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Ty Cobb [From Bill Burgess' Ty Cobb Memorial Collection]
Ty Cobb's Power Case
Cobb's World Series Performance and Comparisons
Was Cobb the greatest all-around baseball player who ever lived?  PART I


By Bill Burgess III

Was Ty Cobb a failure as a manager? By the end of baseball's '26 season, the word had went out that he was. But was it true?  Was the verdict fair or well-considered?  We shall see what the evidence shows.  First of all, what kind of team did Ty inherit?
The 1920 Tigers finished 7th in the final standings, 6th in batting, 5th in fielding.  They were dispirited.  Hughie Jennings, their manager, was burned-out, alcoholic, depressed, and deeply weary to his bones.  He wanted out, but was not pushed out.
In 1920, as the live ball was reinvigorating the careers of Speaker, Collins, Jackson, and Wheat, Ty incurred one of his few serious injuries.  During a game on June 6, while chasing a fly ball in right center,
Ty collided with his RFer, Ira Flagstead, and sprained his left knee so badly, he was out action till July 31, save a couple of games. 
         In '21 Ty started with a team of youngsters and veterans.  He had chosen to sweep out anyone who he felt wouldn't fight hard & give their all.  Ty took each player and worked with them on their hitting, base running, and fielding.
Pitchers were different.  Ty knew nothing how to help them, except to school them on what to pitch hitters, but not how.  A glance at the chart below shows that the '21Tigers went from a .396 winning percentage to .464, an improvement.  Fairness begs that
every manager deserves a year to rebuild a broken team. In '21, thanks to Ty's coaching, they improved their hitting from 95% of the league average to 108% of the league ave.  In plain talk, they hit .316 as a team!!! An AL record that still stands!!!
They added 50 points to their collective batting average. Not just happenstance.  Ty can easily be called the greatest batting coach baseball ever saw.  His gift of teaching hitting rivals his own hitting and base running as one of baseball's supreme
achievements.  His most apt pupil, Harry Heilmann, went from .309 to .394 in one year!!  The rest were less dramatic but still amazing.  Infielder Fred Haney, later a manager, was a rookie who hit .352 in 81 games (75 for 213, .439 on-base ave.)         
Further, the Tigers slipped to 7th in fielding.  A problem that was to plague the team all 6 of Ty's years as manager. Though they climbed to 6th place, they finished 27 games out of 1st.  Ty contributed a .389 BA.
        In '22, the Tigers continued to make dramatic progress. Their winning % was .513. So now they were playing .500 ball, which they continued to do while Ty was at the helm. Also, happily, Ty's traveling batting circus was a major gate attraction
across AL fields. They were now the #2 draw in the AL behind the Yankees.  They finished in 3rd place, 15 games out of 1st. Detroit had fallen in love with the Tigers again, and Ty was widely toasted as a miracle worker.  Ty kicked in a .401 BA.  They were 2nd in hitting, 3rd in
fielding, second in attendance.  They were now fighting full-throttle, and the team became an important profit-making property. Ty was making his boss a much richer man. And the team achieved all this
despite Harry Heilmann breaking his collarbone in late August taking him out for the season. That did not help the team whatever.  In acknowledgment, Ty had a 3 yr. contract('21-23) at $35K, 2nd only to Ruth. Dan
Howley: "One has to work under Cobb to understand him," said Howley.  "As a manager, he was a revelation to me.  Cobb has played the outfield all of his life, yet it was uncanny how he could instruct men to play every position on the ball field.  There 
isn't the slightest detail of any department of baseball that he isn't master of. . . I have no personal motive for boosting Cobb," continued the New England Irishman.  "I no longer work for the Detroit club: in fact, I took the Toronto job against Cobb's
wishes.  But I honestly believe Cobb is the greatest manager in baseball.  Give him a little more time with that Detroit team and see what he does with it.  He advanced it from seventh to third in two years and next season he will make things exceedingly
interesting for the Yanks." (Sporting News, February 15, 1923) A sign of how well the Tigers were coming along in their hitting, was that during spring
training, they chose not to carry a wonderful hitting young OF, named Floyd "Babe" Herman.  So they cut him.  He'd later make good as a "Daffiness" boy
under "Uncle" Wilbert Robinson.  He hit .390 in 1930.
          In '23, the Tigers jumped again to a winning % of .539, and finished 2nd.  They finished 2nd in hitting, 4th in fielding, 2nd in attendance and absolutely no one was calling Ty a failure as a manager.  He received nothing but kudos and bouquets
for his fighting, scrapping team of wonders.  It was not unusual for a team to go to Detroit and find their entire outfield hitting near .400. But their slowness afoot in the gardens didn't help their cause.  Ty was slowing up, Heilmann never had speed.  And speed afoot is not a thing that can be taught.
