Bill Burgess / Research & Analysis / Players
[From Bill Burgess'
Ty Cobb Memorial
Did Ty Cobb Once Kill A Man?
Did Leo Durocher Once Give Ty Cobb the Hip?
Was Cobb the greatest all-around baseball player who ever lived? PART I
HOW RACIST WAS TY?
By Bill Burgess III
Ever since I read Ty's autobiography by Al Stump, as a 10 yr. old kid, in 1961, Ty has absolutely fascinated me.
He has been my primary research subject ever since. I have unlimited admiration for him and like quite a lot
or others, much affection and even love for him. Many might find my last remark puzzling, given his terrible press,
and scathing PR. Much of his bad press rises from Ty's "dark side". And the media hasn't helped. They have
made Ty Cobb a poster boy for a great athlete who had a terrible attitude. But most of their attacks are based
on both ignorance of his good side, and over-blown distortions of his dark side.
As a researcher, I have endeavored to dig as best I can, into the many controversies, which surrounded this most
misunderstood of athletic greats. When I began, I made myself 2 promises. One to bring brutal honesty to the
subject. And two, to also bring uncompromising love and compassion, which I feel can go hand-in-hand. There
is no contradiction. Hopefully, both can be blended. This is the 1 topic, which gives me the least joy and most
discomfort. Still, writers shouldn't duck the tough ones. Let the chips fall where they may.
I believe that a person is seldom born a hate-filled person or racist. People tend to take on the prejudices
and hang-ups of their parents and surroundings. It's a leaned response. And to that extent, Ty tried far too little
to rise above turn-of-the-century Georgia.
It's possible that Georgia was one of the more racist places in the country at that time. Georgia was hard hit by
the Civil War, due to Sherman's siege of Atlanta (not far from Cobb's origins) and Sherman's infamous "March to
the Sea". The Union army "lived off the land", meaning they plundered, burned, stole, looted, destroyed and otherwise
disrespected the property and rights of civilians, rightly assuming they supported and abetted the war effort. Typically,
the wronged southerners, unable to take out their pain, outrage and hatred on soldiers, probably scape-goated &
vented their rage on innocent, helpless blacks. So it's easy to see how they fought carpetbaggers and scalawags
with segregation, prejudice, Jim Crow laws, lynchings and the KKK. How does that impact on a white kid growing up
in that conflicted place? It would have taken a stubborn, love-filled, heart-centered kid to overcome that much hate.
It'd be very interested to hear anything about how his parents felt towards blacks.
Mr. Cobb's father was a Georgia state senator from the 31st District who voted against a bill introduced and approved
by the Senate that allowed taxes deriving only from black properties to finance the black schools. This was in 1900.
This seems to indicate that if Ty's father had been a raging racist, he'd have voted for it.
It is worth noting that Ty did evolve in midlife towards a more politically correct posture. Probably partly due to public
relations, but I feel that he bowed to social pressure less than many others, unless he also felt that it was the
right thing to doing the 1st place.
Of course, I realize that how this sounds like the worst white-washing, apologist, rationalizing sop. But I'm sick
of over-playing Ty's internal demons. He was very much a product of his times and surroundings. Do all black kids
overcome the ghetto? It's a lot to ask, yet most do. One of Ty's problems was that he never allowed his good deeds
to be made public. When he was asked in 1952 if he felt blacks should be allowed into baseball, he said yes,
very emphatically. He praised the play of Willie Mays.
We almost never hear about the racism of Baseball's 1st Commissioner, Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis,
who was named after a Civil War battle in Georgia. He took office in 1920, and until his death on Nov. 25, 1944,
he was in full & complete cooperation with the 16 owners of the ball teams. He knowingly looked away, while the
16 owners conspired to not allow black ballplayers to enter into the ranks of professional baseball. At any level.
