Home Page

Baseball Analysis  Bill Burgess / Research & Analysis

Ty Cobb [From Bill Burgess' Ty Cobb Memorial Collection]
How Racist Was Ty?

Was Cobb the greatest all-around baseball player who ever lived?  PART II - PART III


By Bill Burgess III

Deposing the Witnesses What They Actually Said:  The Historical Testimony of the Witnesses
Ty Cobb's Fielding (1905-28)
Tris Speaker(AL OF & Man.,'07-28) 1917  -  "as an outfielder Ty Cobb is unusually good.  I think his weakness, so far as he has any, is in his throwing arm. Not that his arm is weak by any means but it is not his strongest point."
(Baseball Magazine, March, 1917, pp. 85, Winning the Batting Championship by Tris Speaker)
Harry Hooper(AL OF, '09-25) 1917  -  "Ty Cobb is a good outfielder but not the best. No one can cover any more ground than Ty.  He is very fast, and ranges widely both to right & left.  But he is more apt to get the hard ones than the easy ones & his throwing arm is not in the
class with Lewis(Duffy) or Milan(Clyde)". (Baseball Magazine, June, 1917,  pp. 292, "The Secret of Good Outfielding", by Harry Hooper)
Eddie Collins, AL 2B,'06-30,   White Sox man.,1925-26 1932  -  "Ty certainly had superiors in the outfield, though it seems to me that he never received quite the credit that was due him on defense.  He was a much better outfielder than many people supposed.  But his fielding was completely eclipsed by
Phil. A's coach, 1929-32,   Red Sox VP,Buss. man., treasurer, 1933-51 his work elsewhere". (Baseball Magazine, August, 1932, pp. 395, The Winning Temperament, from an interview with Eddie Collins)
Joe Wood,  (AL P, OF,  1908-22) 1912  -  Joe Wood was not only a teammate of Tris Speaker when he wrote this, but Tris' roommate and best friend.  "Tris Speaker has played a wonderful game this year.  It is his great work which has shown up so strongly and which accounts so largely for
the Red Sox' success.  Many people compare Speaker with Ty Cobb.  I suppose the Chalmers Automobile Commission will have to choose between these two for the final honor.  Personally, I think Speaker on many accounts should get the prize, and at that, I
am willing to admit there is only one Ty Cobb.  Ty is a better batter than Speaker, he is a better base runner.  Everyone will concede that.  He has always been more daring, more resourceful, although Speaker is fast breaking into that department of the
the game as well.  But Speaker is a better fielder than Ty Cobb.  He covers more ground, has as good if not a better throwing arm and while many people think that Cobb can run back an outfield fly farther than any other player in the game.  I do not
think he has anything on Speaker in this respect.  Speaker often plays well in, backing up second base in good shape, but he can go back into the outfield territory for a hard batted drive as far as anybody I ever saw.  I think Speaker is superior to Joe
Jackson admitting that Joe is a wonderful player in every department of the game and Joe, too, has one point in which he exceeds not only Speaker and Ty Cobb, but everyone else in the business.  He can throw from deep outfield farther than anybody I ever
saw.  I firmly believe there is no man in either league who can throw a ball as far as Jackson, but in several games where I have watched his peculiar ability in this line I have noticed that he is not always accurate in his throws and much of the
advantage which should come to him from this ability is lost through wildness.  Jackson, of course, is a very great player and still young.  He has been greatly handicapped by lack of early training, and I believe has not always had the encouragement or
good coaching to bring out the best of his talents.  No doubt he will improve in coming seasons and if he could play in the East as well as he does in the west, he would beat them all out.  Jackson bats at a .500 clip in his own city or on the average
western tour but for some reason cuts that in half on his eastern excursions.  Why this is so, no one knows.  It is one of the peculiarities of baseball and baseball players.  It is hard to compare these three players, for they all excel in some one
point or more.  Oddly enough, they are all Southerners, and all wonders.  They are far and away the greatest outfielders in the game, bar none.  It is very fortunate for the red Sox that they have on their club one of these three players.  No one can
appreciate better than a pitcher the worth of a man who covers acres of ground, has a sure and deadly throwing arm and bats in the near neighborhood of .400.
 (Baseball Magazine, November, 1912, pp. 52, "Joseph Wood, Esquire--Pitcher.", by John J. Ward, pp. 49-60)
George Sisler (AL 1B, Man., '15-28) (NL 1B, '28-30) 1931  -  "In the outfield Ty was not supposed to be a star, but he always impressed me favorably.  He was fast & could cover acres of ground.  He certainly knew how to judge opposing batters as well as anyone
ever did.  But Ty's extraordinary batting & baserunning threw his fielding into the shade.  This didn't mean he wasn't a great outfielder.  It meant that he was an even greater batter & baserunner".
(Baseball Magazine, April , 1931, pp. 484, column 1 & 2,  "The Greatest Player I Ever Saw, Comprising an Interview With George Sisler, pp. 483-484)
Babe Ruth      (AL P,OF, '15-34) 1936  -  "They'll tell you he wasn't much of a fielder, but he was good enough.  I know he took a lot of base hits away from me out there." (March 20, 1936, St. Petersburg, FL)
Stan Coveleski    (AL P, '16-28) 1961  -  "In the outfield he was terrific." (The Sporting News, September 13, 1961,  pp. 15, column 4)
Billy Wambsganss       (AL 2B, '14-25) 1984  -  "He wasn't the greatest centerfielder in the world, by any means, but he was adequate." (Forgotten Fields by Paul Green,1984, pp. 47)
Max Bishop    (AL 2B, 1924-35) 1942 - "He may not have been a great fielder, but he could hold up his end."(Sporting News, April  2, 1942, pp. 1)(Greatest Player survey) Sporting News mailed out over 100 letters to former ML stars & managers. It asked, "Who do you consider the greatest
(Ty's A's teammate,1927-28) ball player of all time?  Why?"
Connie Mack 1950  -  "One of the finest outfielders I have known was Ty Cobb.  He is written down in baseball history for many other accomplishments: I do not believe that he has been given full credit for his achievements as a fielder.  Cobb was a real "ball hawk."
NL catcher(1886-96), AL manager(1901-50) He knew, somehow, at the instant the pitcher let go of the ball where it was going to be hit, and times without number he would move to the spot in time for the catch when there was no earthly reason for him to be there. 
He had a peculiar way of catching a fly ball which hasn't been duplicated & which I would not recommend to anyone else; I doubt if anyone but Cobb could do the trick. On a fly, Cobb wouldn't look at the ball. He would look down at the ground & catch the 
ball directly over his head without even looking.Ty was very much misunderstood by many fans around the country but there is no player in the history of the game who excelled him in all-round ability. "From Sandlot to Big League, Connie Mack,1950,pp.59-60)
Rogers Hornsby (NL pl. 1915-37) 1961  -  "Cobb was the greatest ball player of all time and will never be equaled.  Most record books simply talk about his hitting and base stealing.  But he was a great outfielder with a great arm." (immediately after Ty died in July,'61)
ML man.'26,28,30-37,52-3,58-59 1961  -  "He was a winner all the time.  Ty would do anything to win a ball game, but when he got off the field, he was a perfect gentleman.  Ty was a tremendous outfielder. . He was outstanding in everything."  (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 18, 1961)
John B. Sheridan, St. Louis sp. wr. (1880's-1929) 1926  -  "He was not rated as a great fielder, but he did get everything in the field that any other man could do--cover ground, go get them, sure hands, a good man on a ground ball and a good thrower.  His style was not so graceful or facile as that of
Sporting News column, "Back of Home Plate", 1917-29 some great fielders, but I never could see any weakness in his fielding." (Sporting News, Nov. 11, 1926, pp. 4, column 6)
Charles A. Comiskey, White Sox owner(1901-31) 1910  -  "As for Cobb's fielding prowess, no manager could ask for a better man to play in right field, although doubtless there have been men who played the batsmen better and men who threw more accurately.  No one will question the assertion that Cobb
ML 1B(1882-94) covers as much ground as any player ever did, and as he catches almost everything he reaches, and reaches lots of balls that other fielders could not reach,  I don't see what more any one could ask of him.  He has a good throwing arm, and, what is better,
he is not afraid to use it. He lets go of the ball the minute he knows where he is going to throw, and he usually thrown to the right place. On recovering long, and short hits to the outfield the Detroit man has few equals. "New York Times, April 17, 1910)
George Moriarty, (AL 3B, 1906-17) 1934  -  "When Ty Cobb came to the big leagues back in 1905 he was an awkward and ordinary outfielder.  His burning ambition and readiness to work on his weaknesses raised him within a few years to the baseball heights.  To watch Cobb chasing flies in his
AL ump (1917-41,  except for Detroit manager,1927-28) prime was to see the supreme master and judge of distance, direction and speed.  It seemed that the crack of the bat was the signal by itself for sending Cobb to the right spot.  He looked the part of the born ball player, to him fly chasing was as
instinctive as eating, but it was well known that he was developed out of a rookie, as most ball players are.  But in contrast to Cobb there was Tris Speaker who was what may be termed a finished fielder when he reached the big leagues.  His development
merely came earlier, and perhaps, easier.  As an infielder, George Sisler may be placed in this class also.  He was a highly finished product during his college days at the University of Michigan, so that when the St. Louis Browns signed him to a
professional contract in 1915 they had what some people called a "born" ball player. (Scholastic Coach, Footwork in Baseball by George Moriarty, March, 1934, pp. 10)
Bill Phelon,  Chicago spwr. 1889-1909,  NY spwr. 1910 1915  -  "On the defensive, there was, to my way of thinking, no choice between Lange and Cobb.  Both could cover enormous outfield territories: both were marvelously sure when they got their hands upon the ball.  I think Lange had the better throwing arm
Cincinnati Times-Star sports editor (1910-1925) of the two.  Moreover, Lange, originally a catcher by trade, could be brought in from the gardens and used anywhere in case of need, and played all the infield places capably for Chicago at one time or another. 
 (Baseball Magazine, August, 1915, pp. 47-48, "Handicaps of the Early Season, by William A. Phelon, pp. 41-50)
John B. Foster,  NY sportswriter  (1887-1941) Hugh S. Fullerton in Golfer tells of a remarkable play in base running-yet one not remarkable for Cobb,for, as a friend remarked, "He pulls that stuff all the time.  "Mr. Fullerton describes Cobb in a game in Detroit some years ago.  "Late in the game,
Editor-in-Chief of the Official Spalding Base Ball Guide(1908-41) he made a play which opened my eyes.  A runner was on second base when a short fly was hit over second into center.  Cobb could have handled it without an effort.  The second baseman or shortstop could have caught it, but it would have required a fast
NY Giants business manager & secretary  (1912-1919) start.  Cobb claimed the catch the instant the ball was hit.  "Instead of starting for it at top speed he leaped forward, seemed to hesitate, started slowly and half stopped.  Bush, who evidently knew the system, started out hard as if to try to catch the
ball.  Cobb yelled something.  Bush stopped and backed up.  The ball was falling and Cobb was still lagging.  It looked fifty to one the ball would fall safe.  The runner on second thought he saw the ball falling, thought Cobb didn't have a chance to make
the catch and he leaped toward third.  As he did so Cobb sprang forward with a wonderful sprint, made a desperate shoe-string catch, came up with the ball and tossed it to second, doubling the runner off the bag.  He had made a play where there was none--
had deliberately plotted to deceive the runner into believing the ball would fall safe, and had risked making a desperate catch to get the chance for a double  play." (NL Spalding Baseball Guide, date uncertain)
Hugh Fullerton, Chicago spwr. 1893-1930's 1935  -  "Beside being the best base runner and hitter he was a magnificent fielder and a fine thrower until he hurt his arm, but it was his indomitable spirit that made him the leader.
Ban Johnson (Cinc.spwr.,1886-1890) (AL Pres.,'01-27) 1929  -  "In addition a great fielder in his prime."  (Sporting News, March 14, 1929, pp. 5, column 2)
Jack Kofoed 1925  - "the versatility of Cobb's attack, which proved his keen baseball intelligence - of a higher degree, certainly, than the Sultan's of Swat) - is enough to give him the edge. In the field there can be little room for argument, Ruth is by no means  
Phil, NY, Miami spwr.  (1912-79) a poor fielder, but nature did not build him with the ranging power that was given Cobb.  He has unquestionably a stronger arm, but Ty has made better use of his, if "assist" averages can be given credence. . . No one can claim that Ty was less than a
busy man in the field.  In this respect he heads Ruth at every department. . . . In addition, he went out, and gobbled flies that the more ponderous Yankee star could never have garnered. . . . But, purely in the business of outfielding, which is the only
one on which he and Cobb can be compared, he was definitely the Georgian's inferior. . . . On these figures it seems to me that Ty Cobb deserves a higher rating than does Babe Ruth at the top of the baseball ladder."
(Baseball Magazine, July, 1925, pp. 353-355, "Who Is the Greatest, Cobb or Ruth?", by Jack C. Kofoed)
Joe Sewell,(AL SS,'20-33) Yank coach('33-35) (B.Ruth teammate,'31-34) 1983  -  "He was fast, a great outfielder, great hitter, and he was highly intelligent.  Don't forget that." (Baseball Digest, 1983)
Ferdinand Cole Lane 1916  -  Aty centre all will acknowledge that Ty Cobb is something of a batter, but to give Ty due justice, he would never have been a star of the 1st magnitude as a fielder.  He covers much ground, to be sure, but his throwing arm is not particularly
Baseball Magazine, Editor-in Chief & sp. wr. (1910-38) good.  Certainly Ty is not in the same class with Clyde Milan as a fielder, to say nothing of Tris Speaker and several others.  Milan is nearly a perfect fielder, probably second only to the peerless Tris.  He is also a good batter, but his fielding is
best.  (Baseball Magazine, July, 1916, pp. 38-39, column 2, "Batting or Fielding --- Which?", by Ferdinand C. Lane, pp. 33-41)
Joe Jackson's Fielding (1911-1920)
Ferdinand Cole Lane 1916  -  "As a fielder, while not in the same class as Harry Hooper or Clyde Milan, Joe is certainly not poor.  In fact, he is very good.  Furthermore, his throwing arm is tremendously strong & his speed is great, though not always utilized to the full."
Baseball Magazine, Editor-in Chief & sp. wr. (1910-38) (Jackson, continued) (Baseball Magazine, 1916, AL All-Star team)
1916  -  "Joe Jackson isn't a wonderful fielder and his throwing arm, although strong, isn't always backed up by equally good judgment in direction.  But who would keep a player off the outfield squad with a possible .400 ave. in his bat.?
(Baseball Magazine, July, pp. 38, column 1, "Batting or Fielding --- Which?, by Ferdinand C. Lane, pp. 33-41)
1916  -  "And he is a fielder with few superiors." (Baseball Magazine, December, 1919, AL All-Star team)
Tris Speaker  (AL OF & Man.,'07-28) 1917  -  "Joe Jackson has a strong arm but I would say that his aim is not always accurate & that he has not at made the most of this undoubted talent which he possesses."
