Ty Cobb and Baseball
I. Ty Cobb: His Family, Youth, and Road to the Majors
A. His childhood
B. Inspirations to the Majors
II. Life In the Big Leagues
A. His Playing Skills
1. Rookie Experiences
2. His Fielding Ability
3. His Batting Ability
4. His Baserunning Tactics
B. His Psychological Warfare
1. His Relationship with other Players
2. His Personal Struggles
III. The Aftermath
A. His Death
B. His Legacy
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A man of determination, strength, and willingness to overcome the odds, Ty Cobb
had one goal in life: to be, at all cost, the best baseball player possible.
Ty Cobb was born on a farm in 1886 and named Tyrus after the ancient city Tyre,
which stubbornly refused to surrender to Alexander the Great. His mother, Amanda, was
just fifteen when her son was born; she had been twelve when she was married. His
father, William H. Cobb, a former county schoolmaster who had made good as the mayor
of Royston, Ga, and editor of it's weekly newspaper, was determined that his son would
too-in medicine, law, or the military. William Cobb was distant and demanding- " the
only man who ever made me do his bidding " said Ty.
On the baseball field he won the distinction denied him in the classroom. Becoming
the star player for the Royston Rompers at fourteen, equally good in the infield and the
outfield or at bat. But his father was unimpressed. "Baseball was a boy's game, a waste
of his time "he wrote his son, to "conquer your anger and wild passions and be guided by
the better angel of your nature, not the demon that lurks in all human blood and is ready,
anxious, and restless to arise and reign."
At seventeen, Ty rebelled. "I was being held in some sort of bondage" he
remembered. "So I decided I would become a ballplayer and get away." When he left
home for the minors in Alabama and Tennessee his Father told him "not to come home a
failure." That admonition, Cobb recalled, "put more determination in me than my father
ever knew. My overwhelming need was to prove myself as a man"(Ward 83).
Ty arrived in Detroit on August 29, 1905 after a three-day train ride from Georgia. He
made his debut against New York Highlander (later the Yankees) ace pitcher jack
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Chesboro. Immediately Cobb drew attention to himself as a precocious rookie by
swinging three bats in the on-deck circle. The reaction to him doing so indicates that he
may have been one of the first players to ever swing multiple bats in the on-deck circle.
He showed determination and character in his first major league at bat, driving a two-
strike pitch from the fourty game winner into the outfield for a double.
The rest of his rookie season did not go as smoothly for Cobb,...