Supposedly, even at a meeting of the owners in 1946, they voted, 15-1 to not allow blacks into baseball. Only
Branch Rickey dissented. Significantly, Rickey felt it necessarily to wait until after Landis was dead to sign
Up until then, 2 of the most tenacious sports writers to rail & lobby against the ML ban against blacks, were:
1. Wendell Smith, June 27, 1914 - November 26, 1972, of Pittsburgh black newspapers.
2. Samuel Harold (Sam) Lacy, October 23, 1903 - May 8, 2003, of Washington and Baltimore black newspapers.
These 2 heroes should be written up as having a lot to do with helping baseball integrate. One hardly ever
hears about these 2 extremely gracious and yet tenacious gentlemen.
An overdue idea would be to give some acknowledgement to 2 gutsy, heroic sports writers who fought their whole
lives to tear down baseball's despicable White Wall Of Hatred.
Landis, who used his office to keep blacks out of baseball. Because of that one stand, I strongly feel Landis needs
to be kicked out of the Hall of Fame. Ty's foundation for scholarships never discriminated against blacks, nor did
his hospital. So why single out Ty.
On Sunday, Jan. 22 , 1950, Cobb dedicated a new hospital in Royston, Ga., to provide medical attention to the
region. In Dr. J.B.. Gilbert, Mr. Cobb found one of the finest African-American doctors to serve the black
population. Before desegregation, Dr. Gilbert also serviced white patients and later became chief of staff at Cobb
Cobb Memorial Hospital. Dr. Stewart D. Brown would supervise the facility.
In 1945, Ty had decided that, as a memorial to his parents, he would make possible a modern hospital for the
people of his hometown, Royston, GA. He contributed $100,000., the federal government kicked in another $72K,
and the people of Royston raised $38K locally. It had 25 beds, and is today, still modern, and located in a
predominantly black area, which it serves without prejudice. It had been disclosed on Nov. 16, 1949, that
Ty had donated the $100,000. to finance the hospital.
On Nov. 27, 1953, Mr. Cobb established the Ty Cobb Educational Foundation to give scholarships to needy
students in Georgia. Hundreds and hundreds of young black students have become beneficiaries of this
educational fund. When Ty Cobb died, July 17, 1961, and his will was announced, it was learned that he had
willed 25% of his estate to his scholarship educational fund that he had established 8 yrs. before. Although the
terms of his will were not disclosed at that time, it was later learned that his estate was valued at $10m. worth of
stock in General Motors, and $2m. worth of stock in Coca-Cola, estimating his worth at over $12.m. So, it could be
estimated that he left around $2.5m. to his college scholarship foundation for needy Georgian college kids. He
had stipulated that in order to qualify for it, the child had to finish his 1st yr. unassisted, to demonstrate tenacity
In 1952, the following sidebar appeared in the Sporting News.
The Georgia Peach Bats for Negroes
--Tells How Colored Fans Can Help --
San Francisco, Calif.---Ty Cobb, a native of Georgia said last week he held no prejudice whatever to the of
in any sport, professional or amateur. "Anyone who qualifies as a gentleman is qualified anywhere said Cobb,
"regardless of his color, and the Negro should be accepted and not grudgingly but wholeheartedly. "The Negro
has a right to compete in sports and who is to say they have not? They have been competing notably in football,
track, and baseball and I think they are to be complimented for their gentle conduct both on the field, and, as far
as I know, off the field. "I think the Negro has the right to compete in sports in every section of the country as long
as his deportment is genteel and unchallengeable. "All Negroes in baseball, which is of course the game I
notice the most have up to date qualified not only as to their deportment but their ability. No trouble has been
encountered. "I think it is also an obligation Negro fans in the stands to conduct themselves in such a manner
as not to place the participation of colored athletes in a controversial position. They can help considerably
considerably to the process of absorbing Negro athletes in sports." Jack McDonald
(Sporting News, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 1952, pp. 4, column 4)
Now, to be honest, when I saw the dateline of the piece, I rolled my eyes. 1952 sounded way too late to endorse
black athletes into sports. So I felt the piece had no real value. But then I noticed on the same page, other articles,
which showed that sports integration was not as far along in Feb., 1952, as I had believed.