(Baseball Magazine, March, 1917, pp. 85, column 3, "Winning the Batting Championship", by Tris Speaker)
Harry Hooper  (AL OF, '09-25) 1917  -  "Joe Jackson has great natural talents. He is by no means a poor outfielder as some people would have us believe.  He is a good one.  but it is fair to admit that his forte is in batting rather than fielding." (Baseball Magazine, June, 1917)
George Moriarty, (AL 3B, 1906-17) 1929  -  "In the matter of sheer natural ability, I believe Joe Jackson surpassed every outfielder that ever came to the major leagues.  That opinion was once ventured by Frank Navin, who happens to be one of the keenest judges of baseball talent under
AL ump (1917-41,  except for Detroit manager,1927-28) the big top.  I have never heard Jackson analyzed in that manner before, but after glancing back through the big parade of rookies that have bowed in and out of major league premises, I doubt if any expert can help but concur in that view.  Of course,
Of course, back of that opinion that Jackson stood highest in that one vital respect, it is obvious that he failed to develop his inherent skill.  Nevertheless, he had the distinction of being a star by virtue of mechanical ability alone.  If he had
possessed the baseball brain of a Cobb or a Speaker, he might have shared the pedestal with these once super-stars.  Jackson's mechanical power was amazing.  He was tall, and had a great natural eye which made him a potential batsman.  He sprinted over
the outfield territory with ease and grace in long strides, and rivaled Bob Meusel as a thrower.  "Mister Joe" as he preferred to be called, was a dead catch on flies, yet, he made no effort to give a close or scientific exhibition of outfielding.  He was
entirely lacking in initiative, and never resorted to tricks or subterfuge to put something over on the opposition.  Jackson should have been one of the greatest base runners in the game, on account of his speed, but the fine points of pilfering were
foreign to him.  By an odd twist of the fates, Jackson just missed becoming a member of the Detroit Tigers when he was a busher.  On the day the Detroit ivory-hunter chose to watch the big fellow do his stuff, Joe placidly galloped through nine innings in
his stocking feet.  The searcher of talent immediately concluded that Jackson was too goofy to get by in the big leagues, and left the park in disgust.  Jackson later defended his act with the explanation that spiked shoes hurt his feet.  The nickname
"Shoeless Joe" was the result of that unique incident.  At the plate one day after he had biffed a long hard foul, the catcher complimented Jackson in this wise: "How do you bust them so hard, Joe?"  And the elongated Jackson naively replied,
"Don't know--I jes' swing, and they go safe."  That remark probably reflected Jackson's make-up.  He just did things on the ball field, and could give no illuminating reason for it.  Jackson's admirers always liked to believe that he was led into the
Black Sox affair of 1919, and would have followed the straight line of duty if he had been accustomed to self-assertiveness." (Baseball Magazine, Feb. 1929, pp. 430-431, "On the Bench With George Moriarty, by George Moriarty)
Babe Ruth's Fielding (1915-35)
John B. Foster,  NY sportswriter  (1888-1941) 1938  -  "Ruth could make marvelous catches of fly balls that were as spectacular in their cleverness as made by any outfielder playing ball.  Especially was this true of those long high flies which, to a slower man, it would have been impossible
Editor-in-Chief of the Official Spalding Base Ball Guide(1908-41) to get under." (Spalding Official Baseball Guide, 1938, put out in early 1938)
NY Giants business manager & secretary  (1912-1919)
Ban Johnson,  (AL Pres.,'01-27) 1929 - And then I thought of Cobb, Speaker and Ruth and I discarded all others.  These men represent the pick of all-time in any man's league. You simply can't escape them.  Cobb is unexcelled-unequaled I should have said.  The greatest runner, the
Cinccinnati spwr., 1887-93 greatest hitter and the most powerful attacking force the game ever knew, - In addition a great fielder in his prime.  And as to Ruth, well, he is still with us and going at his best.  Many believe Ruth just a slugger and a home run showman.  That is not
the truth.  Ruth is a great player as well as a great hitter.  He is a splendid fielder and a good base runner for his size.  He is a better thrower than Cobb was, and Ty was good in his earlier days.  He has the baseball instinct, as shown by the fact
that he has played first base and has pitched, and at each position he has been successful to a high degree.  In my opinion, Ruth is not outshone by the other two outfielders named.  He is one of the greatest players that ever lived, in my opinion.
(Sporting News, March 14, 1929, pp. 5, column 2)
George Sisler 1931 - "He is really  a great outfielder, one of the greatest.  He plays batters correctly, covers a lot more ground than you'd think he'd be able to do with his bulk, and has one of the deadliest throwing arms ever known.  Besides, Babe has an accurate
(AL 1B,Man.,'15-28)(NL 1B,'28-30) baseball judgment and never throws to the wrong base." (Baseball Magazine, April, 193l, pp. 484, "The Greatest Players I Ever Saw, Comprising an interview, by George Sisler, pp. 484-485)
Shirley Povich (Wash. sp.wr.'22-74) 1959  -  "As a defensive outfielder he was top-hole despite his great bulk, and his throwing arm was one of the most feared." (Baseball Digest, March, 1959, Washington Post, pp. 42, 43)
Christy Mathewson  (NL pitcher,'00-16) 1924  -  "Most enthusiasts think of Ruth only as a mighty batsman.  As a matter of fact, he is a very finished outfielder with a marvelous throwing arm. . . Ruth plays a hard-hit ball as well as any outfielder in the business.  He goes after a ground ball'16-17), Giants' coach('19-20), Reds Pres.('23-25) like an infielder, and for all his size he is a smart and daring base runner.  (Collier's, The National Weekly, Oct. 11, 1924, pp.45)
Ed Rumill 1947  -  "Few modern fans may realize it, but Babe Ruth was a great outfielder.  We mean defensively.  The Babe rarely dropped a ball he got his glove on and nobody can remember when he threw to the wrong base.  How did he get that way?  Not by sitting
(Christian Science Monitor spwr. (1930-72) around, watching other outfielders practice."  (Baseball Magazine, September, 1947)
Joe Wood 1975  -  ". . .Ruth?. . . But he wasn't just a great pitcher and a great hitter, he was a great outfielder.  His throws were very accurate and he made long throws.  He was a good ballplayer.  Great ballplayer. (Baseball Research Journal,1987, #16, pp. 54)
AL pitcher & OF ('08-22) (This was a reproduced 1975 interview by Mark Alvarez)
Hugh Fullerton,    (Chicago spwr., 1893-1930's) 1936  -  "By common consent, Ruth was the hardest hitter of history; a fine fielder, if not a finished one; an inspired base runner, seeming to do the right thing without thinking. He had the most perfect co-ordination of any human animal I ever knew.
Ferdinand Cole Lane 1923  -  "His huge bulk prohibits speed on the bases or in the field.  Babe is fast for his size, but that lets him out.  Furthermore his fielding at best is fair, if not mediocre. ( Baseball Magazine, June, 1923, pp. 291)
Baseball Magazine, Editor-in Chief (1910-38) 1924  -  "Babe Ruth is baseball's greatest drawing card.  His all round value, considering his terrific hitting, is perhaps unequaled.  But Babe will never see the day when he ranks with Pep Youngs as an outfielder, taking into consideration only the
playing of that important position.  Ruth knows batters and he plays them correctly. He can camp under a high fly as well as the next man.  He has one of the greatest throwing arms ever seen in the outfield.  But when you have said this, you have said it
all.  Babe is rather clumsy.  He isn't specially fast.  He's not a great outfielder.  Pep Youngs is all these things, and he also has a whip as deadly as a rifle. (Baseball Magazine, June, 1924, pp. 307, Comprising interview with Ross Youngs by F.C. Lane)
1946  -  "But there also were numerous occasions when the Babe made plays which he had craftily thought up beforehand.  Such as the day he played left field in Detroit and trapped no less an experienced hand than Charley Gehringer into thinking a fly
ball had cleared the fence for a homer instead of coming down for an easy out.  This was before the present double deck stands had been erected in what then was call Navin Field.  There was just a board fence in left and to the Babe one day it occurred
that with a runner on second it could be possible, with a high fly ball hit out toward left, to fake all the notions of a dejected outfielder who knows a homer is about to sail over his head.  So he bided his time and one afternoon it came.  With
Gehringer on second, a high fly soared out to left.  The Babe ran back to the fence, looked up at the ball for a moment and then with a motion of utter disgust shrugged his shoulders and cast his eyes on the ground. It was a beautiful piece of acting and
fooled Gehringer completely.  Certain the ball was clearing the fence, the Tiger second baseman headed for home.  And in that same moment Ruth darted  forward,  got his eyes back on that ball and caught it some five feet in front of the fence.  Doubling
up Gehringer at second was then a simple matter.  Of course, in order to accomplish the trick an outfielder must be equipped with the gift of being able to take his eye off the ball for an appreciable length of time.  But then the effervescent Babe Ruth
was ever a very gifted hand at anything he tried on a ball field.  (Baseball Magazine, 1946)
Tris Speaker(AL OF & Man.,'07-28) 1928  -  "I have been asked my opinion of great outfielders I have known.  By outfielders I mean solely the ability to play the position quite apart from batting or base running talent.  I will say, without hesitation, that Babe Ruth is one of the half dozen greatest outfielders I ever saw.
This is aside from his slugging ability, which is unrivaled, and his base running ability which is much greater than is commonly supposed.  Purely as an outfielder, Babe will rank among the game's greatest.  He was not always so.
When he first shifted from the pitching slab to the outfield, he did not seem to take his work seriously.  His thoughts were mainly devoted to his batting.  No doubt they still are.  But for all that, Babe has become a great outfielder.  He covers a lot of ground, primarily because he plays the batter correctly.
He has a sure pair of hands, a wonderful throwing arm and he always knows exactly what to do with the ball when he gets it. (Baseball Magazine, October, 1928)
Ty as his peers saw him
John McGraw 1930 -  His (McGraw's) deepest admiration went out to Ty Cobb, because Cobb was another firebrand always out to win.  The first two qualities he looked for were fight and brains because he knew they were game-winners. (Collier's, April 5, 1930)
NL pl (1891-06), exc. '01-02,  (Giants man., '02-32) 1930  -  "My choice of an all-time, all-star team?  I'll tell you:  Honus Wagner, shortstop and lead-off man, Ty Cobb in center, Willie Keeler in right field, Babe Ruth in left,batting fourth, Lou Gehrig behind him and at first, Rogers Hornsby at second,
AL man. Balt. 1901-02 Jimmy Collins at third,  Roger Bresnahan catching and Christy Mathewson and Walter Johnson pitching.  What a team of sweet hitting, sweet fielding, sweet pitching players that would be.  I'd include Ruth as a drawing card and a home run hitter, rather
than as a player.  But nothing like that will ever happen in baseball, for every manager will always have one or two weak spots. (Sporting News, Nov. 20, 1930,  pp. 7,  column 6)
1931  -  …Bob Davis asked John J. (McGraw) who was the best all-around player in the history of the game, and without a moment's hesitation came back with the answer:  "Honus Wagner.  In my humble opinion, he stands out as the supreme figure.  Wagner
had everything, and when I say that, every baseball fan in the United States knows what I mean. Ty Cobb is a close second.  There are a number of other players who have special gifts, but Wagner and Cobb had all the gifts.  I doubt if the next generation
will see their equal."  So McGraw's vote is for Wagner.  Anson's was for Cobb and Comiskey's was, and is for the Peach.  (The Sporting News, March 19, 1931, pp. 4, column 3) by Ernest Lanigan)
1931  -  "Wagner could do everything required of a ball player." said McGraw as he sat in the Giants' dugout in the Polo Grounds.  "he had tremendous hands and in addition to his great playing ability, had a wonderful disposition and was easy to handle.
I'll place Cobb second and Keeler third.  Al Simmons is my next pick as I consider him the greatest ball player of the present day.  Like Wagner, he is a right-handed hitter of power and can field his position splendidly and throw fast and accurately.
Simmons is no dumb ball player, either.  My own first baseman, Bill Terry, is included in my selection.  He is really a great ball player and the best first baseman I have ever seen." (Philadelphia Ledger newspaper, C. William Duncan, late July, 1931)
(Survey asked 12 major league managers and coaches, who they thought were the 5 greatest all-around baseball players who ever lived.)
Honus Wagner 1909 - "Cobb is the fastest man I have ever seen," he told The Sporting News.  "I never thought he could have that much speed.  I heard a lot about Cobb, and how fast he was, but he surprised me by the speed he showed on the bases in the World Series.
NL pl. 1897-1917 Cobb is what I call a perfect player.  He lacks nothing.  There is not a thing a ballplayer should have that Cobb hasn't got, and he's got a bunch of things that no other ballplayer has." (Carnegie Union, Oct.21,1909)  A month after the Series had ended,
Pirates coach,  1933-51 Wagner joined Cobb in the fields near Macon, Georgia.  The Sporting News quoted Wagner as saying: "I could have had a crack at a ground squirrel or two and perhaps a barnyard chicken, but as for hunting, Georgia won't do.  Mr. Cobb is one of the most
genial gentlemen I have ever met, but there are two things we will never agree on--game and baseball…The South is all right, and Cobb's all right, too, but I wish he hadn't told me about the swell hunting in Georgia." (The Sporting News, Dec.16,1909)
Undated  - "I always liked Ty.  He was a fighter and he knew it was a fellow's duty to protect himself out there.  Lots of 'em had trouble with Ty, but I never did." (The History of Baseball, by Allison Danzig & Joe Reichler, 1959, pp. 170)
Rogers Hornsby   (NL pl.1915-37) 1931 - "Ty Cobb was Hornsby's hero, and this is what he had to say about him:  "Of course, I never saw Cobb when I was a kid, because the Tigers didn't ever come to Fort Worth, and I didn't ever get very far from it.  But as far back as I can remember,  I
ML man. 1926, 28, 30-37 ,52-3, 58-59 wanted to be a great hitter, and I guess there never was  a greater hitter than Cobb.  So he was my hero and, on account of him,the Tigers were my favorite team, and I followed him and the Tigers through the newspapers every day.  I first saw him
in the spring of 1916, when I was with the Cardinals in training at San Antonio and we went to Waxahachie, where the Tigers trained, to play an exhibition game.  I didn't say anything to him and he didn't say anything to me, but I got a thrill       
out of watching him because in those days he was plenty good.  He handled a bat like a billiard-cue, and he was on fire every time he got on the bases.  Later I got to know him real well, and to like him as much as I thought I would when I was a kid."
(Baseball Magazine, May, 1931, pp. 347, "They Had Their Heroes, Too", by Frank Graham)  (This article was excerpted in Literary Digest, Jan. 2, 1932)
1961 - "Cobb was the greatest ball player of all time and will never be equaled. Most record books simply talk about his hitting and base stealing. Ty was a tremendous outfielder with a great arm. He was outstanding in everything. Cobb was called a dirty
ballplayer because he went into a base with his spikes high but he never hurt anybody. It was his way of playing ball. He was a winner all the time. Ty would do anything to win a ball game,
but when he got off the field, he was a perfect gentleman.  He was outstanding in everything." (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 18, 1961)
1962  -  "Ty Cobb, who in my opinion is the greatest player of all time, still holds the stolen-base record of 96 he set in 1915, the year I came to the major leagues.  Now cob--I've played against him in exhibitions and managed against him in the 1921
Winter League in California when he managed the San Francisco Seals and I managed the Los Angeles Angels.  He was a helluva competitor. . . He led the American League in stolen bases 6 times.  Led the league in batting 12 times.  And, as I've said all
through this book, he was the greatest player I ever saw.
Now Babe Ruth. They may have written more about the Babe than about George Washington or Abraham Lincoln. All I can say new about Ruth is that he hit for power--not average--and had a lifetime batting average of .342. Dead ball or lively ball, he'd hit 60
home runs if they were pitching him softballs." ( My War With Baseball, by Rogers Hornsby, as told to Bill Surface, 1962, pp. 247) (Author's note: Hornsby died Jan.5, 1963)
George Sisler 1931 - "For third place you simply must make room for Ty Cobb. Ty was the most brilliant ballplayer baseball has produced, the most daring, the most spectacular.  Ty was poison on the base-paths.  He completely disrupted infield defense.  At bat he always
(AL 1B,  '15-28)      (NL 1B,  '28-30) mixed ability with brains.  He had the most versatile batting attack on record.  I have publicly said many times that Ty was my own batting model, and he was.  I tried to learn place hitting by watching him.  No one that I ever heard of taught
St. Louis Browns manager, 1924-26 Ty how to bat.  But dozens of players owe a good deal of their own batting success to Ty's teaching. (Baseball Magazine, April , 1931, pp. 484, "The Greatest Player I Ever Saw, Comprising an Interview With George Sisler, pp. 483-484)
Boston Braves coach, 1930 1942  -  "If you played during the years that he was burning up the league, you cold never forget the Georgian. I know that I never will." (The Sporting News, April 2, 1942, pp. 1, Greatest Player survey)  Sporting News mailed out over 100 letters
 to former ML stars & managers.  It asked, "Who do you consider the greatest ball player of all time"  Why?"
