Ty Cobb and Friends.
Ty Cobb. The name conjures up thoughts of a man who played the game harder than most and of a man who hated more than most. As one of the most controversial players in Baseball history there is much to like and dislike about Ty Cobb. I have always felt conflicted in regards to his legacy as I love his intensity, his dedication and obvious love he had for the game but I could do without his bigotry and violent tendencies.
If you have watched the movie “Cobb” featuring Tommy Lee Jones or read the book by Al Stump for which the movie was based on then you know it’s hard to gauge how Cobb truly was as a person. I suppose the truth lays somewhere in the middle due to the fact that like most legends, certain stories are exaggerated while others are downplayed.
Over time I have collected a lot of Cobb photos that are downright odd to me so I have decided to share them. These are odd because it seems to me that after his playing career was over he chilled out and made it a point to stay involved with the game. I’m going to go out on a limb and say Baseball as a whole felt they could do without him as he burnt so many bridges during his career? Maybe he felt he owed the game something for how he often treated others? Whatever the reasons, here are the photos I speak of.
Here we have Ty Cobb giving Hank Aaron and other members of the Milwaukee Braves some hitting advice during the 1957 World Series. Wasn’t Cobb supposed to be a racist? This photo is a trip in so many ways.
(UPDATE: A reader of the blog named Jim gave me a heads up that this photo is not from the 1957 World Series. He recognized that both Bobby Thomson and Chuck Tanner are standing behind Aaron and informed me that they were traded during the actual season…So the photo had to be TAKEN during the 1957 season. Thanks Jim!)
This photo captures both the ultimate good guy and bad guy in Baseball history as Ty Cobb and Stan Musial pose together for a photo. This makes no sense to me and to some of my preconceived notions regarding Cobb. I would love to ask Stan The Man about this meeting with Cobb.
Ty Cobb and Mickey Mantle. This photo is humorous to me because I can visualize Cobb trying to tell Mantle what he’s doing wrong at the plate while Mickey just brushes off his advice. I am sure the young free spirited Mantle did not see eye to eye with the elder Cobb on any level.
Ty Cobb and Joe DiMaggio share a playful moment together during an old-timer game at Yankee Stadium in 1957. The fact that these two former players potentially got along doesn’t surprise me. They were both moody players who demanded respect (and privacy) from others while making life absolute hell for opposing Pitchers.
Ty Cobb shaking Don Newcombe’s hand prior to game 1 of the 1949 World Series. Once again the supposed racism comes to mind when looking at this photo. Newcombe had to be aware of Cobb’s reputation and I think that this may have been an awkward meeting. I wonder if Cobb changed his views on race relations later in life?
Joe DiMaggio, Ty Cobb, Dom DiMaggio and Lefty O’Doul hanging out at San Francisco’s Seals Stadium in October of 1937. This is easily my favorite photo in this post due to my personal interest in the Pacific Coast League. To read the very cool description of the photo, click HERE.