A fascinating and authoritative biography of perhaps the most controversial player in baseball history, Ty Cobb—“The best work ever written on this American sports legend: It’s a major reconsideration of a reputation unfairly maligned for decades” (The Boston Globe).Ty Cobb is baseball royalty, maybe even the greatest player ever. His lifetime batting average is still the highest in history, and when he retired in 1928, after twenty-one years with the Detroit Tigers and two with the Philadelphia Athletics, he held more than ninety records. But the numbers don’t tell half of Cobb’s tale. The Georgia Peach was by far the most thrilling player of the era: When the Hall of Fame began in 1936, he was the first player voted in. But Cobb was also one of the game’s most controversial characters. He got in a lot of fights, on and off the field, and was often accused of being overly aggressive. Even his supporters acknowledged that he was a fierce competitor, but he was also widely admired. After his death in 1961, however, his reputation morphed into that of a virulent racist who also hated children and women, and was in turn hated by his peers. How did this happen? Who is the real Ty Cobb? Setting the record straight, Charles Leerhsen pushed aside the myths, traveled to Georgia and Detroit, and re-traced Cobb’s journey from the shy son of a professor and state senator who was progressive on race for his time to America’s first true sports celebrity. The result is a “noble [and] convincing” (The New York Times Book Review) biography that is “groundbreaking, thorough, and compelling…The most complete, well-researched, and thorough treatment that has ever been written” (The Tampa Tribune).
War on the Basepaths: The Definitive Biography of Ty Cobb
During his twenty-four-year Hall of Fame career, Ty Cobb was an MVP, Triple Crown winner, and twelve-time batting champion. Even though he retired over eighty-five years ago, he is still the leader for career batting average; second in runs, hits, and triples; and is a mainstay in dozens of other categories. However, when most people think of The Georgia Peach,” they’re reminded of his reputation as a dirty” player. It was said that he got so many of his steals because he would sharpen his metal cleats and spike” the second basemen if they would try to tag him out (even though most of the ballplayers he played against refuted that allegation). It’s also said that he was rude, nasty, racist, and hated by peers and the press alike. A majority of these claims came from the famous biography written by Al Stump. The issue is that Stump had his own agenda, and herein is the first opportunity to learn who Cobb really was: a man who played with his heart on his sleeve and left all he could on the basepaths, while donating his time and money to help those less fortunate off the field. In the same unbiased style of his Turning the Black Sox White (on Charles Comiskey), Tim Hornbaker offers a fresh look of one of the greatest players ever to grace a baseball diamond. Based on detailed research and analysis, Hornbaker offers the full story of Cobb’s life and career, some of which has been lied about and mythologized for almost a century. War on the Basepaths will show who Ty Cobb really was, and place readers in box seats to view his life and career. Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Sports Publishing imprint, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in sportsbooks about baseball, pro football, college football, pro and college basketball, hockey, or soccer, we have a book about your sport or your team. Whether you are a New York Yankees fan or hail from Red Sox nation; whether you are a die-hard Green Bay Packers or Dallas Cowboys fan; whether you root for the Kentucky Wildcats, Louisville Cardinals, UCLA Bruins, or Kansas Jayhawks; whether you route for the Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, or Los Angeles Kings; we have a book for you. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to publishing books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked by other publishers and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.
A New York Times Notable Book; Spitball Award for Best Baseball Book of 1994; Basis for a major Hollywood motion picture. Now in paperback, the biography that baseball fans all across the country have been talking about. Al Stump redefined America's perception of one of its most famous sports heroes with this gripping look at a man who walked the line between greatness and psychosis. Based on Stump's interviews with Ty Cobb while ghostwriting the Hall-of-Famer's 1961 autobiography, this award-winning new account of Cobb's life and times reveals both the darkness and the brilliance of the "Georgia Peach." "The most powerful baseball biography I have read."--Roger Kahn, author of THE BOYS OF SUMMER
Heart of a Tiger: Growing Up with My Grandfather, Ty Cobb
The previously untold legacy of Ty Cobb Ty Cobb is a baseball immortal, considered by many the greatest player who ever lived. In an age when the game was young and tough, he cultivated a reputation as the fiercest competitor of them all. Yet after he retired, he realized that the very qualities that helped him reach the pinnacle of his profession also undermined his relationship with his own children. He was deeply depressed when two of his sons died at a very young age. Cobb never had the chance to bridge the emotional distance between them. Herschel Cobb grew up in a chaotic, destructive household. His father was cruel and abusive, and his mother was an adulterous alcoholic. After his father died, when Herschel was eight, he began to spend a portion of each summer with his grandfather. Along with his sister and brother, Herschel visited Ty Cobb at his home in Atherton, California, or at his cabin at Lake Tahoe. These days were filled with adventures, memorable incidents, and discoveries as Granddaddy” warmed to having his three redheads” with him. Heart of a Tiger is Herschel Cobb’s moving account of how a retired sports star seized a second chance at having a close family, with his grandchildren the lucky recipients of his change of heart. He provided wisdom, laughter, and a consistent affection that left an indelible mark. He proved the enormous power of a grandparent to provide stability, love, and guidance. As he developed this new, wholly different legacy, in turn he would finally come to peace with himself.