1956  -  "The greatness of Ty Cobb was something that had to be seen, and to see him was to remember him forever." said George Sisler, ("The One and Only Cobb", by David Holland, for American Mercury, Sept., 1956, pp. 104)
"He was the greatest and most amazing ballplayer I ever saw," attested Hall of Famer George Sisler, himself a candidate for best-ever honors. (Cobb by Alvin Stump, 1994, pp. 28)
Babe Ruth 1931  -  Settling on Cobb for center field, the Babe told the Associated Press, "We've got to give it to Ty because of his offensive ability.  He was in a class by himself everywhere but on the defense.  I would rate Hap Felsch
(AL P, OF,  1915-34) of the Old White Sox and Tris Speaker far superior to Cobb on the defense.  Felsch was a greater ball hawk than Speaker, and what an arm had!  (New York Times, January 25, 1931, pp. S1)
Boston Braves OF,  1935 1933 -  "Ty Cobb was the greatest all-around ballplayer that he has even seen.  Babe Ruth declared in a recent fanning bee, in listing the stars he has seen in action during his long career on the diamond.  He placed Napoleon Lajoie first among the
Dodger's coach,  1938 greatest natural hitters, ranking Sam Crawford second and Joe Jackson third.  Walter Johnson was his choice of greatest pitcher, with Bob Grove second and Herb Pennock named the smartest.  Shucks Pruett, with his screw ball, was credited with giving the
Babe his greatest trouble at bat."  (Sporting News, Feb. 23, 1933, pp. 2, column 7)
1936  - "The greatest ballplayer I ever saw?  Well, I'll have to say Ty Cobb.  He could do more with a bat than any player in my time and I don't suppose there ever was a base runner like him.  They'll tell you he wasn't much of a fielder, but he was good
enough.  I know he took a lot of base hits away from me out there." March 20, 1936.  St. Petersburg - (Joe Williams Baseball Reader by Peter Williams, 1989, pp. 84.)
1945  -  "Babe Ruth Calls Ty the Greatest Player Ever To Don Spikes--New York, Aug. 24 (AP).--Babe Ruth worshippers might be shocked to learn that the old Bambino himself considers Ty Cobb the greatest ball player ever to don spikes.  The two ancient
rivals are on opposing sides again.  Cobb having come here from his California home to manage the Western All-Stars against Babe Ruth's Easterners in Esquire's boy's baseball game at the Polo Grounds Tuesday night.  "Make no mistake about that," bellowed
the home-run king.  The old boy was the greatest player I ever saw or hope to see.  When I was pitching I had fair success against all the other great hitters, but Cobb was one guy I never could get out.  I had a reputation as a slugger and I guess I
could him 'em pretty far at that, but that guy Cobb could do everything -- better than any player I ever saw. Old Georgia Peach was a great hitter, a spectacular fielder, a wonderful thrower and oh boy, how he could run. You think I set a lot of records,"
the Babe went on, wiping his brow, "why the old boy still owns, how many records is it, Ty?  Forty-two?"  "They say I used to scare pitchers just by strolling to the plate but those guys always had a remedy for me.  Whenever they were afraid I'd knock one
out of the park, they'd walk me and their worries would be over.  But once Cobb got on base then their worries really began.  He would upset not only the pitcher or catcher, but the infield as well by going from, first to third on a sacrifice bunt, 
scoring from second on an infield out, taking two bases on an outfield fly and making delayed steals.  "One of the biggest thrills I ever got out of baseball was to watch Cobb head into a base.  He always reminded me of Man-of-War tearing through the
homestretch.  Fans still talk about the home run I hit in the 1932 World Series off Charlie Root of the Cubs after I pointed to the right-field stands.  Well I once remember Cobb beating out 4 bunts down the third base line in one game against
Billy Bradley, a wonderful third baseman for Cleveland.  That was after Cobb warned Bradley he would bunt to him every time he got up.  Another time Cobb warned Lou Criger, a great catcher with Boston, that he would steal second, third and home on him
first chance he got.  Well, the first time up, Cobb walked and on three pitches stole second, third and home against the dumbfounded Criger.  "Yes, add that
to the fact Cobb led the league 12 times in 13 years, three times with over .400 averages, finished with a lifetime mark of .367 and tops all hitters in total hits, runs, triples, total bases and stolen bases and you have the greatest player of them all.
(Washington Post, Aug. 24, 1945, pp. 12)
1946 - "You can say for me that Ty Cobb was the greatest I ever saw, or ever heard about.  Play him towards left center and he'd hit down the right field foul line.  If you hugged the foul line he'd hit the ball into left center," Ruth thundered.  "When I
was pitching I'd always make him hit the dirt by throwing the ball at his right ear. He'd get up and try to knock the ball down my throat. When Cobb was on first, I'd count three and throw to second.  When I was pitching for the Red Sox, Heinie Wagner was
our shortstop.  Heinie'd block the bag, but Ty would cut him from ankle to knee with his spikes," Babe continued with gusto. "Why, Ty used to trim Home Run Baker's hair with his spikes.  I guess they play more polite baseball today.  In our day, Ty's and
mine, the infielders wore felt shin guards." (Baseball Digest, March, 1946, by Al Buck, "Cobb Greatest" vows Ruth, condensed from the New York Post.)
Walter Johnson 1924  -  Replying to the writer's query as to whom he considered the greatest all-around player player in the game, the pitcher said: That is a tough question, but if you insist upon an answer, my selection is Ty Cob.  My reasons are several.  He is one
Wash. Senators  pitcher,  1907-27 of the greatest, probably the greatest batter, that ever lived.  He is an excellent fielder and a most dangerous base runner.  In fact, he is a star of the highest ranking in every department of the game.  But the qualifications that I have already
Wash. Senators manager, 1929-32 mentioned are not the only measures of Cobb's usefulness.  It is the zest, the never-say-die spirit with which he plays that adds to his usefulness to the team.  The fight and fire of his enthusiasm of his play are confusing to his opponents and spur his
teammates to utmost efforts.  In physical and temperamental equipment Ty is unexcelled and these things have put him on a pedestal as a figure that especially appeals to young player.  
 (Washington Post, December 28, 1924, pp. SM4, "Walter Johnson's 20 Years On the Mound", as related to him by Lillian Barker)
Cleveland Indians manager, 1933-35 1925  -  "In 18 years, I have never had an unfriendly word with Cobb.  I consider him one of my best friends.  Even when I landed from the wilds of Idaho, a raw and frightened kid, Cobb treated me right."
"He was always willing to fight to win, but I don't believe Cobb ever picked a fight just for the sake of a row.  Leave him alone and treat him right and he is all you expect to find in a well-mannered Southern gentleman.  But start something unfair and
you'll get a fight--whether you're a ballplayer or a taxicab driver!  It didn't take me long to size him up as a hot-headed young fellow who didn't mean half the things he said." (Walter Johnson by Henry W. Thomas, 1995, pp. 145)
1925  -  "If you're talking about great players, Ty is in a class by himself." (Baseball Magazine, The Greatest Batters I Have Ever Faced, by Walter Johnson, June, 1925, pp. 291, 292, 327, 329; quote appears on pp. 292)
 (Essential article, discusses Lajoie, Joe Jackson, Speaker, Cobb, Eddie Collins, Frank Baker and of course, Babe Ruth.) I consider this essential reading.
1929  -  "Ty was the smartest player that I ever saw by so great a margin that I won't even bother to think who was second best.  And that's credit enough.  For brains are just as prominent in baseball as in any other profession.  Ty was always about
three jumps ahead of the crowd.  That's what made him such a wonderful star.  You could never dope out what he was going to do next.  Always, he had you guessing.  He had the infield up in the air.  He was continually getting the catcher's goat.  The 
outfield couldn't lay for Ty.  They never knew where he would drive the ball."
 (Baseball Magazine, October, 1929, pp. 487, 488, 517,  "The Greatest Players I Ever Saw", by Walter Johnson) (quote apears on pp. 488, 517.  Article covers; Waddell, Mathewson, Alexander, Joe Jackson, Ruth, Crawford, Cobb)
1931  -  "Cobb received another first-place vote from Walter Johnson, former great right-handed pitcher and now manager of the Washington Senators.  Johnson was lavish in his praise of the "Georgia Peach."  He gave Wagner second place and then named
Jackson, Ruth and Collins.  He had a hard time deciding between Collins and Speaker, with Eddie winning by a shade." (Philadelphia Ledger newspaper, C. William Duncan, late July, 1931) (Survey asked 12 major league managers and coaches, who they thought
were the 5 greatest all-around baseball players who ever lived.)
1942  -  "He could do everything better than any player I ever saw.  He was always the first one to detect weaknesses or mistakes of the opposition and benefit by the same." (The Sporting News, April 2, 1942, pp. 1 & 13) Greatest Player survey) Sporting
News mailed out over 100 letters to former ML stars & managers.  It asked, "Who do you consider the greatest ball player of all time"  Why?"
Branch Rickey 1965  -  "The great unrealized and almost never-mentioned contribution of Cobb to the winning of games was his constant wrecking of pitcher concentration on the pitch.  With Cobb on first, or any base for that matter, many pitchers over a period of, say,
ML catcher, OF, 1905-07, 1914 twenty years became simply "throwers."  He caused catchers to call for more pitch-outs by far than any player in the history of the game, thereby setting up constantly the three-and-one and two-and-nothing situations for the next batsman and giving
Browns manager, 1913-1915 repeated opportunity for the batsman to hit the "cripple.". . .  I never knew of any player other than Cobb practicing sliding with the intent of using the loose foot to kick the ball out of the baseman's hand.  He actually practiced that movement.  And
Cardinals manager, 1919-1925 Cobb could and did concentrate on it with great effect.  It led to the general charge throughout the American League that, on occasion, he intentionally spiked the tagged.  I don't think he ever spiked anyone intentionally. . . But he was not a cruel
Cardinals VP & Buss. manager, 1925-1942 player - not in my book.  One more word on Cobb on the subject of his hitting.  I may have left the impression that Cobb was not a power hitter.  On several occasions he would engage in a pre-game exhibition contest of power hitting.  It is said that he
Dodgers Pres. & GM, 1942-50 never lost a single contest.  He could drive a ball for tremendous distance when that was his only purpose.  I don't believe that Cobb, when batting, ever had a home run in his mind. . . . Cobb is to be understood rather than maligned unjustly. . .
Pirates VP & GM, 1951-59 The truth is that Cobb is the greatest one-game player in all baseball history.  He was the most positive character in the game.  He was baseball's most earnest and assiduous learner.  He was the greatest perfectionist, both on offense and defense.
Cardinals adviser, 1963-65 No player could come close to Cobb's record.  Probably no one will ever equal it.  Who's the greatest player that ever performed in the major leagues?  The vote would surely be Cobb or Wagner.  Take your pick.  Cobb had a psychological effect on
opponents which Wagner did not have. Wagner had a morale value among his teammates which Cobb did not have.  If I had first chance in making up an all-time All-American team for a season's play of 154 games, I would be compelled to choose Wagner.  But for
the game today:  Ty Cobb. (American Diamond, A Documentary of the Game, Branch Rickey, 1965)
Casey Stengel, NL OF 1912-25 1942  -  "I think he was the most sensational base-runner who ever lived.  He could get more base hits than any competitor simply by worrying the pitchers to desperation and crossing up the infielders." (Sporting News, April 2, 1942, pp. 1 & 13)  Greatest
Dodgers' manager, 1932-36  Player survey) Sporting News mailed out over 100 letters to former ML stars and managers.  It asked, "who do you consider the greatest ball player of all time?  Why?
Braves' manager, 1938-43 1961  -  "He was on the bases all the time, and could beat a ball club all by himself with his stealing and base-running…He was a good friend of mine.  I got some very nice encouragement and suggestions from him while I was managing the Yankees."
Yankees' manager, 1949-60 (Casey at the Bat by Casey Stengel, 1961, pp. 244)
Mets' manager, 1962-65 1975  -  "I never saw anyone like Ty Cobb.  No one even close to him as the greatest all-time ballplayer.  Ruth was sensational.  Cobb went beyond that.  When he wiggled those wild eyes at a pitcher, you knew you were looking at the one bird no one could
beat.  It was like he was superhuman.  (Cobb by Alvin Stump, 1994, pp. 27)
Tris Speaker 1918  -  "Take Ty Cobb, for instance, the most illustrious of batters, Ty is versatile almost beyond belief.  He can hit in any direction he pleases, as nearly as any batter can do so.  And yet Ty has his tendencies and his preferences.  When Ty is at bat
AL OF 1909-28 I do not play him exactly in the center of the outfield.  I play him in left centre.  For experience has taught me that he will hit more often in that direction than toward the opposite field.  Of course Cobb is one of the hardest men in the world to play
Indians manager, 1919-26 for.  Many outfielders make little or no attempt to play for him at all.  But the average player is by no means in that category."  (Baseball Magazine, August, 1918, pp. 825, Fine Points of the Game Which Are Lost on the Crowd, by Tris Speaker)
1920  -  Tris Speaker declared that "it goes without saying that Cobb still is the greatest ballplayer around," (Cobb by Alvin Stump, 1994, pp. 318)
1925   -  "There's no doubt in my mind that Ty is the best all-around hitter who ever lived," reiterated Tris Speaker.  "He can bunt, chop-hit, deliver long drives, or put balls out of sight." (Cobb by Alvin Stump, 1994, pp. 363)
1942  -  "He could do all that any player should do and had besides great competitive spirit and the willingness to take chances at all times. (Sporting News, April 2,1942, pp. 1 & 13)  Greatest Player survey) Sporting News mailed out over 100 letters to
former ML stars and managers.  It asked, "Who do you consider the greatest ball player of all time?  Why"
1944  -  "Yes, Cobb was the greatest I ever looked at," said Tris Speaker as we sat in the 4 and 20 Bar of the Hotel Carter.  "There have been some better fielders--say, like Hap Felsch--and some better throwers --take Joe Jackson, for instance--but when
everything is considered there has never been a man in baseball to equal Ty.  If he had a weakness at bat, it was a pitch right through the middle, because he hitting late.". . . I've known Ty well for all these years, and what a ball player he was!  As
a base runner I never saw him go out of his way to cut a man's legs off, but he read the rule books.  He knew that the paths belonged to the runner."  (Sporting News, January 6, 1944,  pp. 7, column 1, by Ward Morehouse, Cleveland, O.)
1950  -  Tris Speaker, one of the greatest outfielders of all-time, nominates Ty Cobb as the No. 1 player.  Speaker insists none could compare with Cobb.  "It was Ty's spirit," said Speaker, "that made him great.  It was the most competitive thing in
sports.  It not only actuated him; It kindled a flaming will to win in every member of Ty's team.  And it frequently developed hysteria in the opposing nine.  I know.  I always played against Ty until my last year in baseball.  Ty and I were then playing
for Philadelphia.  His youth had gone but the fire was there.  It was nice to be on his side."  (Sporting News, June 7, 1950, pp.16, column 5)
1954  -  "When we both were young and going good," he said, "the writers were kind enough to say of me that I was the closest thing to him.  Now, Let's not be immodest about this.  I was good and I knew it.  I had to know it because it says so in the
book.  But, good as I was, I never was close to Cobb and neither was Ruth or anybody else. . .   Ruth was a great ball player.  But, in my opinion, Cobb was even greater;  the Babe could knock your brains out, but Cobb would drive you crazy."
(Speaker, continued), (Baseball Digest, Nov. - Dec., 1954, pp. 93-96,  By Frank Graham)
Eddie Collins 1915  -  "What Johnson is to pitchers, in my opinion, Ty Cobb is to all other players.  There might be a good deal of discussion as to who is entitled to rank as the greatest player on the diamond, but not in my opinion when Cobb is still in the game.