          In '24, the Tigers had their best year while Ty guided their fortunes.  They finished 3rd in the standings, 1st in hitting, 3rd in fielding, and 2nd in attendance.  They went over a million in attendance for the 1st time in their history.
For the second year in a row, they outdrew the NY Giants, who were in a much bigger market.  The Tigers were in the thick of the pennant race, when on August 13, star 1st baseman, Lu Blue, twisted his knee, when caught between 3rd base and home plate and was gone for the season.  They finished only
6 games out of 1st.  This was Ty's only real chance to actually win a pennant.  They fought all the way to the end, but with Blue out, they couldn't overcome the loss.  Still, they were out-hustling, out-fighting, and out-scrapping better teams. In other
words, because of a fighting leader, who didn't know the meaning of the word quit, they were playing ball over their heads.  Ty strode the length of his dugout, exhorting his fighters, "Fire Up!  Fire Up!"  He never relaxed & let games take their course.
And all of this, in spite of the fact that not only was Blue injured in late August, but Heilmann hit 59 points lower than he did in '23 due to illness, Fothergill labored under a similar handicap and SS Topper Rigney had illness & injury all season.
          So, to take stock, Ty managed for only 6 seasons.  After 4 of them, balldom's community had formed a solid consensus that Ty had been a raging success as a dugout commander.  In recognition of this established fact, his boss gave him a raise to
$38K for '24, and a dramatic $50K for '25-'26. Huge figures for that moment. So admired was Ty as a manager by the end of '24, that Christy Mathewson chose him as manager of his B team, when he picked an All-America team, A & B for Colliers's(Oct.11,'24).
       In '25, the Tigers slipped to 4th in the standings, 16.5 g out, 3rd in batting, 3rd in fielding, 3rd in attendance.  Ty contributed a .378 BA.  Despite their slippage in '25 & '26, they still out-drew the Giants, even while the Giants finished 1st in '23, '24 and 2nd in '25.
For 1925, the Tigers finally recalled Charlie Gehringer from their farm club, when their regular 2nd basemen got hurt and he played the full season.  Ty made a serious error of judgement when he forbade pitcher Carl Hubbell to throw his best pitch, the screwball.
Cobb believed it would hurt Hubbell's arm.  It did, but not before he had a Hall of Fame career.  That winter of '25-26, Detroit was given 1st refusal on Paul Waner of the SF Seals, for $45,000.  Navin passed. 
Their problem was not in their manager or their hitting.  The problem was on their mound, their defense & the competition. They had fine defense at first, Lu Blue, & catching, Johnny Bassler, both onboard since '21, and at second base with Charlie Gehringer(for '26).
On March 1, 1926, Ty had eye surgery at  the Wilmer Eye Clinic, part of John Hopkins U. medical complex in Baltimore, MD.  A film had encroached on his vision, and he spent until March 13, 1926 in the hospital.  He claimed it had impaired his vision the previous season, yet still hit .378.
       In '26, the Tigers had a major crises on May 26, when their ace catcher, Johnny Bassler, twisted his ankle & was out of the lineup until around Aug. 1.   Detroit couldn't find anyone adequate to replace him.  Clyde Manion caught 75 games but hit .199!  Ray Hayworth was rushed up from their
Toronto farm club overnight to Chicago, where the Tigers were playing the White Sox.  He got into 12 games and hit .273.  In a July, 1927 Baseball Magazine article, where he was interviewed by Ferdinand C. Lane, Ty states, "I stand upon my record," says Cobb  "In the
seasons when I was manager, there never was a time when two or three clubs in the circuit were not more powerful or better balanced than the Detroit team.  Why should I be expected to overcome those two or three more powerful ball clubs? Perhaps if I had
been a genius as a manager, I might have done so.  But just because I didn't do so, does that make me a failure?. . . My infield was always an experiment. . . "They blame me for last year.  When Bassler was laid up, my catching was a joke.  I could lay my
finger on a dozen different reasons why the club couldn't get going last year, but what's the use?  The word has gone out that I'm a failure as a manager, so that's that." ( Baseball Magazine, July, 1927, pp. 339, 341, 373, 374; Was Ty Cobb a Managerial
Failure? by F. C. Lane).
Their pitching was spotty.  Most of their pitchers could shine.  But they were better on paper.  They had George Dauss, Howard Ehmke, Rip Collins, Earl Whitehall, Ken Holloway, Bert Cole, Syl Johnson, Lil Stoner, Dutch Leonard, Herman Pillette,  and others.  It wasn't that they were bad pitchers.
