Tyrus Cobb...In Pure Pursuit

Steven J. WardContributor IMarch 30, 2009

27 Sep 1999:  A view of the Tiger Stadium with Tyrus Raymond Cobb plaque taken during the last game played at the Tiger Stadium against the Kansas City Royals in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeated the Royals 8-2. Mandatory Credit: Ezra O. Shaw  /Allsport

"The Greatness of Ty Cobb was something that had to be seen, and to see him was to remember him forever"   George Sisler

If there was a more skilled ball player ever to wear a uniform, he is yet unknown. Every aspect of his game was the textbook example as to how to execute that particular play and Tyrus Cobb did so with all the passion of being his last ever play!

It is well known that most of his opponents, as well as his teammates, detested him. Also, well established were his questionable motives both in and out of baseball. He was considered a genius at business affairs a fact galvanized by the wealth he possessed; he was generous especially to fellow ballplayers who came to him, broke upon their careers end and he continued to donate to the underprivileged long after his death.

Ty was elected to the Hall of Fame with an incredible 98.2% of the vote, (222 of 226 possible votes) his statistics are beyond equal; .367 lifetime batting average, 4191 hits, 23 consecutive seasons batting over .300, and 12 batting titles.  I could regurgitate his complete stats package, but why? Why again? because Mr Cobb was then and still today considered a good ballplayer that was deeply disturbed.

Ask yourself, would he be the same Tyrus Raymond Cobb if removed were his passion and drive, as questionable as it was? We should judge baseball and it's participants by their on field performance unless that performance is an illegality in its countering-effects.

The man also stole 892 bases with his fierce, intimidating style. He, without a second thought, would gladly use a sacrifice bunt, if asked, while knowing a hit was almost a certainty, which translates to him being a team player!

The George Peach as he was known, spent 24 years in Detroit and exemplified just what was expected of his Tiger teammates. Statistically, Ty Cobb should be considered the greatest ever, but most do not even cast him in their top 10!

I cannot understand such definition except to say, we are a judgemental lot, whom like nothing more than to find fault in others while we, ourselves, sit stunningly upon our exalted summits—blind though we are, blind indeed!