AL 2B, 1906-30 His gifts are so unusual, so far above the next best, that he stands in a class by himself.  I have never seen and never expect to see from any other person such wonderful playing as Ty Cobb has performed at his very best when facing the Athletics and
White Sox manager, 1925-26 that may be better than his usual average.  It might well be and yet that average surpasses anything of which any other player is capable.  I frankly admit that I never expect, have never expected to equal Cobb as a ball player.  The best that any other
Phil. A's coach, 1929-32 player can hope for, in my opinion, is second place."  (Baseball Magazine, March, 1915, pp. 63-63, "Collins the Great", by Ferdinand C. Lane, pp. 47-63)
Red Sox VP,, treasurer, 1933-51 1924 - "Unhesitatingly I would say Ty Cobb [is the best ball player]. I won't attempt to describe him. You all know him. The most conspicious figure in the game for the past twenty years, whose wonderful natural ability, indomitable spirit, courage and
aggressivenress all have assisted to raise him to heights never reached by any other ball player. (Los Angeles Times, Apr 20, 1924, pg. J8)
1928  -  "I find it a trifle difficult to express concisely my esteem for Ty Cobb. Since my entry into Baseball, he has been my Model and I have striven to imitate his style of play.  To me, he seems Perfection, personified.  It doesn't seem sufficient to
to just say, "the greatest ballplayer of all time."  At one time bitterest rivals, it is most gratifying to me to become a team mate of Ty's, in the closing years of our careers.  I feel confident that this Most Excellent Biography of the game's Premier
Player will fill a long-felt want among Mr. Cobb's great host of admirers." Edward T. Collins,  Philadelphia American League Ball Club, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,                                  
 (Introduction to Ty Cobb:  The Idol of Fandom, by Sverre O. Braathen, of the Wisconsin Bar, 1928)                               
1931  -  Collins labeled Ty Cobb as the greatest player he ever saw.  For distance hitting, he made a bow to Babe Ruth. No one ever hit the ball as hard as the big Bambino.  Bur for all-around play-give
Eddie the Georgia Peach. (Sporting News, Feb. 26, 1931,  pp. 5, column 5)
1942 - "Why was Cobb the greatest? Obvious."(Sporting News, April 2,1942, pp. 1 & 13) (Greatest Player survey) Sporting News mailed over100 letters to former ML stars & managers. It asked,  "Who do you consider the greatest ball player of all time?  Why?"
1944  -  "Eddie Collins turned the tables on Ty Cobb when he learned that the former Detroit star had selected him as the ball player's ball player of all-time.  Ty was so far superior to any other player that no one else could touch him," Collins said. 
Despite his natural ability as a hitter and fielder, it was his everlasting determination to be the best and to improve himself that made him the greatest player of all time."  Agreeing with Cobb that Joe Jackson was the greatest of the game's hitters,
Collins explained that Jackson did not have the indomitable will that characterized Ty.  (Sporting News, December 14, 1944, pp. 14, columns 4 & 5)
1950   -   "There was never a more dynamic player than Cobb, and as long as it had to be a player of Ty's stature that dimmed my own shining star, I can't say I have any regrets.  He was in a class by himself.  It's to my disadvantage there was no player
greater before him or since.  In my opinion I'd have shown to much greater advantage if I had played in any era but the era of Cobb.  We were good friends during our playing days and remain good friends today.  There's another matter I'd like to get
straight now, too.  I want to correct the erroneous impression that Cobb deliberately went out of his way to spike opposing players.  It just wasn't so, and I was in a position in know - for many times I felt the lightning touch of his flying spikes.
He was a very aggressive and outstanding player.  He asked no quarter and gave none.  I can truthfully say I remember no time that he went out of his way to cut down another player.  He was a hard slider, and if that sounds like an awkward or cumbersome
phrase, let me explain that the next base was always his objective.  His spikes left their marks on countless players, but that was because he was such an aggressive, victory-hungry player.  If anyone blocked his way a collision was inevitable.  I know
from years of observation and close association with him as a rival player that he was an elusive slider who frequently slid away from a tag rather than adopt football tactics. (Sporting News, Oct. 18, 1950, pp. 14, column 1)
1950  -  "Ty Cobb had joined the team in 1927, as I previously stated, and our friendship blossomed into a close companionship.  In fact, it was Ty who embarked me on my career as a baseball executive." (Sporting News, Nov.8, 1950, pp. 13, column 1)
1950  -  "Then an ambition I had long harbored was finally realized.  Ty Cobb, the greatest of all baseball players, had been picked up by Connie Mack along with me.  I had always wanted to play on the same team with Cobb.  Ty's acquisition by Connie
Mack seemed as fantastic as the selection by Mr. Comiskey in 1924 of Chance as manager of the White Sox.  It just seemed inconceivable that Cobb would ever be seen in a uniform other than that worn by the Tigers.  He had the same indomitable spirit he had
when I first played against him years earlier, but the old legs had started to go and where the spirit was plenty willing the muscles refused to co-ordinate in the manner of other years.  His trigger-like brain however, was still functioning on all
cylinders and it was a joy to watch him in action." (Sporting News, November 1, 1950, pp. 14, column 5)
1924  -  "Some people used to ridicule that standing order in baseball, to throw the ball one base ahead of Ty.  but it was no joke.  It was frequently done.  In the old days you never could afford to take the slightest chance with Ty.  If you did, he
would generally outwit you.  His amazing dash and nerve and instantaneous get-a-way were a tricky and brilliant combination to beat.  There probably have been players faster than Ty on a straight-away dash.  I will even concede there have been players as
fast as he in getting down to first.  Burt Shotton was a veritable arrow in his day.  But Ty had them all stopped when it came to consistent, persistent, daring base-running at any and all times.  He was like compressed steam, always exerting pressure,
always searching out a weak spot here and there to display his seemingly inexhaustible and tireless energies.  Doubtless, when I have said Good-bye to baseball, there will appear in future days some young phenomenon whom scribes and public will hail as
greater than Ty Cobb.  But they will have some contract on their hands to convince me, and I will cheerfully travel a big distance for a chance to see that player when he appears.  For if he's better than Ty Cobb, it will be worth all the exertion of a
long journey just to see him perform on a diamond. . . . It has always been a regret in my career that I never saw Hans Wagner play.  generally conceded the greatest of shortstops, he must have been a wonder.  But I know of him only through hearsay.
(Collins, continued, Baseball Magazine, March, 1924, pp. 435-436, 16 Years As A Big League Star, by Eddie Collins, 435-437, 468)
1962  -  Barbara Tyler was private secretary to Collins for many years.  According to Miss Tyler, Collins never talked in glowing terms about any other player the way he did about Ty.  "If you ever wanted Mr. Collins to extol the virtues of a great ball
player, " Miss Tyler stated, "all you had to mention was Ty's name.  Then Mr. Collins would go on for hours telling about the greatest player who ever lived." (Sporting News, January 3, 1962, pp. 17, column 5)
Joe Jackson,  AL OF 1910-20 1942  -  "I naturally appreciate all the nice things Ty has said about me being the 'greatest hitter in baseball," but that is one time the Georgia Peach is wrong.
The greatest hitter and the greatest player I ever saw was one Tyrus Raymond Cobb." (Sporting News, Sept. 24, 1942, pp. 8, column 7)
Sam Crawford 1961,July  -  "One of the greatest of all ball players, but not the greatest.  I put him on the same level with Honus Wagner.  We always got along well, despite what people said.  We were friends."  "I regarded Cobb on a level with Honus Wagner as perhaps
Cinc. OF, 1899-1902 the greatest of all time, but would not pick Ty individually as the better of the two."
Detroit OF, 1903-17 1964  -  "Cobb was great, there's no doubt about that; one of the greatest.  But not the greatest.  In my opinion, the greatest all-around player who ever lived was Honus Wagner.  Cobb was a great ballplayer, no doubt about it.  But he sure wasn't' easy
Minor L. ;  LA Angels, 1918-21 to get along with.  He wasn't a friendly, good-natured guy, like Wagner was, or Walter Johnson, or  Babe Ruth. ... Well, who knows, maybe if he hadn't had that persecution complex, he never would have been the great ballplayer that he was. 
He was always trying to prove he was the best, on the field and off.  And maybe he was, at that." (The Glory of Their Times by Lawrence S. Ritter, March 27 & Aug.1, 1964, audio tapes, also pp. 59, 61 of book.
Cy Young, NL pitcher(1890-1900), AL pitcher(1901-11) 1951  -  "I never get tired of talking about him," he said.  "He was the greatest player I ever saw.  He'd drag a bunt or push a bunt or drive a ball through the mound so that your life was never completely safe at any time.  I had a little trouble with
him occasionally, but we were too busy trying to win to have any other problems." (Sporting News, May 23, 1951, pp. 7, column 4 & 5)
Bill Terry,  (NL pl. 1923-36),  (Giants manager, 1932-41) 1961  -  "The best baseball player in the world has died.  It is too bad for the profession that he had to leave us so that the young players coming up won't get to know him. He was a fighter till the last." (Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 18, 1961, pp. 26)
Lefty Grove,  AL P, 1925-40 1925  -  Before Cobb had eye surgery to remove a filmy growth from his eyes in early March, 1926, Cobb had complained during the '26 season that he had had trouble following the ball.  To which  Bob (Lefty) Grove had this to say.  "And he says he's going
blind.  There's nobody in the league I hate to pitch to more."  (Cobb by Alvin Stump, 1994, pp. 361)
Carl Mays, (AL pitcher, 1915-23), (NL pitcher, 1924-29) 1942  -  "Cobb could do everything - bunt, drag hit, run bases, field and think faster than a dozen ordinary ball players.  He made no errors of judgment and was a fighter who never heard the word 'quit.'  Babe Ruth was the greatest from the standpoint of
drawing power, but he had many weaknesses."  (Sporting News, April 2, 1942, Greatest Player survey) Sporting News mailed out over 100 letters to former ML stars & managers.  It asked, "Who do you consider the greatest ball player of all time?  Why"
1971  -  "If they ask, he'll tell them about Ty Cobb ("the greatest and the meanest ballplayer who ever lived") (Sporting News, Feb. 20, 1971, pp. 46, column 4, by Jack Murphy)
Jimmy Dykes,  AL 3B, 2B  (1918-1939) 1942  -  "He did everything perfectly." (Sporting News, April 2,1942, Greatest Player survey) Sporting News mailed out over 100 letters to former ML stars & managers. It asked,  "Who do you consider the greatest ball player of all time?  Why?"
AL manager  (1934-46, 51-54, 58-61) 1950  -  Dykes for Ty Over Babe  -  Roy Cannton, Los Angeles Mirror:  "Jimmy Dykes, who played third base in the American League for 23 years, disagrees strongly with the recent poll that tabbed Babe Ruth as the greatest player of the half-century.
AL coach  (1949-50,  63-64),  NL coach  (1955-59,  62) " 'Ty Cobb is the greatest ball player who ever pulled on a pair of shoes,' was the way Jimmy emphasized it.  " 'I'm certainly not questioning Ruth's greatness.  Babe had the glamour and he was good.  However, there isn't a player who ever lived who could
match Cobb's greatness in so many departments.  Name any phase of the game and you always end up agreeing that Cobb was the master.  It adds up to greatness.  The trouble with these polls is that too many of the voters never saw the men they were rating.
I've been lucky in that respect.  I started playing in the American League in 1916 and have remained in it--except for the two years I ran the Hollywood club."  (Sporting News, March 1, 1950, pp. 14, column 3)
1962  -  "There is no question about the man's greatness, and that should be the end of it," Jimmie replied.  ""I played with him and against him and had the greatest respect for the man on and off the field. . .Ty was distant off the field and there are
those who tend to degrade this type of person. But, that didn't bother Ty or detract from his great ability as a player.  As for the charges that he deliberately spiked his opponents, it's hogwash.  Ty was a hard competitor and all he asked for on the
playing field was what he was entitled to.  If he knocked out a base-hit, he wanted a piece of that base to arrive safely.  Naturally, if some clown was foolish enough to block the bag, he would have to suffer any consequences that might result."
(Sporting News, February 21, 1962, pp. 31, column 2)
1967 - "Picking the outfield is easy. In left, Ty Cobb, who knew every possible trick in the book that'd get him on and then show some new ones to us who got in his way.  No one has yet surpassed Ty as a hitter and baserunner and no one ever will." ( You
Can't Steal First Base" by Jimmy Dykes, 1967, pp. 205, 209)
1976  -  "But Cobb was the greatest all-around ballplayer of them all.  I played against him for years." (The Man In the Dugout by Donald Honig, 1977, pp. 283)
Bucky Harris, AL 2B,   1919-29,31 1925  - "I wasn't in the league when Cobb was at this best as a baser-runner.  But I found him always dangerous once he reached first.  If his legs had slowed up a bit, he headwork hadn't.  He was the best slider in the league.  I've never found a man
AL Manager,  24-56, exc.43-46, 49, 53-54,  harder to tag.  I might not have looked as good at second if  I'd been there when the Georgian was in his prime as a base-runner.  Cobb developed himself by hard work and using his brains.  Men who knew him whem he was breaking in said he worked twice as
Phillies Manager, 1943 hard as any of the other Detriot players.  He never loafed. His energy was amazing.  He was the finished product long before I entered the league.  He had perfected himself in every detail.  If you gave him half a chance he was sure to outguess you.  He
backed his natural speed with intelligent effort. Cobb was a self-made success if there ever was one.  In my judgement he was the greatest of them all." (Los Angeles Times, Feb 2, 1925, pg. 10) By 1931, Bucky had swung to Babe as the greatest player ever.
Ed Walsh,  AL pitcher, 1904-16 1933  -  "The greatest baserunner I have ever seen and certainly the equal of any man as an all-round player, was Ty Cobb.  He out-smarted 'em all." (Sporting News, Nov. 2, 1933,  pp. 6, column 5)
White Sox coach, (1923-25, '28-30), White Sox manager, (1924) 1940  -  "I was never greatly impressed by Babe Ruth.  He was in a class by himself, but he wasn't in it with Ty Cobb or Tris Speaker.  Of course, there were a lot of outfielders who had better throwing arms than Cobb.  When you go beyond fielding and his
weak arm, there was nothing like him in baseball--on the paths and hitting.  (Sporting News, Oct. 24, 1940, pp. 5, column 6)
George Moriarty, (AL 3B, '06-17)   (AL ump, '17-41,  exc. '27-28) 1930  -   "Do you think the game will ever produce another Cobb?"  Frankly, I do not believe that we shall ever see another player equal to Cobb at any future time.  The reason is logical. (Baseball Magazine, Jan., 1930, pp. 366)
Bobby Lowe,  NL 3B,SS (1890-03), AL (1904-07), Det. man., 1904 1914  -  "I have seen them all," said Bobbie Lowe, the veteran Boston and Detroit infielder, "but Cobb stands alone, the greatest of all time.  I doubt if there will ever be another like him." (Baseball Magazine, November, 1914)
Bill Bradley,  NL 3B (1899-03), AL pl. (1901-10), Clev. man. 1905 1950  -  "There have been luminaries at every position, but you can take it from me no matter what anybody else says, and a lot of them have had plenty to say, nobody ever came close to the all-round class of Tyrus Raymond Cobb, the greatest ball player
of his or any other man's time." (Sporting News, November 15, 1950, pp. 14, column 5)
Bobby Wallace, NL 3B,SS (1894-01, '17-18) 1917  -  "There were great players when I broke into the game as a green youngster, great players who would rank with the best of today.  But I must except Ty Cobb's name from that list.  Cobb is the best ballplayer I ever saw.  I will never admit that
St. Louis Browns SS (1902-16) baseball has seen his equal and I doubt if it does again within the experience of those now living.  There are great ball players and then there is Ty Cobb." (Baseball Magazine, Feb., 1917, pp. 16, "The Oldest Player", pp. 15-16)
St. Louis Browns manager (1911-12) 1954  -  By 1954, however, he had switched to Lajoie as best ever.  "He still speaks of Napoleon Lajoie, his personal "greatest of the great," with the unaffected idolatry of a bat boy looking up at Babe Ruth. . . . We used to call Ty 'The Reb" and I was
Cinc. coach  (1926),  Cinc. manager (1937) one of his warmest admirers.  I won't say, however, that some of the boys, including Jimmy McAleer, felt the same.  "Cobb's greatness?  Well, with Ty baseball was more than a mental and physical test. It was an affair of the spirit and in the early days,
when the Georgia Peach was burning up the league, so intense was his desire to win that in the heat of battle there were times, I believe, when he would have laid down his life for victory."  It is the seeming lack of this all-out spirit in modern
baseball which gripes old-timers. And, loyal to his era and generation, Wallace feels the same.  (Sporting News, March 31, 1954, pp. 16, column 4 & 5, Bobby Wallace Story, by Louis Lee Arms)
Red Faber 1953  - "The Babe always fooled a lot of pitchers by missing a certain pitch and then lambasting one in the same spot the very next time," Faber said. "I never came back with one in the same place or the same speed if he missed the first time."
