      287

Book Reviews & Awards

“well-researched”—SABR Deadball Committee Newsletter; “one of the best but least-heralded developments in the recent history of baseball literature was the inauguration of the McFarland Historical Baseball Library in 2003”—I>Spitball; “invaluable McFarland Historical Baseball Library series”—Edward Achorn, The Providence Journal.