Other articles on that page read:
Texas Owners Okay Use of Negroes--If Capable Enough
Dallas' Kick Burnett Takes Lead in Paving Way for Lifting of the Color Line
Cards Only All-White Club in N. L. First Division in '51
3 Fla. Int. clubs may use Negro players
Dallas Plan: to Use Negroes "not surprising" to Rickey
Two Brooklyn Flags Since Club Added Negro Players
So, the Sporting News ran race articles on pages 3-4, of that issue. And those articles showed beyond any doubt,
that Ty Cobb had endorsed blacks into baseball, when the issue was anything but settled. And that endorsement,
an emphatic one, showed that Ty might have been behind the racial curve of the progressive southerners. But he
was right on time, for him and his fellow progressive conservatives.
May I enter a plea for some sensible perspective here. Ty Cobb has often been held up as an example of a
virulent racist. Unfairly. True, he was ignorant enough to have a big mouth, and used the n_ word, to his
discredit, but Speaker, Hornsby and millions of other Americans did too, especially in the southern parts of the
US, as well as millions of ignorant, racist northerners.
But, let's be fearless here. Washington and Jefferson owned other Americans. Jefferson wrote that "All men
are created equal." After his wife died, he consorted with her half-sister, Sally Hemmings, who was half-black,
and his inherited enslaved person. Although he promised her freedom, when he died, he couldn't honor his
promise. Why? Because he couldn't wean himself off his self-indulgent favorite things. Fine wine, books,
scientific instruments. His toys. So, when he was going to die, if he freed his slaves, his own white kids,
wouldn't have been able to live like rich kids.
Madison & Monroe and 12 other US presidents also owned other people, but Ty Cobb never owned anyone.
He was just raised in a racist environment & didn't rise above it until his peers did. So the next time one slings
the ugly label of racist at him, first sling it at Washington & Jefferson & the others who opposed slavery in
principle, but defended it as a "necessary evil". But one they couldn't bring themselves to stop profiting from
others misery. He gets the terrible press, while they get streets, high schools, Mt. Rushmore, and buildings
named after them. Where's our common sense, our sense of balance, our sense of fair perspective & justice?
Presidents, baseball commissioners, BB team owners all either owned their fellow Americans or black-balled
them from sports. And they escape the searching spotlight of racial scrutiny. A great baseball player mouths
off with a few ignorant, ill-advised remarks, and he gets demonized in the national press for many decades. Are
Are we a fair society? Mt. Rushmore or demonized warlock? I'm not nominating Ty for Rushmore. But warlock?
I think not. Why can we as a culture not find a middle ground for flawed heroes? Are we bereft of all nuance?
Some black players from the old negro leagues, when writing their memoirs, wrote that Cobb would sometimes
go to their games, and go down to their dugout, and talked ball with the players. One former black leaguer
wrote that he displayed no bad attitude or racially superior snobbery in talking to them. He spoke as one ball-
player to another.
Alexander George Washington Rivers was a black employee of Mr. Cobb's for 18 years and named his first-born
Ty Cobb Rivers. "Even if it would have been a gal, I would have named her the same," Mr. Rivers said in an
interview with The Detroit News.
Let's take a look at some of the incidents in Ty's career, which are oft referred to, to "prove" his racist credentials.
April 16, 1907, Warren Park, Augusta, GA, grounds keeper "Bungy", clapped Ty on the back as if to say,
good going. Ty took this innocent gesture wrongly, feeling that a black person shouldn't be so familiar. So Ty
slapped him, chased him into the shed where the equipment was stored, and when Bungy's wife came to his
assistance, yelling, "Stop! Don't hurt Bungy!", Ty began choking her for trying to help her husband. But then
the Tigers arrived to intervene, and catcher Charlie Schmidt stopped him and beat Ty up, rightfully so. This
incident is most definitely racist to its core.