White Sox pitcher(1914-33),  White Sox coach (1946-48) That's why it's not hard for me to say that Ty Cobb was tougher to pitch to. He could do anything with that bat, and he couldn't be fooled. But even Cobb didn't give me as much trouble as Jack Barry, a .250 hitter, or Stuffy McInnis. "
(By Ben Foote, Phoenix (AZ) Gazette, Feb.11, 1953)
1961  -  "I'll bet I pitched 5 games against Cobb as long as we were together in the league.  You could fool him, but you couldn't keep him fooled.  I had fair luck pitching to him. . . . You had to keep an eye on him. . . I could strike him out, but he
was the greatest I ever pitched to; pitching to Babe Ruth was a cinch compared to pitching to Cobb.  No one ever played harder than Cobb.  He'd beat you himself after others had given up.  He wasn't particularly popular
with the players.  His aggressiveness was the reason for that.  He was no angel to play against." (New York Times, July 17, 1961)  (Subsequent research has shown that from 1914 - 28, Ty Cobb went 55 for 164 against Red Faber for a career .335 BA. Ty Cobb
by Richard Bak, 1994, pp. 52)
Dizzy Dean, NL P (1930, 32-41),  Cubs coach (1941) 1961  -  "We've lost a lot of great ball players.  Now, we've lost the greatest."  (NY Times, July 17, 1961,  pp. 21)
Lefty Leifield, NL P (1905-13),   AL P(1918-20), "You can't take it away from him, though," Leifield said, "He was the greatest." (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July, 1961, 'Greatest,' Says Leifield Of Cobb;  Pruett recalls fanning Ty on 3 Pitches;  by William J. McGoogan)
Browns coach (1921-23), Red Sox coach (1924-26), Det. coach (1927-28)
Harry Hooper 1917  -  "To my mind Cobb's chief greatness lies not in fielding or even batting with all his wonderful record.  I think his most conspicuous talent is his base running.  This is never given the credit it deserves.  You can learn nothing by saying that
AL OF, 1909-1925 Cobb stole sixty bases and somebody else stole fifty.  Cobb not only steals bases, he breaks up games by stealing bases.  He smashes the defense of a club, gets the fielders up in the air and completely demoralizes the opposition.  As a base runner he is
in a class by himself and I don't believe baseball ever saw his close rival." (Baseball Magazine, June, 1917, pp. 285-286,  The Immense Value of Base Stealing by Ty Cobb)
1958  -  "But to my way of thinking, the majors have yet to come up with someone who can match Ty Cobb.  Cobb was the greatest ball player I have
ever seen.  Maybe he wasn't the greatest outfielder of all time--but how he could hit and run those bases.  And what aggression!" (Sporting News, February 20, 1957, pp. 15, column 1 & 2)
1963  - To Editor of The Sporting News:  I am following with interest your stories on Ty Cobb.  He used to visit me occasionally and was always friendly with me. . . He must have suffered intense pain near the end.  Under these conditions we should not be
too critical of his actions during the last months of his life. I prefer to remember him as a great ball player and a fierce competitor, and later as a mellowed, friendly man.  Harry Hooper,  Capitola, Calif. (Sp. News, January 10, 1962, pp. 15, column 3)
1966  -  Later, in a mid-60's interview with author Lawrence Ritter, Hooper had this to say in The Glory of their Times, 1966, pp. 131," That Willie Mays, he's one of the greatest center fielders who ever lived. You can go back as far as you want and name
all the great ones -- Tris Speaker, Eddie Roush, Max Carey, Earle Combs, Joe DiMaggio.  I don't care who you name, Mays is just as good, maybe better.  He's a throwback to the old days.  A guy who can do everything, and plays like he loves it.
Jim Bagby 1920  -  "Babe Ruth has hit me for one home run only. . . I think that Ruth has a weakness for the simple reason that I think every batter has a weakness.  But I am frank to confess I don't know what it is.  Ruth is an awful slugger.  There is nobody like
AL P (1916-22),  NL P (1912, 23) him.  But I have an automobile business in Augusta, Ga., about four blocks from where Ty Cobb hangs out, and if any one wants to tell me that a greater player than Cobb ever lived, he will have to start talking now and keep on until he has me hypnotized.
Babe and Ty are not in the same class." (Baseball Magazine, Oct., 1920, pp. 530, column 1, "James Bagby, A Pitcher Who can Think", by F.C. Lane,  pp. 529-530)
Joe Wood 1975 - "Cobb was the greatest ballplayer that ever lived, in my estimation.  And I think any old ballplayer that played in those years would tell you the same thing.  I don't think there's anybody that ever saw Cobb play in his heyday who wouldn't say,
AL Pitcher & OF (1908-22) without a doubt: Cobb.  If there'd been a higher league, he'd have been the only one in it.  …I wouldn't say Cobb played dirty.  Cobb always told me and other fellows he played against, "All you've got to do is give me room to get in there and it'll be
all right, but if you don't give me room, I'll cut my way in."  Fair enough. He had no weaknesses….He just had it.  Cobb never had very many friends, but he was a very good friend of mine…Ruth?…But he wasn't just a great pitcher and a great hitter, he was
a great outfielder.  His throws were very accurate and he made long throws.  He was a good ballplayer.  Great ballplayer….I played against Wagner a lot, too.  We had quite a few little exhibition games, because they had their training camp at Hot Springs,
Ark., in the same place as the Red Ox did, for years and years.  They had their park and we had our park.  I never had much trouble with old Honus, though I got him in his later years, when he had seen his best days.  He used to stand away back in the
box, then step up in as he hit, and I usually had that ball by there before he got up.(Chuckle.) (Baseball Research Journal, 1987, #16, pp. 54)(This was a reproduced 1975 interview by Mark Alvarez)
1979 - "Cobb, of course.  Nobody who watched him play could ever forget it."
1984 - "He was the best ballplayer I ever saw.  I always said if there was a league higher than the majors,Ty Cobb would be the only fellow in it." (Forgotten Fields, Paul Green, 1984, pp. 18)
Johnny Evers 1912  -  "I am not alone in this high opinion of Ty Cobb's work.  This view of min, I believe, is shard by practically every other member of the National League.  . . Cobb's marvelous showing as a batter is alone enough to insure his reputation for all
NL 2B  (1902-17) time.  Add to this, however, his uncanny ability as a base runner--an ability in which he stands unequaled, his record-breaking feats as a run getter, his all-around brilliancy as a fielder, his quickness, dash and execution of daring feats almost
NL coach (1920-21, 29-32),  AL coach (1922-24) instantaneously, and they place him a little above and beyond the rank of any other player in the game to-day.  But whether he improves or not in the next few seasons which are left him for active play, his career up to date clearly entitles him to the
honor of being considered the greatest player in the world of baseball.  I believe no fair-minded critic will deny this statement. . . . but all sections and all cities, whether or not they agree on any other single topic in baseball, all agree in giving
Cobb credit for standing without a peer.  He is the universal comparison of the highest ability.  It is the greatest praise which can be given a coming star to say that he is a second Ty Cobb.  Cobb is the model, the perfect stamp of the truly great ball
player.  But when all allowance has been made for the changes in the National game, and the different style of play,  I am confident that Cobb would be almost universally considered unrivaled in past or present.  I know it may seem like exaggerated
praise from a player of another club and league.  I believe that the vast majority of players, critics and fans will agree that Cobb is the wizard of the diamond, whose like the game has never seen.  But whether they do agree or not, my own opinion is
fixed.  and that opinion, briefly stated, is that Ty Cobb of the Detroit Tigers is the greatest player baseball has ever known.  (Baseball Magazine, March, 1912, pp. 13, "Ty Cob, from the Point of View of a National Leaguerby John J. Evers)
1916 - John Evers is the smartest player in the National League, bar none.  Let us hear what the inimitable John has to say: "I have seen considerable baseball in my time, and some people might think I would get tired of it. But I would pay my little
dollar any time and sit in the grand stand or the bleachers, or anywhere else, for a chance to see Cobb play.  There's only one Cobb, and there's nobody like him.  There never was, and there never will be, in my opinion.  That's what I think of Ty Cobb.
Cobb would put the punch in any team.  But with two redoubtable associates who uphold his right hand and his left, he makes of the Detroit trio a thing incomparable, supreme, by a wide margin the greatest outfield in the land."
(Baseball Magazine, July, 1916, pp. 69) (The reference to "2 redoubtable associates" obviously referred to Sam Crawford & Bobby Veach)
1920 -  The principal difference, as I see it, is that the National League leads by a mile in pitchers and the American leads by the same distance in outfielders.  Cobb is still king and a mighty fine fellow.  My friendship for him dates back to the
Detroit-Cub World's Series and right there I want to spike an old and musty rumor.  Lots of people claim Cobb didn't play much of a game against us in those world's series.  I will go on record as saying that he played a whale of a game, but he had mighty
stiff opposition.  We were all laying for him, and when a team like the Cubs lays for a certain player that player has his work cut out for him.  In the wrestling match between the whole Cub team and Cobb the odds were a little too long on the team and
against the individual.  But Cobb surprised us all by his gameness and nerve, and he was a good loser.  I expected to find him a little swell-headed - I would have forgiven him for being so, for he had a right to be if any player ever had - but he wasn't
anything of the sort.  He proved himself to be not only a wonderful player but a good loser, and that's something more." (Baseball Magazine, February, 1920, pp. 526, column 3, "On the Outside, Looking In", from interview with John Evers, pp. 525-526).
April, 1930, Baseball Magazine, Evers switched to Wagner as #1.
Riggs Stephenson 1984  -  "He was the greatest ballplayer I ever played with or against.  Of course you couldn't compare he and Babe Ruth because they were different types of ballplayers.  Ty was a great player, anyone who could hit over .360 for a whole career, that's
AL 2B 1921-25; NL OF 1926-34 something.  I remember Babe could really hit too, I had a pretty good year one year, and Babe still hit a little more than I did.  (Forgotten Fields, by Paul Green, 1984, pp. 85)
Clyde Milan, AL OF (1907-22) 1942  -  "You never knew what he was going to do next." (The Sporting News, April 2, 1942, Greatest Player survey) Sporting News mailed out over 100 letters to former ML stars & managers.  It asked, "Who do you consider the greatest ball player
Wash coach (1928-29, 38-52) of all time.  Why?"
Benny Kauff 1916  -  KAUFF SAYS COBB IS BEST.  "These claims that I would beat out Ty Cobb are bunk.  I have been quoted as saying so a good many times.  But I am willing to admit that Ty Cob is the greatest player on the diamond by a long shot.  Even if I was as
AL OF, 1912,    Federal  L. OF, 1914-15,       NL OF, 1916-20 good as he is he would beat me out, for he has much more experience than I have, so these fake claims are ridiculous. . . . "Why shouldn't I become a great player if I am lucky?  That is my ambition; I admit it and I will try as hard as I can to equal Ty
Cobb or anyone else.  But I know that I have a long way to go first, and, of course, I may never realize my ambition." (Los Angeles Times, April 18, 1916, pp. III4, "BENNIE KAUFF TELLS HIS OWN STORY OF "HOLDOUT."
Nick Altrock, AL P  (1902-09) 1922  -  "Nick disagrees with his famous co-worker, Ed Walsh, that Nap Lajoie was the greatest batsman of his time.  Nick is inclined to hand the palm to Ty Cobb.  "It made no difference where I put the ball, Ty Cobb would kill it.  When he failed to get
Wash. coach  (1912-53) three or four hits off me I figured I was pitching invincible ball. Larry, the records will show, was not tough for me to handle. Of course he smacked my delivery hard at times, but as a general proposition I think I had it on him."(Sp. News, Jan. 7,1922)
1942  -  "His never-say-die spirit and his nerve predominated." (The Sporting News, April 2,1942, Greatest Player survey) Sporting News mailed out over 100 letters to former ML stars & managers.  It asked, "Who do you consider the greatest ball player
of all time.  Why?"
Lee Fohl,  1918  -  "Mind, I am not criticising Cobb in any way.  Cobb's batting is phenomenal, and as a base runner he has no known equal.  And he may have all the baseball brains in the world.  In fact, I am inclined to believe he has.  But his batting and his
Cleve. manager  (1915-19),  Browns manager  (1921-23) base running are largely types of mechanical abilitt in which I would say he is unrivalled."  (Baseball Magazine, January, 1918, pp. 305, "Baseball Brains", by Lee Fohl, pp. 280, 304, 305)
Red Sox manager  (1924-26),  Browns coach   (1920) 1926  -  "Take the case of Ty Cobb as a good illustration.  Ty was fast.  That was always a thing in his favor.  He could never have become what he has become If it were not for his speed.  But there have been other players who were fast, as fast as
Cobb, but they didn't develop into Cobbs.  What happened in Ty's case was this.  He had uncommon natural gifts.  Make no mistake on that point.  But he also had the ambition to do a little better than the next fellow.  And that ambition, in his case,
has been the driving force which has urged him on full speed for more than twenty years and gained for him a player reputation which has not been matched.  That secret force, in my opinion, is the true explanation of Cobb's great work.  It was the real
reason why he grew better as he went along.  Good as he was, he wasn't satisfied to stand still.  He was always trying to improve, to do better work than he had ever done before." (Baseball Magazine, June, 1926, pp. 208, How Psychology May Make or break )
 (Baseball Magazine, June, 1926, pp. 298, column 3,  "How Psychology May Make or Break a Pennant Winner", by Lee Fohl, pp. 298, 335 )
Willie Kamm, AL 3B  (1923-35) 1928  -  "Why is Ty Cobb called the greatest player who ever lived?  There are a number of answers.  His grand batting average is better than that of any other player.  He hit over .300 for twenty-two years, a record.  He made over four thousand hits. 
These and similar items of statistics come readily to any fan who is discussing the game's best. But such figures are plain dope.  Was Cobb a better hitter than Joe Jackson?  He himself has admitted that Rogers Hornsby was the greatest hitter he ever saw.
Was Cobb a better player, say, than Tris Speaker?  What is the foundation of Cobb's great reputation?  It's the dope.  I'm not offering any criticism of dope.  I understand too well the value of dope to the ball player.  It's really his stock in trade,
the gauge of his ability." (Baseball Magazine, February, 1928, pp. 387, column 1,  "What the Baseball Records Mean to the Player", from an interview with Willie Kamm, pp. 387-388, 421-422)
Swede Risberg,  AL SS  (1917-20) 1927  -  "When a reporter interrupted to ask whether Cobb had got any of the money, Risberg replied that he doubted it, adding, "There never was a better or straighter baseball player than Cobb, or Speaker, either, to my way of thinking."
(Risberg, continued), (Ty Cobb by Charles C. Alexander, 1984, pp. 192) (quote given on Jan. 1,1927)
Billy Southworth,  AL (1913,15),  NL (1918-27,29) 1942  -  "Cobb's base-running and all-round ability match Ruth's slugging." (The Sporting News, April 2,1942, Greatest Player survey) Sporting News mailed out over 100 letters to former ML stars & managers.  It asked, "Who do you consider the greatest
Cards man. (1929,40-45), Browns man. (1946-51), Giants coach (1933) ball player of all time?  Why?"
Lena Blackburn,  AL SS,3B (1910,12,14-15), NL 3B, (1918-19) 1942  -  "He was good in the pinch.  He could do everything but throw." (The Sporting News, April 2,1942, Greatest Player survey) Sporting News mailed out over 100 letters to former ML stars & managers.  It asked, "Who do you consider the greatest ball
White Sox manager, 1928-29,  AL coach, (1927-28, 30, 33-40, 42-43) player of all time?  Why?"