They could all pitch fine ball on occasion, but lacked consistency.  They needed expert pitching coaches to assist them in their mechanics and give them guidance.  Ty could teach hitting and base running but not pitching.  Hence, the lack of coaching
hurt them all the time.
         Another critical issue that one must look at is how much a team invests to keep improving.  In Ty case, he received little backing from Frank Navin, who always had an excuse not to invest in a good-looking prospect.  Detroit had the chance to get
Paul Waner and others, but didn't.  During the 6 yrs. of Ty's reign, the most expensive player that Navin bought was Al Wingo for $25K, and was a bargain.  Navin also spent $35K and players for pitchers Pillette & Syl Johnson. Compared to these
relatively modest investments, certain other teams were going all out to bolster their clubs.  For example, in NY, Jake Ruppert was conducting operations like a mad scientist.  He brought almost the entire Red Sox team to NY.  Ruppert was serious about
his club. In pitchers alone, he raided these from Boston: Carl Mays, Herb Pennock, Sam Jones, Waite Hoyt, Joe Bush, Ernie Shore. He also raided shortstop Everett Scott, catcher Wally Schang, left fielder Duffy Lewis. These alone will win you a pennant.
When the '25 Yankees collapsed to 7th place, Huggins and Barrow got rid of most of them and started their '26 spring training with another team.  While Ty was making do with the scraps from other teams leftovers, Jake Ruppert was just barely beginning to
flex his wallet.  During Ty's days managing the Tigers, Jake Ruppert armed his Yankee dugout with Lou Gehrig, Tony Lazzeri, Bob Meusel, Earl Combs, Marty Koenig, Joe Dugan, as well as the championship Red Sox team from '15-18.  Jake was intent on making
his team the envy of Balldom.  Meanwhile, over in Philadelphia, hardly less earnest activity was in progress to meet the Yankees challenge on even terms.  Mack suddenly was spending like Ruppert in an exclusive men's clothing shop.  Mack & Ruppert turned
 the '20's into dueling checkbooks, & neither were bouncing any checks.  Over in Philly, Mack was rebuilding & Connie wasn't kidding. In '21 he got Eddie Rommel, in '22,  Bing Miller & Joe Hauser, '23 Rube Walberg, in '24, he got Al Simmons & Max Bishop.
For 1925, he picked up Grove, Cochrane, Foxx, veteran pitcher Jack Quinn. For '26, he got shortstop Billy Wambsganss and vet pitcher Howard Ehmke, whom Ty had discarded after '22.  These players proved that Connie wasn't fooling about bringing pennants
home.  He paid $100K for Grove in 10 installments, $50K for Cochrane( plus $150K invested in Portland team, just to sign Cochrane). These were major moves.  Back in Detroit, Frank Navin contemplated no such moves during Ty's reign as manager.
Both these teams, the 20's Yankees and Phil. A's were only 2 of the teams that Ty's men had to face on the open battlefield.  Coping with 2 of the greatest baseball teams of history, is utterly germane to whether Ty was a good manager.  To this day, most
of the most respected, authoritative baseball minds consider the '29-31 Phil. A's & the '26-28 Yankees as 2 of the very finest baseball teams in all-around balance, that ever played the game.  And in addition to these, Ty had to contend with the '21-23 Yankees, and the '25 Senators.
        So, the BB powers in NYC & Philly not only were possessed of deeper pockets, but far more importantly, were possessed of far deeper determination to bring pennants home.  They not only out-spent Navin, they buried him completely.
It wasn't as though the Tigers couldn't find any talent in the 20's.  They did.  They came up with Lu Blue, Charlie Gehringer, Johnny Bassler.  They also found good slugging outfielders, who were sluggish fielders.  They already had Heilmann, who Ty
turned into a star, and Bobby Veach. They found Heinie Manush, Bob Fothergill, Al Wingo, Ira Flagstad. Due to Ty's specialty as a hitting coach, his teams could compete offensively with anyone.  They dominated the Yankees offensively from '22-'25.
The figures in columns K and L below show this clearly.  What the Tigers lacked and Ty couldn't teach them was sparkling defensive work & sharp, tight pitching.  As a master hitting coach, Ty could tell his
pitchers what to throw.  But what he couldn't do was get out there on the mound and show them how to throw.  How to throw a curve, steady their location.  He could program their brain on what pitches and what sequence, but never how to execute.  He
readily admitted his ignorance of the pitching arts and craft.  Baseball in those days lacked the coaching staffs we now take for granted.  Also Ty's lack of diplomacy and tack didn't help his cause.  Touchy Feely wasn't part of his makeup. Hugs from Ty
were not in abundance.  No.  Hugs from Ty were definitely in severely short supply.  Exhortations to hustle were everywhere to be found, however, and there Ty was generous beyond belief. He never spared himself in encouraging his fighters to not quit. 
