Ty Cobb

Ty Cobb

A Terrible Beauty

Book - 2015
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"An authoritative, reliable and compelling biography of perhaps the most significant and controversial player in baseball history, Ty Cobb, drawing in part on newly discovered letters and documents"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York, NY : Simon & Schuster, 2015
Edition: First hardcover edition
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9781451645767
1451645767
Characteristics: 449 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Call Number: B COBB, T

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" No one was as popular and unpopular as young Tyrus Cobb. In every American League city except for Detroit, he was at once the dreaded enemy and the biggest draw. In 1909, making good on his pledge to improve on his league-leading batting average of .323, the season before, he topped both leagues with a .377 average, and led the AL in hits, with 216; in runs, with 116; runs batted in, with 107; stolen bases, with 76; home runs, with 9; and total bases, with 296. The Tigers were in first place for all but a few days of the 1909 season, and won their third pennant. The Pirates played them in the Series that year, and they featured Honus Wagner Fred Clarke. The Series wasn't even close: The Pirates were that much superior to the Tigers.// For most of the 1910 campaign, Nap Lajoie, who at 35, still had his fluid swing and liquid stride, had been hovering at around .400. Since the Frenchman (who was actually born in Woonsocket, Rhode Island ) had, in 1901, hit .426, any kind of freakish number seemed possible for him, and Cobb intimated that he had resigned himself to finishing second and breaking his string of three consecutive batting titles. It would have been no shame to lose to Lajoie, who had hit above .300 all but once since he started with the Phillies in 1896, and who was such an outstanding all-around player that the team had changed its name from the Bronchos to the Naps.In the final weeks, Lajoie started to fade. Cobb surged, and with only one game left in the season, he led Lajoie .383 to .376. Lajoie participated in one of the most blatantly dishonest double-headers, in the sport's history. Lajoie went 4-4 the first game, and he had seven bunt singles in the second game. Lajoie sent a telegram to the ST.LOUIS POST-DISPATCH: 'After i made my first hit, a clean drive to center for three bases, the St. Louis men played deep, expecting me to pound out the ball every time. I fooled them right along.' 'The great George Sisler was an admirer of Cobb's, but from a distance. Ty and Babe Ruth had a more complicated relationship, if only because he had dated Ruth's wife.' 'When Joe Dimaggio was in the minors, Cobb sent him letters of advice and even helped him negotiate his first contract with the Yankees.' "

p
paulgriese
Jan 17, 2019

It says plain as day on page 190 in the author’s own words: “Cobb got people agitated and stirred controversies almost everywhere he went….). One chapter is practically nothing but the fights he got into - not just on the baseball field but off the field, in public, too. That says it all. Cobb was a violent jerk. The book confirms that. As far as the racism goes, Cobb probably wasn’t anymore more racist than any other white man was in the beginning of the 20th century in the United States. Cobb, being from Georgia, is not an issue because it is well known that many northern whites were (and still are) racist, too. As far as the book goes, the author interjects himself into the text too much. He sounds like a lawyer, too. Additionally, he uses too many strange analogies that will leave younger generations befuddled. For instance, he mentions, Bridget Bardot describing her sleep dreams as a comparison about boredom. Now, I grew up in the 1950s, so I know who she is, but many younger people probably will not, but what the heck Bridget Bardot has to do with baseball and Ty Cobb of the early 1900’s throws me for a wild knuckle ball. That is just one example of how the author is screwy. Oh, yeah, he did do a lot of research for the book. Bravo for that. But, Cobb was still a jerk.

c
capshh
Nov 04, 2016

Ty Cobb - A Terrible Beauty is an exhaustive study of Ty Cobb. Finally, a book based upon the actual history. He truly was one of the greatest in baseball. Played 24 seasons and had a lifetime batting average of .366. He had 897 stolen baes with a season high of 96 in 1915. Once he got on base the real fun began. He has been unfairly characterize for being cruel, but players from his time, almost without exception, said that he played the game fairly. If you love baseball, you will find this book a great read.

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GlenAbbeyWarrior
Mar 06, 2016

Ty Cobb, arguably the greatest player in baseball history has shamefully had his name dragged through the mud in the five decades following his death in 1961. Thankfully, a thoroughly researched biography has finally been written about the Duke of Deadball, dispelling many of the erroneous myths perpetuated by the likes of slippery sportswriter Al Stump and leftist filmmaker Ken Burns. Reading A Terrible Beauty, we learn that most of the stories told about Cobb have become a game of broken telephone where half-truths and outright lies are presented as "irrefutable facts." For starters, the notion that he deliberately spiked his opponents is shown to be utterly false. How does the author know? By directly quoting those players who were allegedly spiked. And while Cobb never shied away from a fight, Charles Leerhsen shows that during that time in baseball, it wasn't uncommon for players from Cy Young to Babe Ruth to fight cranks in the stands who heckled them mercilessly. What Cobb did was nothing out of the ordinary. Finally, the allegations that he was a violent racist are also untrue; many of his combatants magically became black by writers to fit their Cobb as racist narrative. In fact, in addition to being one of the first players to challenge the reserve clause, he gladly welcomed the integration of baseball. Judging him by 2016 standards is clearly unfair but that hasn't stopped the PC establishment one bit. A big thanks to Charles Leerhsen for challenging the so-called conventional wisdom and proving that the dominant narrative surrounding Ty Cobb is built on sand.

s
SAM HRANAC
Aug 06, 2015

Leerhsen hits up around Ty's average when it comes to calling other writers (who didn't do their research) out. If you haven't read this book, you probably have a very wrong impression of Ty Cobb. Not that he didn't have a temper, but you are in for any number of other revelations. Even his own ghost writer Al Stump didn't get it right. If you've read "My Life in Baseball," you still don't have the facts.

Great writing. Great research.

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