June 6, 1908, Detroit, MI, black manual laborer, Fred E. Collins, is laying sticky black asphalt. Ty, leaving the
Hotel Pontchartrain, and starting to cross Woodward Ave. Just then, upon hearing a car from behind, Ty leaped
to the side, to avoid being run over. But he landed in the workman's freshly poured asphalt, who apparently hadn't
seen the vehicle's close call. Heated words were exchanged, and Ty punched him on the chin, knocking Fred down
into the asphalt. A lively fight ensued. Several of Fred's fellow worker friends rushed help him. Bill Couglin went
to aid Cobb. Cobb wanted to fight everyone, but Bill persuaded him to depart, since several hundred onlookers
had assembled. Fred demanded $100. or court action. June 9, 1908, Ty appeared in municipal court, on an
assault & battery charge. Ty pleaded not guilty, Judge Edward Jeffries found him guilty, but suspended his sentence.
Cobb ended up paying $75. to avoid being dragged into civil court. Ty's quote: "I didn't do anything more to
him than my self-respect would make me do. He insulted me, and I wouldn't stand that from any man." Yes, racist.
September 3, 1909, Hotel Euclid, Cleveland, OH, night watchman George Stanfield, Cobb pulled knife,
Nov. 22, 1909, Cleveland trial. Detroit's attorneys knocked the charges down to assault/battery, Cobb pleaded
guilty, got $100.fine & costs. Definitely racist.
November 10 - December 5, 1910, Havana, Cuba; He reluctantly joined other Tigers, playing a set of games with the
black Cubans, who were joined by black American stars. Initially, Cobb didn't want to go. But when the Cuban
promoters offered an additional $1,000. bonus, plus travel expenses. He said, "I decided to break my own rule
for a few games." Money talked louder than racism with Ty.
The Detroit Tigers had visited Cuba in post-season 1909 to play ball against the best Cuba had to offer. Strength-
ened by US black stars, the Cubans bested the Tigers 8 games to 4. The Tigers had went down there without
Cobb, Crawford, Donovan, Summers, Delahanty and Donnie Bush. In 1910, the Tigers would return better fortified.
This time, Crawford, Mullin and all the starting Tiger pitchers went along. Plus O'Leary, Willet, Summers,
Moriarty, T. Jones, Casey, Stanage, McIntyre, Schaefer went along. Mullen also managed. Cobb promised
to join them. The Cubans were joined again by black US stars, Bruce Petway, Pete Hill, Grant Johnson and Pop
Lloyd, sometimes called the black Honus Wagner. Cobb dilly-dallied in Key West before he arrived in Havana,
on Nov. 26, by which time, the Tigers had gone 3-3-1 with the black ballplayers. With Cobb they finished, 7-4-1.
In the last game, Mendez fanned Ty once, Ty got a single, and Petway threw him out at 2nd when he tried to steal.
For 5 games, Ty went 7 x 19= .370. Crawford hit .360 in 12 games, and Lloyd hit .500, Johnson .412, and Petway
.390, all against the Tigers starters.
As a side note, the Phil. Athletics followed the Tigers to Havana and played the exact same teams and went 4-6
against them. In 1911, the Cubans won another series from the Phil. Phillies, before John McGraw's Giants
became the 1st ML team to beat the Cubans convincingly, winning 9-3. Billy Evans felt the climate had lots to
to it. Billy had went with the Tigers, and had umpired the games. He felt the 90 degree heat had sapped the
strength of the Tigers.