        So, was Ty Cobb a failure as a manager?  At the end of the day, that will depend on who you ask, and when you ask it.  To Ty's critics,  Ty was a failure, because they wanted him marginalized. If you asked from 1921-24, he was a surprising
success.  His record was not subject to criticism.  If one is impartial, and examines the plain evidence, and the teams Ty had to face on the open battlefield, you could not help but come to the conclusion, that there was no earthly reason why he
 should have been expected to beat better teams on a regular basis.  That he was able to marshall the forces he had to fight with and did beat better teams, often, but not often enough to win a pennant, is a tribute to his unyielding never-say-die spirit.
        What can one answer to those who accuse Ty Cobb of being a failure as a manager?  I say, they are seriously ignorant morons.  They don't know how to research the question, or hate Ty Cobb as a person.  Either way, they're wrong.  Their main
criticisms don't hold up under scrutiny. Their charges crumble under careful probing. First, his overly-intense disposition made him temperamentally unsuited to manage or bring out the best in others.  While perhaps true to a limited extent, was McGraw's
career a permanent refutation of that charge?  Was John McGraw less imperious a manager?  No.  McGraw's critics charge he was verbally abusive, dictatorial, domineering & hateful.  Top stars like Frisch and Ed Roush didn't want to play for him. Sound
familiar?  If McGraw had softened his style, let his players think for themselves and comported himself more benignly, would his results have improved?  It doesn't look possible to improve on his record.  
        It would seem that the careers of both Connie Mack & Casey Stengel would have proven for all time, that one's record depends on the quality of one's personnel.  Yes?  That not even genius managing can overcome mediocre teams.  Yet, I've never
heard Mack or Stengel criticized as "failures" as managers!  Why?  Think about it!  Those two are supreme examples of great managers being unable to overcome mediocre teams, yet no one calls them failures for it! And rightly so!!
       Ty Cobb was given 6 seasons to come up with winning results.  He did produce amazing improvements, which all acknowledged for his 1st 4.  He had injuries to overcome in his last 2 seasons, plus the Yankees, Athletics & Senators to cope with, who
were seriously loaded with better players.  So where is baseball justice & fairness?  Let's not sucker into historical prejudice or cliched hype!
      To answer the question with finality, "Was Ty Cobb a failure as a Manager?", the answer must be a resounding, emphatic "No. Not at all".  What with the teams he had to work with, he produced excellent results. He must be considered a superb manager.
His only weakness as a manager was his psychological compulsion to take his baseball so seriously that he was too harsh in how he dealt with his players. There is an important difference between being tough & aggressive and verbally abusive.  No one ever
heard of Connie Mack getting into fist fights in his dugout.  And Mack had Grove and Waddell to cope with. Ultimately, Ty was a brilliant, inspired, creative and successful manager.  So admired was Ty as a manager by the end of '24, that no less an
impartial, fair and knowledgeable observer as Christy Mathewson chose him as manager of his B team, when he picked an All-America team, A & B team, for Collier's (Oct. 11, 1924, pp. 9).  It was his misfortune to manage at a time when Connie Mack & Jake
Ruppert were gearing up to win, were not about to be out-spent, and were not to be denied in assembling better teams.  And that's not mentioning the Washington Senators ball club.  In the end, genius playing and managing wasn't enough.  Not nearly enough.
It would have taken money and great amounts of it to beat those teams consistently. Yet Ty's warriors DID beat them, over & over.  In '24, Ty's warriors beat Ruppert's legions 13-9 for the year, driving themselves to their limit, like the defenders at the
Alamo, but the better teams won out in the end.  Ty Cobb was one of baseball's most brilliant and successful managers. If you define success as getting the most out of what you have to work with.  Just look at the evidence and the competition.  It's only
fair and Baseball Justice for Truth to finally come out!
The figures in blue show the years that Ty Managed the Detroit Tigers, 1921-26. The figures in red are shown for contrast & balance.