Ossie Bluege, AL 3B  (1922-39) 1942  -  "He was quick on the trigger and ten jumps ahead of you." (The Sporting News, April 2,1942, Greatest Player survey) Sporting News mailed out over 100 letters to former ML stars & managers.  It asked, "Who do you consider the greatest
Wash. coach  (1940-1942)  manager (1943-47) ball player of all time?  Why?"
1957  -  "Only a man who played against him could appreciate his greatness.  Sure, I had some run-ins with him.  What infielder didn't?  But he made a better player out of me.
You had to play your level-best against him." (Sporting News, April 3, 1957, pp. 4, column 3)
1984  -  "Cobb was a phenomenal ballplayer. . .A tough competitor is right. . . . He was just a magician, that's what he was , and he played on your nerves, too.  (Forgotten Fields by Paul Green, 1984, pp. 96)
Ted Lyons,  AL pitcher  (1923-42) 1942  -  "He was a combination of everything." (The Sporting News, April 2,1942, Greatest Player survey) Sporting News mailed out over 100 letters to former ML stars & managers.  It asked, "Who do you consider the greatest ball player of all time?  Why?"
Wash. manager (1946-1948) 1974  -  "I saw quite a bit of Cobb.  I'd say he was probably the greatest all-around batter.  He could hit the ball anywhere he wanted to, and he'd hit it wherever you pitched it.  And he had so many gimmicks.  In the spring he'd wear a long-sleeve
Detroit coach  (1949-1953),   Brooklyn coach  (1954) shirt down to his wrists, and if you pitched a ball inside to him, he'd contrive to have it hit that baggy sleeve and he'd get on first base.  In a close ball game I tried to keep it away from him, not give him a chance to do that to me, because he was a
streak on those bases.  He could upset a whole ball club. .  .I try to keep up with baseball today as much as I can.  I watch it on television, and I read The Sporting News.  Sure I still read The Sporting News. . . about 1914 or so.  And I haven't missed
an issue of The Sporting News since." (Baseball When the Grass Was Real by Donald Honig, 1975, pp. 117, 125)
1984  -   "Sure he would, he'd use everything.  He was the best at hitting the ball where he wanted to hit it.  He was a kind of different man after he got out of baseball.  He never did have many friends, but when he got out actively he had a good many
friends.  I don't think you should hold being aggressive against a fellow, I think you ought to give him a big hand.  A lot of them you'd like to give a boot and tell them to get a little more aggressive.  Paul Green: It's strange, I know Joe Wood really
liked him. Ted Lyons:  I did too. Paul Green:  But to read the stories you'd assume he didn't have a friend in the world.  Ted Lyons:  Well, he was a different man when he'd put the suit on.  He was like Johnny Evers, when he put that uniform on he was a
wild man.  (Forgotten Fields by Paul Green, 1984, pp. 114)
1985  -  "When Cobb was through as a player, he was a wonderful guy to visit with.  I remember coming back from a trip to Japan with Moe Berg and Lefty O'Doul.  Cobb was waiting to meet somebody, and said, "Let's talk baseball.'  And so we did, for 30
minutes.  When he had the uniform on, he was like Johnny Evers, who was a maniac on the field.  You hear a lot about Cobb being like that, but Evers was even worse."  (Baseball Digest, August, 1985, Hostile Side of Ty Cobb Still Lingers in Memory by John
Erardi of The Cincinnati Enquirer)
Art Shires,  AL pitcher, 1928-30 1931  -  "Ty Cobb was always my model of a ballplayer.  He played the outfield.  I think he was the greatest ballplayer who ever lived, far ahead of the Babe Ruths and the Lou Gehrigs and all the others. But what made him a great ballplayer?  "Speed, you
NL pitcher, 1932 say.  That was part of it.  But other players have been as fast.  Ability to hit never carried him there.  Other players were better natural hitters.  And you can make up a pretty long list of better fielders.  But when you've got through, you'll find
only one Cobb.  And the thing that made him great, that explained his success, was a belly full of guts.  Cobb was a born fighter.  He fought opposing pitchers, and infielders and coaches.  He fought his own teammates.  He fought everybody and he made
good.  That's what the public admires, a fighter.  I may not have used good horse sense in some of my actions since I put on a baseball uniform.  But at least I've tried to show that I wasn't weak in the midrif.  I prefer to have people criticize my head
any day rather than my midriff. And that's true not only of baseball but of anything else.  I realize my limitations, but I'll fight anybody, any time for a chance to make good."
 (Baseball Magazine, February, 1931, pp. 400, "Art Shires, Publicity Getter Extraordinary", by F.C. Lane )
Joe "Lefty" Shaute,  AL pitcher (1922-30)(NL,1931-34) 1938-43  -  "Ty Cobb was the greatest all-around player. . . Babe Ruth revolutionized the game by starting the home run craze." (Abington Journal (Ohio), 1938-43)
Jimmy McAleer,  AL OF  (1901-1911) 1913  -  "Cobb is the greatest player in the history of the game--the perfect ball player.  Other men have been great fielders, great batters, great base runners.  Sometimes a great fielder has been a great batter as well, or a great base runner, or a
AL manager  (1901-1911),  Red Sox President  (1913) great base runner has been a great batter, but Cobb is all of these things.   He can do everything as well as anybody ever did anything in the history of the game.  Cobb brings out the crowds.  I suppose he boosts the attendance figures by 5,000 at least.
The old fans want to compare him with the old players, and the new fans can't keep their eyes off him.  Cobb has quickened the game--no doubt about that.  They are all playing faster since he came."
(Baseball Magazine, January, 1913, pp. 92, "Great Players Make Great Teams, by Jimmy McAleer, pp. 92)
Burt Shotton,   AL OF  (1911-1918),  NL OF  (1919-1922) 1950  -  "Ty Cob was the greatest player during the first half of the century, according to Manager Burt Shotton of the Dodgers, who disagrees with the sportswriters, who gave the honor to Babe Ruth.  I saw them both in their prime," explained Shotton,
Cardinals coach  (1923-1925), "and while Ruth may be the sentimental favorite, nobody comes close to Cobb in my book.  Cobb couldn't hit home runs like Ruth and the Babe won a lot of games, with his blows, but nobody won as many games, all by himself, as Cobb did. . . . Yes, there was
Phillies coach  (1928-1933) nobody like old Tyrus Raymond Cobb!"  (Sporting News, April 5, 1950, pp. 4, column 1)
Reds coach  (1934),  Cleveland coach  (1942-45), 1950  -  "Why don't they ask those who saw both Ruth and Cobb in their prime which is the better player?" Shotton wanted to know.  "Why don't they ask me?  I played against both,"  he went on, "and to me there was none that ever came close to Cobb. 
Brooklyn Dodgers coach  (1947-1950) Anybody who played against him would tell you there never was a player like Cobb. , , ,I bet Cobb could beat you more times than Ruth and in more ways," he said, "There wasn't a thing that Ty couldn't do.  He hit over .400 three times.  He once stole 96
Phillies manager (1928-33), Dodgers manager (1947-1950) bases in a season.  He collected over 4,000 hits and scored more than 2,000 runs.  Sure, Ruth was a great home run hitter," Shotton conceded, "but they had to change the game for him.  They made over the ball.  They even built a ball park to suit him."
Shotton said he always got along well with Cobb, despite Ty's fiery reputation.  "I just never spoke to him," Burt grinned.  "Cobb wasn't the fastest runner, but he led the league in stolen bases nearly every year.  He wasn't the most powerful hitter, but
he led the league in home runs once and in total bases many times.  He wasn't the greatest outfielder, but he had more assists than anybody else.  And tell me who was nervier, who took more chances, and who took better advantage of an enemy slip?
Yes, son, there was nobody like Cobb.  And there will never be anybody like him." (Dallas, Texas, April 6, (AP)1950) This sidebar appeared soon after the Associated Press poll, in which the sports writers voted Ruth 1, Cobb 2.  Most never saw either play.
Al Schacht,  Senators P, 1919, 20-21 1962  -  "Let me tell you about Cobb," he began in that raspy, peremptory voice.  Instatly he made his position clear.  "I've been in baseball fifty-three years and have yet to see Cobb's equal."
Senators coach, 1925-34,  Red Sox coach, 1935-36 (NY Times, "? 13, 1962, pp. 43,  "Sports of the Times", by Arthur Daley)
1962  -  "Ty came into my restaurant for several years before he passed away and I could see what kind of a man he was when not in uniform.  A wonderful and kind guy.  I believe anything written about him being a bad individual was due to the fact that as
a ball player, he was a great competitor and therefore he made enemies because he would beat you by outsmarting you at the bat and especially on the bases.  He was fiery and mean when playing and that meant from the time he walked on the field until the
game was over.  He attracted so much attention from the ball players and the fans that they picked on him for the least little flaw they could find, whether it was personal or in his playing.  He was the only player I ever knew who dominated a game from
the start to the finish.  He wanted to be the best on and off the field and by being that way he made enemies on the way through life. . . . There were some great ball players in his time and some great ones since, but in my book he was the greatest and
he will remain that way long after these false statements made about him have been found groundless." (Sporting News, Jan. 24, 1962, pp. 12, column 1)
1966  -  "All in all, I have been a part of baseball for 55 years.  I've seen the greatest and played with and against the greatest.  None could come close to comparing with Ty Cobb.  He was the smartest and most daring in addition to having unequaled
ability as a hitter and baserunner.  With Cobb it was not only what he did but how he did it.  He is the only ballplayer I ever saw who dominated a game as soon as he walked on the field.  No one reacted to a challenge with more zest, intensity, and
effectiveness than Cobb. . . It's too bad that the present generation never had the chance to see him play as I did as a fan, pitcher and coach. . .Cobb had it all.  I agree that Wagner was great.  But the greatest ballplayer ever to step on a diamond was
Tyrus Raymond Cobb.  (New York Times, Jan. 28, 1966, pp. 24, "In Total Dissent", by Arthur Daley)
Dave Fultz,  NL OF, 1898-99,  AL OF,  1901-05 1944  -  "He was the No. 1 ball player of his time, and still is No. 1 in my book. . . . I can't rate the Babe over Ty.  Ruth could hit home runs, but Cobb was superlative, doing anything else on a ball field.  And that man Lajoie was the greatest machine
Pres. In'tnational League,  1919-20,  Pres. Players Fraternity,  1910's yet seen around second base.  He was a marvel afield and at bat."  (Sporting News, January 27, 1944, pp. 5, column 2)
Joe Bush,  AL pitcher (1912-26) 1967  -  "You and I and everyone else who saw him play know he was the greatest.  He was daring, alert and had tremendous reflexes," said Joe. (Sporting News, January 28, 1967, pp. 23, column 3)
Red Sox  (1918-21), Yanks  (1922-24),
Joe Hauser,  AL 1B, 1922-24, 26, 28-29 1990  -  "Cobb was the greatest player of all time, but he was jealous of anybody hitting better than he did."  (Oral History of the AL, 1920-1940, by Eugene Murdock, 1991. pp. 164)
Chet Hoff,  AL P, 1911-13, 15 1991  -  "Ty Cobb was the greatest ball-player I ever saw," Hoff once said.  "He could do everything.  He was better than Ruth, if you ask me."  (NY Times, September 24, 1998, obituaries)
1991  -  "The greatest hitter of all time was Ty Cobb,"  Hoff affirms without reservation.  (Oldtyme, Baseball News, Volume III, Issue 1, pp. 17, column 3, by James A. Riley & Renwick W. Speer)
Nap Rucker,  NL pitcher  (1907-1916) 1961  -  "Nap Rucker, former major league mound star, discussing ball players of the past and present, recently said:  "Fellows like Ty Cobb, Hans Wagner and Joe Jackson were just as great as reports said they were.  They had to be great to do with the
ball what they did. Cobb was the greatest of them all. I never saw another man with the determination he had. That's what made him --determination.  I could outrun him on a straight-away and he wasn't a natural hitter.
 He just made himself good."  (Sporting News, September 13, 1961, pp. 13, column 3)
Jimmy Callahan,  NL P, 1894, 1897-1900 1916  -  "Billy Hamilton was a wonderful baserunner," says Callahan.  "there is no mistake about that.  But if he had played last year and stole 96 bases, as Cobb did, I would say he had beaten his old mark of 156 so far as real merit is concerned.  I
AL P, 1901-02,     AL OF,  1903-05, 11-13 remember on the old Phillies the rule used to be with Hamilton at the plate.  'Don't hit until he's stolen third.'  How far would such a rule go nowadays.  It wasn't so difficult then as now to steal a base for various reasons.  On the other hand, if the
AL manager, 1903-04, 12-14 Tigers had built their system of attack around Cobb's speed he would have stolen quite a few beyond the hundred mark last year.  The two records are not to be compared because they were made under entirely different conditions  Furthermore, Hamilton was
NL manager,  1916-17 no such a force on a ball club as Cobb is. 
"Bill Lange was a better fielder than Ty Cobb.  And he was one grand ball player.  But when you compare him with Ty Cobb, in my mind, you are committing a bad bone.  They don't compare that's all.  You could go into a grand stand wherever the
Tigers are playing and you wouldn't have to know any of the players or the batting order.  But after you had seen a game you would be able to pick Cobb out from the other Tigers solely on his remarkable personality.  If he had a medium day at the bat or
on the base paths you would know who Cobb was all right, for you would see him accomplish things that other players don't accomplish, that's all.  In my opinion Cobb is the greatest player who has ever lived by a considerable margin. . . .  I have seen
many outfielders, past and present, and to my mind Tris speaker is the greatest player at the position I have ever met."  (Baseball Magazine, August, 1916, pp. 53, "Callahan, the Cast Off Manager", by John J. Ward, pp. 53-58)
1925  -  On August 29,1925, the city of Detroit celebrated the 20th anniversary of Ty Cobb's career as a Detroit baseball player with a testimonial dinner at the Book-Castillar Hotel.
Ty was eulogized as "the greatest player who ever lived," by Ban Johnson, Connie Mack, Billy Evans, Frank J. Navin, Jimmy Callahan, Mayor John W. Smith, Arthur (Bugs) Baer. (Reach AL Guide, Feb.,1926, pp. 44)
Bill Wambsganss,  aka. Billy Wamby 1932  -  "I shall always treasure the friendship of Ty Cobb.  Hailed as the greatest player of his time. . . "Cobb was, without doubt, the most versatile batter the game has ever know. . . Two experiences with Cobb I shall always remember. Once, when in 
AL 2B, 1914-26 the throes of a terrible batting slump , I asked him to give me a few pointers.  He was very sympathetic, and although he was the manager of the Tigers at the time, he took great pains to coach me in a better batting stance.  When I connected for two hits
during the game he was as happy as I was and congratulated me on my success."  (Sporting News, February 4, 1932, pp. 4, column 6,  Character Sketches by William Wambsganss)
1966  -  Who's the best player he's ever seen?  "I believe Babe Ruth had the most natural ability of anyone, by far.  But Cobb made himself a better player than Ruth because of his intense determination, concentration and practice.
Nobody compares with him in those qualities."  (Sporting News, January 22, 1966, pp. 10, column 3)
1985  -  "He could do things with a bat that nobody could do, including Rose, and that's a cinch.  People thought he was nasty, but the way I saw it, Cobb just wanted to win.  He was very proud and intense, the same as Rose.  Cobb felt the base lines were
his, so if you got spiked, it was your fault because you were in his way."  Despite Wamby's respect for Cobb, the first player he'd pick on his all-time team would be Babe Ruth.  "Cobb would be second and Tris Speaker or Joe Jackson would be third.  Rose
would have to beat out George Sisler to be my first baseman and I don't think he could," said Wamby, who lives in Lakewood, O., a suburb of Cleveland, and is looking forward to
 celebrating his 92nd birthday on March 19. . .(Sporting News, Oct. 14, 1985,  pp. 9, column 1)
?  -  Wamby admits "Cobb was the toughest man to tag I ever played against.  His feet always came flying at you and the only way to get him and not get cut up was to touch some part of his body other than his legs."  This didn't prevent Wamby from
considering Cobb "a great guy." 
Joe Boehling 1933  -  "Talk about your Jimmie Foxxes, your Chuck Kleins, your Lefty Groves andr Carl Hubbells -- but they never made any greater ball players than Eddie Plank, Ty Cobb, Joe Jackson and Walter Johnson.  Griff was one of the cleverest managers in the game.