Ty said he wouldn't play ball against blacks again, after those games, because he struck out once, against
their black pitcher, Jose Mendez, & looked bad. But that was not really because of color, but he couldn't deal with
looking bad or being shown up by anyone. If he was such a racist, he wouldn't have went to Cuba to play in the
June 20, 1914, Detroit, MI, local butcher William L. Carpenter; Mrs. Cobb joined Ty in Detroit. Bought .20 of perch
down the street from local butcher. Got home, she & her cook felt it was spoiled, returned fish to shop. Proprietor
insisted his fish was fresh when it left the shop. Mrs. Cobb felt offended her word wasn't accepted. Told Ty. He
called shop, proprietor apologized, Ty returned to shop to get fresh fish. The spat was almost finished when the
shopkeeper's 20 yr. old, black assistant Harold Harding intervened, Harding brandished meat cleaver, Cobb brandished
pistol, hit Harding over head several times. They scuffled, display case shattered, police took Cobb to jail. Police
patrol wagon carted Cobb off to jail. Police kept Cobb overnight, released next morning. Pleaded guilty, paid
$50. fine. It isn't clear if Carpenter was black, Harding was his brother-in-law. Cobb suffered broken right thumb.
Was out of action for several weeks. He felt so disgraced for his pistol-brandishing that he considered jumping
to the Federal League. Carpenter's quote: "The easy thing would be to drop the whole matter, but I feel it my duty
to the public to see that this wild man is halted in his mad career. If he is allowed to go into a man's place of
business and threaten him with a revolver, and not suffer for it, there is no telling what he will do next. If I could
have gotten the revolver away from him, Cobb would have had to settle with me on the spot. I am sorry my young
brother-in-law interfered, for it was a case for the police to handle, but the "kid" would have licked that big ball
player if the fight had been allowed to go on. Most professional ball players are gentlemen."
Very possibly racist with Harold Harding.
April 25, 1919 - Hotel Pontchartrain, Detroit, MI - Miss Ada Morris was working as a chambermaid at the Hotel,
when she claims that Mr. Cobb called her a "nigger". When she took offense at this slur, and flared back and
sassed him, Mr. Cobb knocked her down, kicked her in the stomache, and knocked her down the stairs. She had
sustained a broken rib and had been hospitalized until at least June 1, 1919. She filed a law suit for $10,000. This
This story was carried in the Chicago Defender, and also appeared in the Baltimore Afro-American, on the front page,
This incident was mentioned in "The Golden Age, by Harold Seymour, 1971, pp. 110.
The hotel's manager protested and ordered Cobb to leave the place. The story was suppressed by the newspapers,
but years later Harold Seymour was moved to track down the details for his book, Baseball: The Golden Age.
Seymour's research showed that the press had finessed Xdollar lawsuit, the incident, and that because of Cobb's
prominence the woman was quietly paid off in exchange for her dropping a ten-thousand dollar lawsuit.
The incident is very credible and is definitely racist.
But there is evidence on the other side of the aisle too.
1926 - Larry Brown, the great defensive Negro League catcher, 1919-1949, tells of a story about Ty. He says that while he was
a member of the Detroit Stars in 1926, he went to Havana, Cuba to play ball there that winter. He says that Ty was there
and that he threw Ty out 5 times in succession. After the game, he alleges that Ty offered to try to introduce him to the MLs
and pass him off as a Cuban. Brown says he passed on the idea, due to the fact that he was so very well known all
around the US as a member of the Detroit Stars. But this story is insisted on by Larry Brown himself.
(Voices From The Great Black Baseball Leagues, by John Holway, 1975, pp. 207-209)
1929 - Negro League infielder Bobby Robinson, claims that while he
was a member of the Negro League team, the Detroit Stars, 1929-31, Ty once paid them a visit, and sat next to him
on the bench, and talked baseball the whole time. Here's the quote from the book.