Tigers Finish Games League Tigers Yankees Giants
Year  Win.% Place Behind BA  % Attendance Attendance Attendance Tigers Pitchers
1918 0.437 7 20 98%    203,000   4th(128 games)    282,000   4th (126 games)   256,000  2nd  (124 games) Tigers Offensive Yankees Offensive Tigers Outfielders
1919 0.571 4 8 105%    643,000   1st(140 games)    619,000   3rd (141 games)    708,000 2nd  (140 games) Year Runs  -   BA   -   SA   -   Productivity Runs  -  BA    -   SA    -   Productivity Ty Harry Bobby Bob (Fats) Heine Al Ira George Dauss Rip Collins Earl Whitehill Lil Stoner Ken Holloway Bert Cole Dutch Leonard Syl Johnson Herman Pillette Howard Ehmke
1920 0.396 7 37 95%    579,000   4th 1,289,000    3rd    929,000 2nd 1920 652    - .270  -   .359  -    91 836   -  . 280   -  .426   -    107 Year Cobb Heilmann Veach Fothergill Manush Wingo Flagstad Year W-L,    RAT,  AdjERA W-L, RAT, AdjERA W-L,  RAT, AdjERA W-L, RAT,AdjERA W-L, RAT, AdjERA W-L, RAT, AdjERA W-L,  RAT,  AdjERA W-L,    RAT,  AdjERA W-L,    RAT,  AdjERA W-L,  RAT, AdjERA
1921 0.464 6 27 108%    661,000   3rd 1,230,000    1st    973,000 1st 1921 883    - .316  -   .433  -   115 948   -   .300   -   .464   -   116 1921 0.389(128g) 0.394(149g) .338(150g) .305(85g) 1921 10-15,    99,   14.3 7-4,  100,  14.3 11-13, 114, 12.7 13-14, 94,  14.4
1922 0.513 3 15 107%    861,000   2nd 1,226,000    1st    945,000 1st 1922 826    - .306  -   .415  -   115 758   -   .287   -   .412   -   103 1922 0.401(139g) 0.356(118g) .327(155g) .322(42g) .308(44g) 1922 13-13,    92,   13.0 4-4,    55,  16.4 1-6,   80,   16.4 7-3,   105,    12.3 19-12,  136,  12.5 17-17, 92,  13.6
1923 0.539 2 16 106%    911,000   2nd 1,007,000    1st    820,000 1st 1923 831    - .300  -   .401  -   113 823   -   .291   -   .422   -   108 1923 0.341(145g) 0.403(144g) .321(114g) .315(101g) .334(109g) 1923 21-13,   197    11.8 3-7,   79,  13.3 2-0,   142,  10.9 11-10, 87  14.7 13-5, 93,   13.7 12-7,   97,    11.8 14-19, 100,   13.3
1924 0.558 3 6 102% 1,015,000   2nd 1 053,000    1st    844,000 1st 1924 849    - .298  -   .404  -   108 798   -   .289   -   .426   -   106 1924 0.333(155)g 0.346(153g) .301(54g) .289(120g) .287(78g) 1924 12-11,    90,   13.4 14-7, 128, 11.1 17-9,  106, 13.6 11-11, 87,  14.2 14-6, 101  13.7 3-9,   88,   14.3 3-2,    90,   15.3 5-4,    83,     14.2 1-1,     86,    15.1
1925 0.526 4 16.5 103%    820,000   3rd    697,000    7th    778,000 2nd 1925 903    - .302  -   .413  -   109 706   -   .275   -   .410   -     96 1925 0.378(121g) 0.393(150g) .353(71g) .302(99g) .370(130g) 1925 16-11,   136,   12.9 6-11,   94, 13.3 11-11,   92, 13.7 10-9,  101, 13.5 13-4,  93,  13.6 2-3,   73,   16.0 11-4,  95,   13.4 0-2,    124,   14.5
1926 0.513 6 12 103%    711,000   3rd 1 027,000    1st    700,000 5th 1926 793    - .291  -   .398  -   105 847   -   .289   -   .437   -   119 1926 0.339(79g) 0.367(141g) .367(110g) .378(136g) .282(108g) 1926 12-6,      97,   13.3 8-8,   149, 13.2 16-13, 102, 12.8 7-10,  74,  13.8 4-6,   79,   15.7
1927 0.536 4 27.5 101%    773,000   2nd 1,164,000    1st    858,000 3rd 1927 975   -   .307   -   .489   -   135
1928 0.442 6 33 99%    474,000   4th 1,072,000    1st    916,000 2nd 1928 895   -   .296   -   .450   -   124
1929 0.455 6 36 105%    869,000   2nd    960,000    2nd    868,000 3rd
Lastly, I thought is would be relevant to spice this brief article with some commentary from those who played under Ty when he managed.
