Tyson Cobb is a right-handed sophomore center-fielder for Mott Community College, which has one of the top Junior College baseball programs in the country. Cobb is called “Ty”. Get the gist? Tyson (almost) shares a name with Hall of Fame outfielder (and ancestor, as his grandmother tells him) Ty Cobb. I talk to Tyson about his baseball lineage, his college, and other things.
Kevin Bertha: So you are related to THE Ty Cobb. How does it feel knowing you are related to a person who is credited with setting 90 Major League Baseball records during his career?
Ty Cobb: It’s sort of crazy, when I play I feel like I have to play harder.
KB: Why do you feel like you have to play harder?
TC: The name.
KB: Are you named after him?
TC: Haha, no.
KB: Since you are a sophomore, are you looking to transfer to a DI school after this season? If so, what school would you like to attend?
TC: I really don’t know yet, I can go through Mott to get a higher degree. Plus, I have a daughter so I haven’t thought about transferring yet. I want to though. I’m not picky, I want to go somewhere in Michigan. Somewhere close. But I’ll take whoever offers the most money for school.
KB: How is the season going for you?
TC: Good, I am starting out slow but I’ll get it going soon.
KB: What kind of hitter do you consider yourself to be? Power? Contact?
TC: Both, but I do what the situation calls for at the plate.
KB: Who is your favorite hitter to watch?
TC: Ken Griffey Jr.
KB: Why do you like Junior Griffey? What is special about him?
TC: His swing is absolutely beautiful.
KB: I agree, Griffey has a sweet swing. So what do you like most about baseball?
TC: It’s a great sport in general. It has so much history, and you have to practice a lot to stay on top.
KB: Now, speaking of history.
KB: Your ancestor, Ty Cobb, was (or is) considered a racist bigot by many. Do you think that is a fair judgement? Do you agree with that?
TC: Yes and no. Back in Cobb’s time, racism was common. Race wasn’t accepted like it is now.
KB: Are you ashamed by Cobb’s behavior?
TC: No. Everyone thinks I’d be like him sometimes as a joke but he was his own person and a very good ballplayer.
KB: So you have never tried the hands-apart stance Cobb used?
TC: Haha, no. That is really old school.
KB: No spikes-high slides?
TC: No, I respect the game and I really don’t like to play dirty.
KB: Good idea. How far do you think you can go with baseball?
TC: I really don’t know. As far as I want to, I guess. But I’m more focused on school and my family right now.
KB: Speaking of school, what is your major?
TC: Criminal justice.
KB: So I assume you watch CSI? Haha.
TC: Haha, no, I just like criminal justice.
KB: What classes do you take for Criminal Justice? What do you do for that major?
TC: There’s a lot of classes. Too hard to explain. I have to take 120 credit hours to get my Bachelor’s degree.
KB: Do you like school?
TC:Yeah, now I do.
KB: What do you like about school in particular?
TC: All the people I meet…It’s something to do.
KB: So you’re a fan of working out. What does your training routine look like? Do you do any exercises that you think really help you with baseball?
TC: I lift every day. I do a lot of cardio, but I work out really just for my self, not for baseball purposes.
KB: What do you like about working out? Does it make you feel good?
TC: Oh yeah, big stress reliever.
KB: How do you balance school, working out, and baseball?
TC: I work out very early, then I go to school. After that, I play ball. It’s not very hard.
KB: What is your main goal in life? Are you looking at baseball as a career? What do you want to do?
TC: My main goal is to find a career in Criminal Justice. I have a family, so it’s hard to keep playing. But I’ll always play in the summer or whenever I can.
KB: So you aren’t even planning on getting drafted?
TC: I don’t think about those things. I play because I love the sport and I’m good at it. I take it day by day.
KB: Thanks for the interview, Ty.
TC: No problem.
*This interview was done through IMing, thank God for technology.
*I have to give props to fellow writer and friend Adam Biggers. Adam told Cobb about me, and helped me get this interview.
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