"Former semipro and Negro League infielder Bobby Robinson (1916-44) told the author (Nick C. Wilson) that on one
occasion he was surprised by a visit from Ty Cobb. He remembered that Cobb came to watch a game played by the
Negro League Detroit Stars in the 1920s. Before the game was over Cobb had migrated down in to the Stars' dugout
and sat next to Robinson, talking baseball the entire time. Robinson recalled that there wasn't a hint of prejudice in
Cobb's attitude that day. They were just two ballplayers sharing stories."
(Voices from the Pastime: Oral Histories of Surviving Major Leaguers, Negro Leaguers, Cuban Leaguers and Writers;
19201934, Nick C. Wilson, 2000, pp. 113)
Ty was not above using crude racial slurs if he thought it threw someone off their game. He liked to needle
Babe Ruth by calling him a "n-----." Just because he knew it bothered Babe. Not racist.
In the interests of full disclosure, I feel obligated to mention even the unsubstantiated reports. You can judge
for yourself the credibility of such reports.
A paragraph later, Stump writes this. (Davey) Jones believed that most blacks of Detroit hated Cobb, but, under
the eye of the white community, kept their feelings to themselves. I believe that this supposition on Jones' part
would have been unable to confirm one way or another, short of a popularity poll of Detroit's blacks at that time.
In his great piece, entitled "Ty Cobb Did Not Commit Murder", published in the National Pastime, 1996, pp. 25-28,
on pp. 25, Doug asserts this; Atlanta Constitution writer Howell foreman told of cobb's penchant for beating up the
the local blacks in Carnesville, Georgia---just for the sport of it. I've never heard of this charge before, and can find
no corroborating material to substantiate it.
How racist was Ty? Garden variety, IMHO. And here's why I think that. I believe he just wanted to be like the others,
to blend in. I don't think he thought about it too much, one way or the other. I just don't think he cared, at all.
Real born racists never grow or change, cause they don't want to. Theirs is inborn and nasty. Others are racist
just to go along, and be mainstream in the culture they're born to. I think Cobb was that way. Racially, he wasn't
an alpha, nor a liberal. He was simply mainstream to his beginnings. He was loyal to that Georgian thermometer,
because he believed in it and trusted it. And that allowed him to open up and grow. Always with a watchful eye
on the social curve, mind you, lest he get ahead of it. But he desired to stay In The Middle - the social, racial center
of Georgia. As Georgia and the South changed and grew, so Ty also made his adjustments.
So, I feel that Ty simply wanted to mirror those he knew & loved in old Georgia. Racially, he wanted to be like
those people, and he trusted their instincts. He wanted racially to be perceived like them, no better, not worse.
Ty Cobb, Fiery Diamond Star, Favors Negroes In Baseball
Independent Journal - January 29th, 1952
MENLO PARK (AP) Tyrus Raymond Cobb, fiery old time star of the diamond, stepped up to the plate today to
clout a verbal home run in favor of Negroes in baseball.
Himself a native of the Deep South, Cobb voiced approval of the recent decision of the Dallas club to use Negro
players if they came up to Texas league caliber.
The old Georgia Peach of Detroit Tigers fame was a fighter from the word go during his brilliant playing
career. He neither asked for nor gave quarter in 24 tumultuous years nor gave quarter in 24 tumultuous years in
the American League. Time has mellowed the one time firebrand and he views the sport in the has mellowed
the one time firebrand and he views the sport in the pleasant role of a country squire. He spoke emphatically on
the subject of Negroes in baseball, however.
"Certainly it is O.K. for them to play," he said, "I see no reason in the world why we shouldn't compete with
colored athletes as long as they conduct themselves with politeness and gentility. "Let me say also that no white
man has the right to be less of a gentleman than a colored man, in my book that goes not only for baseball but in
all walks of life.
"I like them, (Negro race) personally. When I was little I had a colored mammy. I played with colored children,"
Referring again to last week's developments in the Texas league, Cobb declared, "It was bound to come." He
meant the breaking down of Baseball's racial barriers in the old south.
Cobb expressed the belief Negroes eventually would be playing in every league in the country. He concluded
with: "Why not, as long as they deport themselves like gentlemen?"