Rip Collins 1929  -  "Ty Cobb and I are supposed to be enemies.  That might have been true once;  but it's not true now.  We've had our share of differences, I'll admit.  There were times when I couldn't even see Ty's face through the red haze that sprung up between
Tigers, '20-26 us.  I hated to work for him, and I am frank to say I wouldn't like to work for him now.  But working for Ty and recognizing his good points on another ball club are two different things. . .  There's a pretty general impression, I think, that Cobb was
AL P, 20-27,30-31 not an able manager.  It is true he never won a pennant.  But now that I'm no longer with the club, I'll go on record that if Connie Mack had managed the Tigers, with John McGraw for his coach and Joe McCarthy for his bat boy, he wouldn't have done any
better than Ty. . . Cobb was not a failure as a manager.  He was not a bad manager.  In many ways he was a brilliant manager.  He knew more baseball than anybody I ever saw.  And chain lightning was no faster than the working of Ty's mind.  He was always
a fighter and he had a fighting ball club.  that's what the public wants.  He was as full of tricks as a coyote is full of fleas.  they weren't parlor tricks, either.  Ty was out to win ball games. . . Ty was a great coach.  I doubt if his equal has ever
lived. . . he did as well, with the material they gave him, as anybody could have done.  So why call him a bad manager?. . . Ty never had a good pitching staff.  His outfield was bad defensively), and his infield was worse.  As a fielding combination,
the Tigers were like an old sieve.  But how those boys could hit and score runs?  Ty coached them and he kept them on their toes.  They were about as dangerous a team to stop as the New York Yankees.  As for pennants, it makes little difference how many
runs you score, as long as the other fellow scores more.  But I haven't noticed many pennants waving from that old flag pole at Detroit since they gave Ty the gate.  He drove the boys up as high as second place one year.  They haven't roosted in that
berth since. So why not give Ty his due? Why saddle him with a failure that was not his, or blame him for something that nobody could help?  Ty is entitled to get sore at that kind of criticism. Frankly, I don't blame him." (Baseball Magazine, 1929, pp. 493)
Lu Blue,Det.1B,'21-27 1926  -  "I have made a persistent study of the pitchers.  In this work I have had the advantage of Ty Cobb's coaching.  He can detect the batter's weakness quicker than anyone I ever saw.  But after all,  there is a limit to what any one can teach
AL 1B, 1921-32 you.  If you are to be much of a success, you must work out your own system". (Baseball Magazine, February, 1926)
Heinie Manush 1932-33  -  "Cobb," he says, "was a natural coach.  He took an interest in other players who were willing to listen to him, and was always dropping hints on how they stood at bat, their swing and the way they gripped the handle of their bats. He was a keen
Tigers, 23-26 observer and understood more of the true science of batting than any other player.  No doubt he helped me from time to time, and that is important.  But that is as far as I would care to go with any coach.  The best he can do is to help.  What a player
AL OF, 23-36 does is his own affair.  He stands or falls on his own efforts.  Cobb was the best teacher of hitting that I have ever known,  and others agree with me in that opinion.  But I can not believe that Cobb or anyone else could ever teach a mediocre hitter how
to be a great hitter." (Baseball Magazine, 1932-33, pp. 545)
Francis C. Richter 1924  -  "The Detroit team, under the able leadership of Ty Cobb, who has proven as good a manager as he was and is, as a player, seems to have the best chance of winning out, as it is not only strong on offense, but has gained greatly in defense through
Phil.spwr.1876-1926 the improvement of the supposedly weak pitching department through the development of Pitchers Stoner, Whitehill, Holloway and Wells. (Sporting News, August 7, 1924, Casual Comment)
Fred Haney 1929  -  "And, as for playing ability, any talk of comparing any other star with him is almost ridiculous.  Moreover, he could manage a team.  All he lacked was the co-operation of some soreheads who wouldn't have co-operated with anybody."
