My Life in Baseball: The True Record

My Life in Baseball: The True Record

My Life in Baseball: The True Record

My Life in Baseball: The True Record

Synopsis

"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."I find little comfort in the popular picture of Cobb as a spike-slashing demon of the diamond with a wide streak of cruelty in his nature. The fights and feuds I was in have been steadily slanted to put me in the wrong. . . . My critics have had their innings. I will have mine now."--Ty Cobb"Frank, bitter, trend-setting autobiography."--USA Today Baseball Weekly"One of the most remarkable sports books ever written."--Los Angeles Daily News"The old Tiger still spits and snarls off the pages."--Cooperstown Review"Of Ty Cobb let it be said simply that he was the world's greatest ballplayer."--New York Herald Tribune (1961 editorial on Cobb's death)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.

Excerpt

Charles C. Alexander

"The greatness of Ty Cobb was something that had to be seen, and to see him was to remember him forever." That was the way George Sisler, the brilliant first baseman who rivaled Cobb for stardom in the early 1920s, once summed up his feelings about the man still frequently named as the greatest baseball player of all time. When Cobb quit playing at the end of the 1928 season, he held more than forty major-league or American League records for batting, base-stealing, runs batted in, runs scored, and numerous other offensive categories. Since the 1960s most of those records have been eclipsed, including his 4,191 career base-hits and 96 and 893 stolen bases for a season and a career, respectively. He remains the all-time leader in runs scored, and both his career batting average of .367 and twelve hitting titles in thirteen seasons are never likely to be equaled.

Yet far more than records, it's the image of Cobb—as not just a marvelously expert batter and base-runner but as a ruthless and often vicious competitor and a quarreling, brawling, single-minded loner—that continues to fascinate students of baseball's long and rich history. As Cobb himself said, "Baseball is a red-blooded sport for red-blooded men. It's no pink tea, and mollycoddles had better stay out. It's ... a struggle for supremacy, a survival of the fittest" (see page 280).

Apart from his unsurpassed competitive drive, Cobb's ballplaying genius was a matter of intelligence. Although he had no more than ten or eleven years of formal schooling, he brought to baseball (and later to his business affairs as well) an extraordinarily quick . . .

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