July, 1953, at the All-Time Game, Ty declared, "That boy Campanella needs only a couple more years at his
present pace to become the all time catcher in my book . . . excellent receiver, fine in handling pitchers, smart,
dynamite with the stick (bat), and an expert in plays at the plate." (Baltimore Afro-American, Tuesday,
February 2, 1954, page 15, column 1, "From A to Z, with Sam Lacy")
1953 - While entertaining a 12 yr. old visitor, at his home in Atherton, CA, Ty made these remarks.
Pointing to a photo of Tris Speaker, "That is Tris Speaker. Don't let anyone tell you I was not a good fielder;
I was. But I could not compare to this man. Nor could anyone. The closest I have seen to him are the
DiMaggio boys, [I assume he meant Joe and Dom] and the Negro who played for the Giants but is now in the Army.
[Mays?] But Speaker is the best." (In the Shadow of the Babe: Interviews with Baseball Players Who
Played With or Against Babe Ruth, by Brent Kelley, 1995, pp. 10)
Before his death in 1961, Ty declared, "Mays is the only man in baseball, I'd pay to see play." (Baltimore Afro-
American, Saturday, August 20, 1966, pp. 18, column 5. "New Wave of Expletives greet Mays' homer feat,
by Sam Lacy)
Now, it is a reasonable question for intelligent people to ask, "Bill. How can you still believe that Ty Cobb was
simply a "garden variety" racist, when you yourself have shown by these examples, that he showed such
unbridled hostility, animosity and violence? How could he demonstrate such hatred and out-of-control behavior,
when people of color where concerned? Doesn't that show profound racial conflicts?
And these are apt, reasonable questions. And ones that I feel honor-bound to give my best, most profound
answers, to the best of my beliefs. And here they are. I feel that only some of Cobb's incidents were truly racial
in nature, and others would have happened even if whites had been involved. I feel that Bungy and Stansfield were
racist incidents and wouldn't have happened if white were involved, while Collins, Harding and the Cuban
baseball teams were not racist, and would have happened anyway. In other words, he was acting out wounded
ego, as much as racial discord. He would have acted towards white persons who wounded his ego with his same
ridiculous sense of "being insulted", as when he felt insulted by black people. His warped, twisted, sick, medieval
sense of honor under laid many of his run-ins with both blacks & whites.
But there's more. While it does look as if one would by necessity, be a raging racist, if he had
a record like Ty's, I can easily show that for every incident Cobb had with a black person, he had 2-3 others with
a white person. He beat up a white heckler in the stands, had a fierce fight with umpire Billy Evans, a man who
would be calling balls & strikes on him for the next 7 yrs.!!!, he had many fights with his own white teammates,
Schmidt, Moriarty, McIntyre, etc. But the most loathsome act I ever read about Ty came in a most shocking
context. Far from the playing field. When Ty's oldest son, Ty Jr., goofed off while in college, Ty flew to the East
Coast, went up to his son's room, removed a big, black bull-whip from his bag, and proceeded to bull-whip his
very own son. For goofing off. That is the most heinous act that I'm aware Ty committed. Any man capable of
that kind of act, is capable of behaving towards black people as if it were racially motivated. And understand me
here. I'm not advocating that Ty wasn't a racist. Merely a racist who mirrored his origins. Which is not an
acceptable excuse. No, not at all. But still far from the poster boy for racial virulence which he's now made out to
be. And by those relative standards, Ty Cobb was a garden variety racist, who grew with the others, and who allied
himself with blacks, in their long-term, historical quest to lock in their niche in BB in 1952, and built 2 long-term
institutions to perpetually assist many blacks to better themselves educationally & serve their long-term interests
in their medical needs. His record is far from good, but also far from the poster boy of racism that he's depicted
as. How many acts of kindness to blacks he did & hid, we'll never know.
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