Tigers, 1922-25 (Baseball Magazine, April, 1929)
AL 3B,2B,  '22-27 1929  -  "Cobb was the greatest student of the game and psychologist I ever saw," Haney says, "Why, I have seen him sit on the bench, his eyes covered by his cap and call 18 out of 20 pitches a Cleveland hurler threw.  I asked him how he did it and his
NL 3B, 1927,29 reply was, 'Well, I've been watching Steve O'Neill catch for quite a good many years now and ought to know what he will call for.'  "I figured Cobb as a real manager," Haney continued.  "Had he not been he wouldn't have done as well as he did with some
Browns man., '39-41 of his teams.  You see, while Ty was just a player he always had been the 'darling' of the management and this, of course, had made some of the others jealous.  What Cobb wanted, he got.  So, when he became manager, there was a certain amount of suspicion
Pirates man., '53-55 toward him.  I personally know of many attempts Cobb made to help players out -- veterans who were slipping both professionally and financially, -- but, in each case the player coached by some of the soreheads, would be warned off.  On one occasion, Cobb
Braves man., '56-59 offered to invest $3,000. for a player about to be waived out of the league.  The player wanted to accept the generous offer, but some other player, among them one who has since come to disrepute, advised him strongly against it, and he took their advice,
only to be sorry later.  This talk about his not being for his players was pure bunk,  There was nothing he didn't try to do to make everyone happy.  As I said, there were those who just wouldn't or couldn't see anything good in Ty.  He had his share of
battles, on and off the diamond, did Ty, but, in all of them, he was a square shooter and a square fighter." (Sporting News, April 25, 1929)
1938  -  "There never was anybody like Ty." declared Fred.  "He had everything that it takes to make a great player and manager.  The only trouble was that Ty didn't sweep far enough when he cleaned house on the team.  He left a couple of fellows who
poisoned the team against him.  Cobb taught me a lot of things, but strangely enough, base-running wasn't included, although Ty was without an equal at the art.  In fact, we didn't even have a steal sign on the club.  I wondered about this and asked Ty
the reason.  "We've got too many extra-base hitters on this club to emphasize stealing,' Cobb replied.  'I play the percentages on our hitting, instead of stealing, to get the runners around.' " (Sporting News, Nov. 17, 1938, pp. 4)
1961  -  "Ty Cobb was a great manager.  He took a bunch of punks and finished third in 1922, second in '23 and third in '24, when he should have been deep in the second division.  He was a wonderful fellow to play for --if you hustled and did your best
all the time.  He was very demanding, but quick to give you a pat on the back, too. (Sporting News, Nov. 8, 1961, pp. 10)
1961  -  Haney, like Woodall, had only the greatest praise for his old boss as he spoke over the phone from his desk in Los Angeles.  "I'll agree that Ty was tough on fellows who he thought were not doing their best," Haney said.  "But as long as you gave
100 percent, he had all the patience in the world."  It is Haney's contention that Cobb was a "misunderstood man.  Ask anyone who played for him and they'd swear by Ty," the Angels chieftain continued.  "Lou Blue, Johnny Bassler, Harry Heilmann is dead,
but if he were alive he'd say the same.  It was Cobb who made Heilmann a great hitter.  He made Heinie Manush.  He did the same for Red Wingo.  Ty got off to a bad start as a manager because he had almost a rookie team.  There's nothing you can do with
inexperienced players.  Nine of us all came up to Detroit the first year he managed."  Cobb and Haney remained close friends right to the end.  "He forgot more baseball than I'll ever know," Haney says of Cobb."
 (New York Journal-American, July 20, 1961, pp. 24, Brainy Cobb Praised by the Tigers He Managed by Barney Kremenko )
1975  -  "Ty never got the credit he deserved as a manager because he never won a pennant and the critics always think you have to win to be great," he said.  "Besides, Cobb never had enough good pitching to be a challenger.  I played for him on the
Tigers for four years, starting as a rookie in 1922 and what I got was an education in advanced baseball.  He knew everything about the game and he got more out of his players than they had to give. …I'm proud to say that I batted .352 as a rookie.
. . . And two years later I saw Cobb finish second with a team that any other manager wouldn't have gotten beyond the top of the second division." (Christian Science Monitor, Sept. 19, 1975,
Larry Woodall 1961  -  "Reached at a Red Sox tryout camp in Burlington,Vt., Woodall, all choked up over Ty's passing, said: "He was a good manager.  He knew his baseball inside out.  He anticipated plays far ahead of anyone else.  He understood us and realized our
Det. catcher,'20-29 limitations.  It was his contention that once we joined the Tigers we were supposed to be big league players and I believe he was justified in using that as a standard."