AL pitcher, 1912-17, 20 (Boehling, continued)  "Great as the players of today, you have to go a long way to beat these four."  Naturally, every season brings new stars, but I don't think there ever has been, a more eagle-eyed hitter than "Shoeless Joe," who was expelled from organized baseball."
(Boehling, continued)  Jackson had the natural knack of hitting at the right time.  There was perfect timing and coordination in his swing at the plate, and was he poison to any pitcher, and did I have to pitch to him.  "Cobb was always my favorite.  He was death on bunts, and his speed on the path remains unexcelled, I believe.  As for his fielding, there will never be a greater outfielder." 
(Boehling, continued)  "Cobb was always my favorite.  He was death on bunts, and his speed on the path remains unexcelled, I believe.  As for his fielding, there will never be a greater outfielder."  (Washington Post, Dec. 31, 1933, pp. 10)
Al Maul, NL P, 1887-1891, 93-01,  park staffs, Phillies & A's, 20's-50's 1934  -  Maul declares that Ty Cobb is the greatest player he ever saw. . .  (Sporting News, August 30, 1934, pp. 4, column 3)
Stan Baumgartner, 1948  -  "This is a story of Ty Cobb, the greatest ball player of all time--and Cy Perkins, one of the finest receivers of his day, who now coaches the Phillies. 
AL P (1924-1926),  NL P  (1914-16, 21-22 Cobb and Perkins became fast friends in later years.  Ty took a fancy to the young, slim, quiet catcher--made him a companion.  They dined together, chinned together around the batting cage.  One day, Lefty Grove was throwing in batting practice for the
Philadelphia sportswriter,  (1927-1955) Athletics.  "You think Ruth is a great home run hitter, don't you?" asked Cobb, then nearing the end of his career.  Perkins nodded.  "The greatest I ever saw," he replied.  Cobb picked out a bat.  "Watch me," he said as he stepped to the plate.  He hit
Grove's first pitch over the right field wall, his second into Twentieth st., his third onto the rooftops, and his fourth bouncing into the streets beyond the roofs.  Ty turned around grinning, then shook his head.
"But that's not for Cobb.  This is Cobb," he said, and shortened his grip on the bat.  He hit four in succession on a line over third base.  (Sporting News, May 5, 1948, pp. 12, column 3)
Grover Alexander, NL P (1911-1930) 1929  -  "Ty Cobb went along for nearly a quarter of a century hitting well over .360.  It goes without saying that he had no pronounced weakness.  But even he had a ball that he'd rather hit and another that he'd rather not. 
Knowing that, you could pitch to him more effectively than if you didn't know it at all.  There was only one Ty Cobb." (Baseball Magazine, July, 1929, pp. 339, "The Secret of Old Alec's Prolonged Career")
Lefty George,   AL pitcher (1911-1912),  NL pitcher  (1915, 1918) 1943  -  Lefty George regards Ty Cobb as the greatest player who ever lived. (Sporting News, July 22, 1943, pp. 5, column 3 & 4)
Jimmy Austin 1965  -  "I guess when you talk about the greatest baseball player who ever lived it has to be either the Babe, Ty Cobb, or Honus Wagner. I didn't see much of Wagner, 'cause he was in the National League, but I played for years against both Cobb and Ruth,
AL 3B, 1909-23, 1925-26, 1929 and I'd hate to have to choose between them.  Golly, both of those guys could beat you in so many ways it wasn't funny.  Ty could get real nasty on the field, you know,  Off the field, though, he was a pretty good guy. . . . Ty was fair enough on the
Browns manager, 1913, 1918, 1923 bases, though.  He nicked me a couple of times, but it was my fault.  I don't blame him. . . . When Cobb was out there on that ball field, look out.  He wasn't anybody's friend then.  He was out to win, regardless.  But I got along with him all right off
the field.  He was a better guy off the field than he was on.  (The Glory of Their Times by Lawrence S. Ritter, 1965, pp. 81-82)
Whitey Witt "In my book, there were two great ballplayers, Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb.  They were the two greatest of all-time.  Ruth had color.  Cobb was spectacular.  Everything he did was spectacular. . . When I played for the A's, Connie Mack always had pre-game
AL OF, 1916-17, 19-25,       NL OF 1926 meetings.  He would get up and say, 'Today, we're playing Ty Cobb.'  He would never say, 'The Detroit Tigers,' it was always 'Ty Cobb.' . . In Witt's last year with the Yankees, the club had a rookie first baseman named Lou Gehrig.  Whitney has vivid
memories of the young slugger.  "To me, he was more valuable to the ball club than Ruth because he was very consistent," Witt says.  "He never struck out, and he could drive in runs.  He always got the bat on the ball.  
Whitey Witt was obviously confused in his opinions. While saying Ruth & Cobb were the two greatest ever, he says he felt Gehrig was more valuable to the team than Ruth.  And in the '80's he leaves Cobb off his all-time team. 
Sherrod Smith, AL P  (1922-1927), 1923  -  "I should like to have pitched in the American League when Ty was in his prime.  He would have given me something to think about,  But that's what I like.  He was a great player in every way, and it will be a long time before they discover
NL P  (1911-1922,  except 1913, 1918) another Ty, and I don't say that because he comes from my home state, Georgia, either.  Babe Ruth is one of the best ball players I ever saw, and by that I don't mean just a good slugger.  Babe's a real ball player.  He has the best throwing arm in any
outfield barring none.  Bob Meusel may have naturally a better arm, but not much.  Anyway, Babe uses his arm to better advantage.  And he plays the pitchers pretty well too.  And he throws to the right base.  Babe looks lumbering and slow, but he isn't.
He's pretty fast and he knows how to run bases.  If he had more speed he would be a great base runner.  With all my respect for Babe Ruth's ability as a hitter, I consider Hornsby his superior.  You can fool Babe some times and make him look foolish, but
you  can't fool Hornsby on anything.  Hornsby isn't so apt to hit a homer as Ruth, for that isn't his style.  But he's even more apt to come through with a single or a double.  Ruth chops up and lofts the ball.  Hornsby hits it smack on the nose and
drives it on a line.  With the possible exception of Hans Wagner, Hornsby is the greatest batter I ever looked at and he's a great fielder, but he's not a great base stealer.  He's fast, one of the fastest men in baseball and he can tear around the bases
  on a safe drive, but he isn't a natural base stealer and he hasn't learned the tricks of getting the jump on the pitcher."
 (Baseball Magazine, October, 1923, pp. 519, "The Science of Holding Down the Base Runners, from interview with Sherrod Smith, pp. 389-390, 517, 519-520)
George J. Burns 1942  -  "One of the most marvelous baseball machines I have ever seen.  I never expect to see his equal." 
NL OF, 1911-25  (The Sporting News, April 2,1942, Greatest Player survey) Sporting News mailed out over 100 letters to former ML stars & managers.  It asked, "Who do you consider the greatest ball player of all time?  Why?
Steve Yerkes,  ( AL SS, 2B,  1909,  1911-14) 1942  -  "He was the greatest competitor who ever lived."
( NL 2B, 1916),    ( FL SS, 2B,  1914-15) The Sporting News, April 2,1942, Greatest Player survey) Sporting News mailed out over 100 letters to former ML stars & managers.  It asked, "Who do you consider the greatest ball player of all time?  Why?"
Kiki Cuyler,  NL OF,  1921-38 1942  -  "He not alone had natural ability, but baseball brains and the incentive to win."
Cubs coach, 1941-43, Red Sox coach, 1949 (The Sporting News, April 2,1942, Greatest Player survey) Sporting News mailed out over 100 letters to former ML stars & managers.  It asked, "Who do you consider the greatest ball player of all time?  Why?"
Dick Spalding,  NL OF, 1927,   AL OF,  1928 1942  -  "He could run, field, throw, hit and think faster than anybody else, and that's about all a ball player needs to have to be great."
 (The Sporting News, April 2,1942, Greatest Player survey) Sporting News mailed out over 100 letters to former ML stars & managers.  It asked, "Who do you consider the greatest ball player of all time?  Why?"
Charlie Root,  NL P,  1926-41,    AL  P,  1923 1942  -  "He was tough to pitch to.  I don't think any pitcher ever found a successful way to pitch to him.  I know that I didn't."
(The Sporting News, April 2,1942, Greatest Player survey) Sporting News mailed out over 100 letters to former ML stars & managers.  It asked, "Who do you consider the greatest ball player of all time?  Why?"
Jim (Death Valley) Scott,  AL P,  1909-17 1942  -  "Because he had no weakness."
(Sporting News,April 2,1942,Greatest Player survey) Sporting News mailed out over 100 letters to former ML stars & managers. It asked, "Who do you consider the greatest ball player of all time? Why?"
Mike Kilroy,  ML  P,  1888,     NL P,  1891 1942  -  "He outguessed the other fellows all the time.  There will never be another Cobb."
(Sporting News,April 2,1942,Greatest Player survey) Sporting News mailed out over 100 letters to former ML stars & managers. It asked, "Who do you consider the greatest ball player of all time? Why?"
Harry Davis,  AL 1B,  1901-17,  NL 1B,  1895-99 1942  -  "He loved to play baseball for all he was worth every second of the game, regardless of the score.  He was very fast and very smart."
Cleveland manager,  1911,   Phil. A's coach,  1912-18 (Sporting News,April 2,1942,Greatest Player survey) Sporting News mailed out over 100 letters to former ML stars & managers. It asked, "Who do you consider the greatest ball player of all time? Why?"
Frank Shellenback,  Phil. A's P,  1918-19 1942  -  "I was only a kid when I came up with the White Sox, and here is what I heard at one of the first players' meetings I ever attended: Leave the Georgia Peach alone.  Don't ride him or he'll beat you single-handed."  And maybe you don't think that
Browns coach, 1939, Red Sox coach, 1940-44, he couldn't!"  (Sporting News,April 2,1942,Greatest Player survey) Sporting News mailed out over 100 letters to former ML stars & managers. It asked, "Who do you consider the greatest ball player of all time? Why?"
Det. coach,  1946-47,  Giants coach, 1949-55
Bob Johnson,  AL OF, 1933-45 1942  -  "He appeared to be head and shoulders over anyone else."
(Sporting News,April 2,1942,Greatest Player survey) Sporting News mailed out over 100 letters to former ML stars & managers. It asked, "Who do you consider the greatest ball player of all time? Why?"
Floyd (Pep) Young,  NL SS, 2B,  1933-41, 45 1942  -  "He was a quick thinker, which enabled him to do things at an advantage."
(Sporting News,April 2,1942,Greatest Player survey) Sporting News mailed out over 100 letters to former ML stars & managers. It asked, "Who do you consider the greatest ball player of all time? Why?"
Ray Fisher 1942  -  "I never saw his equal in any department of baseball."
AL P,  1910-17,    NL P,  1919-20 (Sporting News,April 2,1942,Greatest Player survey) Sporting News mailed out over 100 letters to former ML stars & managers. It asked, "Who do you consider the greatest ball player of all time? Why?"
Bill McKechnie,  NL  3b, 2B,  1907, 10-12, 16-18, 20 1931  -  Bill McKechnie, manager of the Braves, strung along with McGraw on Wagner as the greatest of them all.  McKechnie, one-time Pirate infielder, piloted Pittsburgh to a pennant in 1925 and won another gonfalon for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1922.
FL pl. 1914-15,        AL pl. 1913 Oddly enough, neither club retained him for long after his success. "I don't see how a National Leaguer could pick any one but old Honus Wagner as the best that ever lived," said McKechnie. . ."I played in the infield with him for six or seven years and
FL manager, 1915 will pay him the splendid tribute of saying I never saw him make a mental error.  He made "boots," of course.  Every ball player makes fielding errors.  But Honus always threw to the right base:  he always did the correct thing at the proper moments.  As
NL manager, 1922-46, except 1927 to physical ability, he was a marvelous fielder, the hardest-hitting shortstop in history and a splendid baserunner. . . "Cobb gets second place.  really, I think those two stand by themselves for this century, at least.  speaker didn't have the
Pitts. coach, 1922 Speaker didn't have the natural speed of Cobb, so I must place him third.  I give Lajoie fourth.  Of the present-day ball players I consider Hornsby and Ruth the best I've seen.  Hornsby has many great qualities, but he is surprisingly weak on fly balls
Cardinals coach, 1927 of Cobb, so I must place him third.  I give Lajoie fourth.  Of the present-day ball players I consider Hornsby and Ruth the best I've seen.  Hornsby has many great qualities, but he is surprisingly weak on
Indians coach, 1947-49,  Red Sox coach, 1952-53 that are too close to the infield for outfielders to get.  I have been astonished at Hornsby's inability to overcome this weakness during his many years in the majors.  It is hard to choose between Hornsby and Ruth, but I'll give it to Hornsby."
(Who is Baseball's Greatest Player? by C. William Duncan,  The Philadelphia Public Ledger, July 5, 1931, Magazine section, pp. 7)
Gavvy Cravath,  AL OF, 1908-09 1942  -  "He could do everything a little better than the rest of the herd.  He had color and the will to win.  And he would chase  half of the present-day players out of the park with his spikes today.  He could dish it out and he could take it."
NL OF,  1912-20,  Phillies' manager, 1919-20,   Phillies coach, 1923 (Sporting News,April 2,1942,Greatest Player survey) Sporting News mailed out over 100 letters to former ML stars & managers. It asked, "Who do you consider the greatest ball player of all time? Why?"
Harry "Rube" Vickers "It's no contest", said Vickers.  "Cobb was much the better ball player.  The only thing he couldn't do as well as Ruth was hit home runs.  Ty would win more games for a club than Ruth with all his home run hitting.
NL P 1902-03 Cobb was batting .400 in the days when pitchers were throwing spitballs, shine balls, emery balls, and everything else that was illegal when Ruth was banging those homers.
AL P 1907-09 If Cobb in his prime had present-day pitching to hit against, he'd be a .500 hitter, and the way pitchers are fielding now he could bat .300 just laying down bunts. (Washington Post, June 20, 1942, pp. 19)
Eddie Plank,  AL pitcher, 1901-17,    FL 1915 1915  -  "Say, boy," snorted Eddie, "don't mention Kauff in the same breath with Tyrus.  Mark what I tell you.  There is only one ty Cobb."  (Washington Post, June 3, 1928, pp. SM4)
Rube Bressler,  Phil. A's P, 1914-16 1964  -  "Cobb.  He did everything. . . He drove infielders crazy.  They never knew what the hell he was going to do.  And neither did he till that last split second.  You couldn't try to figure Cobb.  It was impossible.  Cobb could hit the long ball.  I
NL   P, OF, 1B ,  1917-32,   I never saw anybody like him.  Cobb had that terrific fire, that terrific drive,  It was his base,  It was his game.  Everything was his. He dominated the game.  I never saw a fella like that.  (He wasn't too well liked, was he?)  No!  But he didn't care
about that.   He roomed alone.  He didn't care about whether they liked him or not. They made it pretty tough on him his first year up there,  and he showed them.  They may not liked him but they admired him.  (Must have been an amazing ballplayer.)
Well, wasn't any like him.  He's alone.   ( Interviewed by Lawrence Ritter, August 26, 1964,  for the book,  The Glory of Their Times, by Lawrence Ritter, 1966,  pp. 166-167.)  This transcript is taken from the audio tapes of those interviews.)
John Knight,    AL SS,3B,  1905-13, exc. '08 1961  -  "I believe Cobb is the all-time great.  Excellence in baseball cannot be explained by mechanics or mathematics, as managers and broadcasters do today.  It is reaction, and Cobb had the fastest reflexes of any human being I ever encountered.
Mays comes close but there will never be another Ty -- he could beat you by himself."   (San Francisco Chronicle, July 20, 1961, Column by Art Rosenbaum, "He Would Rather Die Than Lose.")
