Aug. 3, 2008
A light rain, a somber crowd, and 200 little leaguers lined up on both sides of the highway to mark the end of a long and memorable journey for one of baseball’s great, Ty Cobb.
After a private service at McGahee Funeral home in Cornelia, the funeral procession traveled 28 miles to Royston, GA, the hometown of the famed "Georgia Peach".
Cobb rose to international fame way up north in Detroit, but his southern upbringing cultivated his personality and gave him his unique character. His name and reputation paved the way for his success as a great hitter and baserunner in the national pastime.
Cobb spent 24 years in the big leagues and amassed more records than any other player. His .367 average will always be an inspiration for a young ball player to emulate, as will his 12 American League batting titles.
He played in 3,033 games, stole 892 bases, drove in 1,961 runs, scored 2,245, himself, and won a dozen batting titles, including the Triple Crown in 1909. He was the very first player inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936.
By December of 1959, Cobb was diagnosed with cancer of the prostate gland. Cobb continued to live out his days in an apartment in Cornelia, while he planned to build his retirement home atop of Chenocetah Mountain.
During his last 16 months, Cobb remained under the care of his close friend, Dr. Hugh Wood, Dean of the Emory University Medical School. Dr. Wood was under agreement from Cobb not to reveal his ailments until his death.
On Monday, July 17, 1961, Ty Cobb died in his sleep. “He died peacefully and without pain,” said Dr. Wood. “He had diabetes and chronic heart disease. While his general condition had deteriorated during the past two weeks, the end came rather suddenly.”
The game had been called, and Ty Cobb had played his final inning of life.
May God bless his memory!