Red Sox coach,'42-48  (New York Journal-American, July 20, 1961, pp. 24, Brainy Cobb Praised by the Tigers He Managed by Barney Kremenko )
Earl Whitehall, 1931  -  "We had some hot discussion on pitching science when Ty Cobb was a manager of the Tigers.  It's an open secret, or rather no secret at all, that Ty and I didn't hit it off very well.  Not that he cared.  The personal dislikes of a great many
AL P,  '23-38 people weighted very little with Ty.  One thing I'll say for him, if you talked back to him, he respected you more than if you merely kept silent and took everything he handed out.  Ty was a fighter himself, and he respected other fighters.  Ty was very
NL P, '39 keen in sizing up batters' weaknesses.  Probably no man ever lived with a better eye or a better judgment to detect little mannerisms, preferences and dislikes in opposing hitters. . . . "but Ty was the smartest batter I ever saw.  I don't say he was the
Cleveland coach,'41 best.  There's a difference. But he certainly was the smartest. . . ."Cobb always worked the psychology of batting to the limit. . . . ."Cross up the pitcher was Ty's batting theory, and he certainly knew how to do it.  Ty's record is a conspicuous
Phillies coach,'43 example of what a player can do by using his head every moment of the time."  (Baseball Magazine, May, 1931,  pp. 539-541)
Tigers, 1923-26
Eddie Wells 1982  -  "but I got attached to the playing of Ty Cobb.  And I don't know, but he just stood for my hero.  I was just crazy about Ty Cobb, I was just crazy about that man.  I looked up to that fella.  I still got his picture in my den here. It's a funny
Tigers, '23-27 thing.  The opposition hated Cobb.  I mean, he was a hustler and he'd spike you to get that base.  A lot of the players on that Detroit club didn't like him because he was tough.  Harry Heilmann didn't think much of him, and neither did Ken Holloway or
Yankees P, '29-32, George Dauss.  But me and Cobb always got along great.   Always did.  I thought a lot of him and he thought a lot of me.  Cobb didn't hit home runs hardly at all.  Doubles now and then, but mostly singles.  He aimed for the pitcher's box all the time.
Browns P, '33-34 He's the hustlingest player of all time.  There's never been another since him, though Pete Rose is close to him.  I can't complain about Cobb one bit.  He was real nice to me.  As a manager, Ty did the best he could.  Cobb knew his job, which was
hitting, but I remember he didn't know that much about pitching."  ( Cobb Would Have Caught It, by Richard Bak, 1991, Interview with Richard Bak, September, 1982, pp. 152-156))
Babe Herman 1962  -  "Ty Was Terrific Teacher---'You Learned Plenty' :  Herman played for Ty Cobb at Detroit and always has maintained that The Georgia Peach was a good manager.  "He was a stickler for details, and never overlooked a thing.  You paid attention and
NL OF, '26-37,45 you learned plenty," is the way Babe put it.  (Sporting News, Feb.7, 1962, by Braven Dyer in Los Angeles Times)
William O. McGeehan 1924  -  "When Mr. Tyrus Raymond Cobb was made manager of the Detroit Tigers there was considerable skepticism expressed by the experts as to what he could do with a ball club, says W. O. McGeehan in the New York Herald.  The Georgian always was a fiery
NY spwr.,1915-33 person and was the center of many a tempest on the diamond.  It was pointed out that no man who could not manage himself would make much of a success as a team manager.  But nobody can go behind the results.  The Tigers under the leadership of Mr. Tyrus
Raymond Cobb are fighting the Yankees for first place.  The team has become a wonderful fighting unit.  Ostensibly at least the inner workings are quite harmonious, and the Tigers take all of their truculence out on the teams that they meet.  All of the
misgivings as to Cobb as a manager seem to be without reason.  As a matter of fact, Cobb actually has started to look forward to the time when he will be able to quit active playing and devote all of his tremendous energy to managing his team.  The time
was when the notion of Cobb as anything but an active player would have seemed impossible.  But today the prospect of Cobb becoming a bench manager does not sound so strange.  In handling a team Cobb has lost little of that aggressive spirit that always
marked him as a player,  On the contrary, he not only has retained that, but seems to have imbued his players with the same sort of spirit.  It is only fair that I shall mention the fact that Mr. Tyrus Raymond Cobb is a decided success as a manager,
because I was of the skeptics."  (Sporting News, August 14, 1924, Scribbled by Scribes by W. O. McGeehan)
Sammy Barnes 1973  -  But Barnes said that Cobb was "the most aggressive and most fearless person to ever play in the majors"  When describing the fight with Billy Evans, "After Billy Evans took his shower, with just a towel around his waist, he came over in the
Tigers 2b, 1921 Detroit dressing room, held his hand out and said, 'Well, Ty, you got the best of it.'  The Detroit players clapped, applauding Billy's good sportsmanship. . . Cobb was not personally popular with his players, though there was just no way to keep from
admiring his abilities as a ball player.". . . ."Off the field when Ty wasn't upset about something, he wasn't a bad guy.  But when he put on that uniform it was a case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde--two completely different personalities."
(Birmingham News, February 25, 1973, interview with Zipp Newman, Birmingham, Ala., (AP),  February 25, 1973)

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