Ty Cobb called baseball a “red-blooded game for red-blooded men,” warning that “molly coddles had better stay out.” By this, Cobb meant that baseball was the ultimate expression of the masculine ideal – a game of aggression, rivalry, physical and mental dexterity, self-reliance, and primal honor. For over twenty years, Cobb expressed his fierce brand of manhood in ballparks throughout the American Northeast, gaining for himself a level of celebrity that was unsurpassed in the early twentieth century. Fans idolized Cobb not only because he was the best player in the game, but because his boisterous and combative style of play satisfied their desire for exhibitions of visceral manhood. They found in Cobb an antidote for what they feared were the corrupting influences of over-civilization.With balance, precision, and empathy, Steven Elliott Tripp brings the era to life in a narrative Publisher’s Weekly has called “stunning.” In contrast to recent biographies of Cobb that have tried to minimize his more brutish behavior and minimize his racial antipathies, Tripp contextualizes Cobb, placing him squarely within the cultural milieu of both the rural South of his birth and the Northern sporting culture of his professional career. Moreover, Tripp’s reconstruction of early twentieth-century sporting culture isolates an important source of modern America’s culture of hyper-masculinity.Ty Cobb, Baseball, and American Manhood is both an important work of social and cultural history and an absorbing tale of ambition and the quest for dominance. Tripp has written the rare narrative that is as appealing to scholars as it is to general readers and sports enthusiasts.
"Highly successful in knitting together this story of the life of a most remarkable and dedicated player-perhaps the most spirited baseball player ever to have graced the diamond."-Library Journal This Bison Book edition of My Life in Baseball is introduced by Charles C. Alexander, a professor of history at Ohio University, Athens, and the author of a biogrpahy of Ty Cobb.
By the time of his retirement in 1928, Ty Cobb had set ninety major league baseball records, many of which — including twelve batting titles and a .367 lifetime batting average — remain unsurpassed to this day. He was also a member of the first group of legends inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Fiercely competitive and aggressive in his play, Cobb attracted controversy throughout his career. In this memoir, he reflects on a tumultuous era in baseball history as he recounts highlights from his twenty seasons with the Detroit Tigers.The baseball legend offers observations and advice to players on hitting, stealing signs, base running, and other aspects of the game, along with assessments of his teammates and other contemporaries. Cobb's candid reminiscences address his reputation for spiking opponents on the base paths and his suspension for attacking an abusive fan, an incident that led to the first professional baseball strike and the formation of the earliest players' union. Unlike the usual ghostwritten sports autobiographies, this narrative consists of Cobb's own words. Each chapter originally appeared as part of a newspaper serial in 1925, while the author was an active player. A rediscovered gem of sports history, this edition is the first commercial publication of Cobb's recollections in book form.
Ty Cobb Unleashed: The Definitive Counter-Biography of the Chastened Racist
Howard W. Rosenberg's Ty Cobb Unleashed: The Definitive Counter-Biography of the Chastened Racist (Tile Books) seeks to be the go-to first source on Cobb's persona, including racially. Transparency about "what's new" is the organizing theme.While the historiography of Babe Ruth, the player closest to Cobb in votes for the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936, has engendered limited controversy since the work of three mid-1970s authors, the Cobb one is riddled with mines. Charles Leerhsen's pro-Cobb 2015 Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty (Simon & Schuster) both settled some controversies and started new ones. Perhaps the biggest new controversy it created is on whether Cobb has been fairly cast as having been a racist. A trifecta of features may make Ty Cobb Unleashed one of the most significant baseball biographical books. Firstly, it performs a hard-to-find public service by comparing the technical quality of the Simon & Schuster book and a second cradle-to-grave 2015 one that was also touted as authoritative or definitive: Tim Hornbaker's overlooked War on the Basepaths: The Definitive Biography of Ty Cobb (Sports Publishing). For decades, media watchdogs have been largely passive (and especially lately) in shedding light on the books of nonfiction publishers from a nuts-and-bolts perspective. Ty Cobb Unleashed does the legwork for them and recommends a practice that publishers should adhere to in revisionist history titles. Secondly, biographically on Cobb, it resolves differences between the two books, especially on the tricky subject of racism. It also textually is the first Cobb one to stress his 32-year post-career, 1929 to 1961. That span includes 1960 and 1961, the featured years in the 1994 movie "Cobb" starring Tommy Lee Jones. The movie, a limited release in theaters, has gained a second wind as an online video rental. The first of three appendices points out aspects of the movie that the author found substantiation for (or lack thereof). Some of the results should be surprising. Ty Cobb Unleashed also presents a fresh take on the accuracy of Cobb's controversial 1961 co-author, Al Stump. While reinforcing or raising new criticisms about a subsequent Stump 1961 article and 1994 book, it shows where the primary record lends a helping hand to some of his colorful or biting prose.Thirdly, it is the rare history book that allows the reader to immediately deduce what has not previously appeared in a modern-day book or article. Whether new-to-Cobb versus prior Cobb book readers will like the transparency is an open question. But media watchdogs could have a field day. This year is the first in which Cobb and Ruth are each the announced focus of hardcovers in excess of 500 pages in the same calendar year. The later Ruth one, by Jane Leavy, is The Big Fella: Babe Ruth and The World He Created (HarperCollins). In their playing and post-careers, Cobb and Ruth drew subjective newspaper coverage to an extent apparently unmatched by other 20th-century whites in the sport. Ruth's was positive and Cobb's closer to neutral overall.Rosenberg's prior book expertise was almost entirely on the 19th century. His specialty was plowing through surviving contemporaneous coverage of the great baseball media stars of that era, Hall of Famers Cap Anson and Mike "King" Kelly. He is also the book-length expert on tricky and dirty play through 1900, which helps in evaluating how Cobb used his baseball shoes. Fittingly, it is on that newsy subject that Rosenberg most strongly counters both 2015 authors.
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