Cap Anson, (ML 1B, 1871-97), (ML man., 1875, '79-98) 1931  -  So, McGraw's vote is for Wagner, Anson's was for Cobb and Comiskey's was, and is, for the Peach. (Sporting News, March 19, 1931, pp. 4, By Ernie Lanigan)
1934  -  Tyrus Raymond subsequently was acclaimed by Old Roman Comiskey and Adrian C. Anson as greatest players of all time.  (Sporting News, January 11, 1934, pp. 6, column 5-6, "Daguerreotypes")
1953 - Declaring he was feeling fine and also "lucky" to reach such an age, Lanigan recalled that both Cap Anson and Charley (Old Roman)Comiskey had selected Cobb years ago as the game's brightest star(Sporting News, January 14, 1953, pp. 7, column 4 & 5)
Joe DiMaggio, NY Yankees, 1936-51 OF 1969  -  "While DiMaggio would not name a full All-Time team, he did single out certain players.  He picked Charlie Gehringer who played for Detroit, as his second baseman; Pie Traynor, Pittsburgh, third base, and Honus Wagner, Pittsburgh, at shortstop. 
DiMaggio said it was "just too much" when he looked at the outfielder list but he did murmur in an aside: "Ty Cobb has to be on any All-Time team, and he has to get a shot as the greatest player ever. . . "I guess," said DiMaggio, "That I'd have to go
along with Lefty Grove as the best southpaw and Walter Johnson as the best right-hander.  But I don't envy anybody the job of picking the greatest player."  How about Joe DiMaggio? he was asked.  "You're too kind", said Oakland coach.
(Washington Post, June 14, 1969, pp. D3,  "Star Picking Tough Play for DiMaggio",  Bob Addie's Column)
Luke Sewell,  AL catcher, 1921-39, 42 1986  -  In 1986, Eugene V. McCaffrey & Roger A. McCaffrey published "Players Choice".  This great book asks many great questions.  Luke answers 3 of them thusly:  Best base stealer of all Time:  Ty Cobb; Hitter you found hardest to get out:  Ty Cobb; 
Browns manager, 1941-46, Cinc. manager,  1949-52 Ball Player Who Did The Most To Inspire His Team:  Ty Cobb ( pp. 150)
Cleveland coach,  1939-41,  Cinc. coach, 1949
Gabby Street,  AL catcher,  1908-12,   NL catcher, 1904-05 1931  -  Gabby Street, one-time battery mate of Walter Johnson at Washington and now manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, 1930 champions of the National League, was the fifth man to name Cobb for first honors.  "I spent seven years in the
Cardinals coach, 1929, Cardinals manager, 1930-33 American League and two in the National and Cobb is my pick, without question," he said.  "Cobb had a ninety-horsepower brain, which, in my opinion, was his greatest asset.  He always thought a fraction of a second faster than any one else and, therefore,
Browns coach, 1937, Browns manager, 1938 was always ahead of the game.  Modern fans who saw him only in the closing days of his career can't appreciate him.  "I'll give old Honus second place and Eddie Collins third.  Freddy Parent, Boston Red Sox infielder,
 wasn't a spectacular player, but he's my fourth choice.  And I can't leave out Hal Chase.  He could do everything," concluded Street.
(Who is Baseball's Greatest Player? by C. William Duncan,  The Philadelphia Public Ledger, July 5, 1931, Magazine section, pp. 7)
Bill Carrigan 1942  -  "I have yet to see anybody else who could do the things that he used to do."
AL catcher, 1906-16,    Red Sox manager, 1913-16,  '27-29 (The Sporting News, April 2,1942, Greatest Player survey) Sporting News mailed out over 100 letters to former ML stars & managers.  It asked, "Who do you consider the greatest ball player of all time?  Why?
Wilbert Robinson,  ML catcher, 1886-91  1931  -  "All right then.  If that's the way you feel about it, go ahead and name Ty Cobb as the best of them all," replied Uncle Robbie.  "I didn't see him play much because he was in the other league, but
N L catcher,  1890-00,   AL Balt. catcher,  1901-02 from what I did see and from what I've heard from others who do know ball players when they see them, Cobb deserves first place. Put Willie Keeler in there next to Ty. Willie was a great all-round ball player and the best place hitter the game ever knew."
Brooklyn manager, 1914-31 (Who is Baseball's Greatest Player? by C. William Duncan,  The Philadelphia Public Ledger, July 5, 1931, Magazine section, pp. 7)
Tom Daly 1942  -  "Maybe he didn't have the best disposition in the world, but all great ball players are afflicted with crabbiness, I think."
AL catcher,  1913-16,  NL catcher,  1918-21 (Sporting News,April 2,1942,Greatest Player survey) Sporting News mailed out over 100 letters to former ML stars & managers. It asked, "Who do you consider the greatest ball player of all time? Why?"
Billy Alvord, ML 3B, 1889-91 1925  -  Names Cobb as Game's Best  --  St. Petersberg, Fla.,  Aug. 5. ---Ty Cobb's the greatest player, in Capt. Alvord's opinion, and Walter Johnson the greatest pitcher.  (Washington Post, Aug. 9, 1925, pp. 25)
Steve O'Neil,  AL catcher (1911-1928) 1942  -  "He could do everything asked of a ball player." (The Sporting News, April 2,1942, Greatest Player survey) Sporting News mailed out over 100 letters to former ML stars & managers.  It asked, "Who do you consider the greatest ball player
Cleveland manager (1935-1937)  Detroit manager (1943-1945) of all time.  Why?"
Red Sox manager (1950-51)  Phillies manager (1952-1954) ?  -  "Steve O'Neil, George Uhle and Will Wamby, all members of the 1920 world champion Cleveland Indians--and therefore opponents of Cobb--still speak with a sort of reverence about the Georgia Peach.  "Oh, he was a great one", said O'Neil, the tribe
catcher.  "He was the toughest man a catcher ever had to work behind.  When he was up there you worried about the bunt.  When he was on base you worried about him stealing.  He worried me more than any other runner I ever played against."  O'Neil admits.
Cobb "stole a few bases on me, and I got him a few times, but he was tough to nail.  He was fast and got a good jump and he always came in spikes high.  Our infielders didn't want any part of those spikes and they gave him too much of the base.  Ty could
dish it out, but he could take it, too.  Once he came home on a base hit and I was blocking the plate.  I got him in the kidneys and knocked him out.  When he came to he didn't say a word.  He just got up and limped out to his position in center."
Del Baker, Detroit catcher,  1914-16 1942  -  "He went out and made his own breaks.  He was a battler ." (The Sporting News, April 2,1942, Greatest Player survey) Sporting News mailed out over 100 letters to former ML stars & managers.  It asked, "Who do you consider the greatest ball player
Detroit manager   1936-42, Det. coach, 1933-38 of all time.  Why?"
Cleveland  coach,  1943-44 1944 -  "You never saw Johnson at his best unless you watched him pitching to Ty Cobb.  There was really a contest, the greatest hitter in the business against the greatest pitcher.  Johnson had all the best of it, too. but Cobb never would admit it."
Red Sox coach ,  1945-48, 53-60 (Sporting News, April 13, 1944, pp. 17, column 4 & 5,  Inside Pitches by Galleyproof Gus, as reported by Ed McAuley of the Cleveland News)
1962  - "The burning desire to excel. That was Ty Cobb, the greatest ball player who ever lived."  Upset by a magazine writer's(Alvin Stump) bitter presentation of Cobb's last days,Baker wanted to go on record that "there wasn't a mean bone in Ty's body."
Cobb had a fiery temper, sure.  And there was that overpowering urge to win that brought him into violent contact with opponents and sometimes teammates.  But always there was an underlying decency that quickly brought praise and kind words after he had
chewed you out.  That even prompted him to help recruits quietly in a day and time in baseball when they got little assistance in winning away jobs from old regulars.  There'll never be another Cobb,  Anybody who saw him or knew him will agree with that.
And no amount of wild stories now will ever dim his fame." (Baker, continued),  (Sporting News, Jan. 10, 1962, pp. 4, column 5)
Chief Zimmer, ML catcher(1886-03),Phillies man.('03),NL ump('04) 1949  -  "The greatest by a wide margin," says Zimmer, "was Ty Cobb.  He was so good he was a freak." (Sporting News, Jan. 12, 1949, pp. 11, column 3)
Ray Schalk,  AL catcher(1912-28), Giants catcher, 1929 1926  -  Our talk had rambled, then I thought, wonder who he considers the greatest ball player of all time.  "Ty Cobb,"  was the instantaneous reply to my question, "There is only one Ty Cobb, and there will never be but one.  I take my hat off to him."
White Sox manager, 1927-28, Cubs coach, 1930-31 Baseball's greatest catcher had paid a noble tribute to baseball's greatest player.  "And," he went on, "I think that Walter Johnson is the greatest pitcher, and Eddie Collins the smartest man in the game.  Get those three on a team, and it'll be a `wow'.
(Baseball Magazine, June, 1926,  pp. 316, column 3, "How Ray Schalk Got His Start", by Stanley E. Kalish, pp. 315-316)
"Ty Cobb has the ideal baseball brains. . . . Hal Chase and Ty Cobb are scintillating examples of quick thought on the diamond."  (Baseball Magazine, Interv. with Ray Schalk,  pp. 152)
1964  -  "For all-around, I've got to choose Cobb," said Ray Schalk, long-time star catcher of the Chicago White Sox.  "Speaker, Felsch, Mostil, Rice and DiMaggio were great, but the greatest of them all in all departments has got to be Ty, in my book." 
(Sport, August, 1964, by Joe Reichler, Living Hall of Famers Pick The Greatest Centerfielder Ever)
1969  -  "Ray Schalk agreed with Frisch.  I can't pick between them," the all time catcher said.  "I admired them both and each was my friend.  Ruth put me on his all-time team.  I spent a lot of time with Cobb in later years.  but I will say this: 
I caught behind them both and they made a better catcher of me.  I had to work harder to get them out."  (Baseball Digest, November, 1969, pp. 20-24, by Ed Rumill of the Christian Science Monitor, Hall of Famers Pay Tribute to the Mighty Babe)
So, after a lifetime of unconditional, pristine support for Ty as the best ever, at the end of his life, Ray sullied his unqualified support, by claiming he couldn't choose between Ty & Babe. 
Mickey Cochrane 1931  -  "Ty Cobb," said Cochrane,  "Growing up around Boston, I saw all the big leaguers and right from the start Ty was my hero.  I went to as many ball games as I could and you may be sure I never missed one when the Tigers came to town if I possibly
AL catcher (1925-38) could help it.  I became acquainted with him when I broke in with the Athletics and later, when he came over to our club, that acquaintance developed into a real friendship.  If he were playing ball today he'd still be my hero, which is the
Detroit Manager, (1934-38), A's coach (1950), Detroit VP (1961-62) tip-off on how he registered with me."  (Baseball Magazine, May, 1931, pp. 347, "They Had Their Heroes, Too", by Frank Graham)  (This article was excerpted in Literary Digest, Jan. 2, 1932)
Yankee scout (1955),  Detroit scout (1960) 1942  -  "He had everything that goes to make up a great ball player." (The Sporting News, April 2,1942, Greatest Player survey) Sporting News mailed out over 100 letters to former ML stars & managers.  It asked, "Who do you consider the greatest ball
player of all time?  Why?"
Ed Ainsmith, AL catcher,1910-24, Det. catcher, 1919-21
Harry Bullion, Detroit spwr.& ed,   1905-31
William Hennigan, NY spwr. 1910-42
Tim Murnane, ML 1B, 1872-78,     Boston spwr. 1888-1917
Some of Ty's support amongst the Sports Writers, all of whom support him as the Greatest Ballplayer Ever.
Francis C. Richter 1924  -  "By the way, Ty Cobb is out with the statement that he will quit active work after this year and confine himself to bench managing, if "he can find a man to take this place in the Detroit outfield."  This qualification is super-important, as it
AL Reach Baseball Guide Editor-In-Chief  (1901-1926, death) is decisive, because Detroit never will find another man to take the place of the game's greatest player in all departments of play.  Cobb is now in his twentieth year of service with Detroit, and in batting, fielding and base running shows so little
Philadelphia sportswriter (1876-1926) recession from his prime that he is out this season to beat Willie Keeler's long-standing major league record of 200 hits in a season for ten consecutive years, with easy chances of surpassing that record this year.  Despite his long term of service we
feel confident that Cobb will be able to serve Detroit for two or three years more as player-extraordinary, as team management seems to have no adverse effect on his playing.  If he can play three more years Cobb will surpass all players, ancient and
modern, in length of service, surpassing Captain Anson's 22-year record of much less strenuous playing;  and Cobb will then be the greatest player the game has yet produced in all respects, not excluding length of service.
 (Sporting News, July 31, 1924, Casual Comment column, Francis C. Richter)
1925  -  ". . . that Cobb, the greatest player the game has produced though he be,"  (Sporting News, June 4, 1925, Casual Comment column, Francis C. Richter)
John B. Foster,  NY sportswriter  (1888-1941) "Who is the greatest ball player?  It has been said that if you pick the best men the game ever has known,  you will find Ty Cobb among the first four in every department of baseball and no man could do everything in baseball as well as he.  Perhaps it's
Editor-in-Chief of the Official Spalding Base Ball Guide(1908-41) because he never lets up--he wants to make a play on every ball pitched.  There are a few men who, at their climax, can beat him at base running and there are a few others who, at their best, can beat him in certain other points.  But Cobb puts something
NY Giants business manager & secretary  (1912-1919) into his play every minute that makes him outrank all others.  His brain, his nervous energy are never idle.  That's why fellows who play with him think he is the best that ever lived." (Spalding NL Baseball Guide, 30's)
1938  -  "For the right fielder of this all-time team there can be no other choice than Ty Cobb.  All of us say "no other," but if Willie Keeler had been as much of a record-maker as Cobb was , it might be a closer race between them to patrol right field
for this mythical team.  Cobb began to play professionally when quite a youngster and he kept on improving almost to the day that his knees, which play a very important part in a ball player's life, began to go back on him.  During nearly all of these
years he was with the Detroit club, part of the time as manager and captain.  He led the American League in batting so many years that it became an old story to the general public, but never so to Cobb.  His keenness to win the title always stayed with
with him.  Cobb's marvelous eyesight made him a great hitter, and, if we may go a step farther, a superhuman batter.  He would not strike at a bad pitch unless he desired to for some strategically purpose.  He could bat either low or high, and he cared
not whether the ball was pitched to him fast or slow.  Of course, he had a preference, and the pitchers were not slow in finding that out; but it seemed to make little difference in his batting.  When he had to make a play on the ball he would connect
with it by bunting or slugging, or just by "plain hitting," and the pitcher had to suffer.  He was released by Detroit and played during the last year of his base ball career with Philadelphia in the American League.  When Cobb ceased playing he had made
more than 4,000 hits.  To tie that record a man must begin playing pretty early in life.  Take him as he is and there has been no player like him.  He is without doubt the right fielder of this team." (Spalding Official Base Ball Guide, 1938, spring)
1938  -  In that same article in the 1938 Spalding Baseball Guide, Foster says, "He (Buck Ewing) has been called the greatest all-round player ever connected with the game.  I think that he was."  (Spalding Official Base Ball Guide, 1938, spring)
Grantland Rice, Atlanta, NY spwr. 1902-54 1936  -  "Cobb turned in the biggest job that sport has ever seen.  He comes close to being the greatest competitor that sport ever knew."  (The History of Baseball, by Allison Danzig & Joe Reichler, 1959, pp. 162)
1943  -  "Ruth and Cobb or Cobb and Ruth are still the greatest two ball players the old game has ever known, and some may care to bring in Hans Wagner."  (The History of Baseball, by Allison Danzig & Joe Reichler, 1959, pp. 162)
1948  -  Right after Babe Ruth died, Grantland Rice wrote a commemorative piece on him and at the end of it, in the last sentence, called him the greatest player who ever lived. 
1954  -  "Grantland Rice never could decide whether Babe Ruth or ty Cobb was the greatest athlete of the thousands he watched".  (New York Times, July 14, 1954, pp. 27, "Grantland Rice Dies at age of 73."
Bill Phelon,   1915  -  After seeing them all come and go for nearly thirty years: after seeing the great ones and the little ones, those who starred for years and years, and those who passed early from the game, two figures of them all persist in forcing themselves
Chicago,  New York, Cincinnati. sp wr. 1889-1925 upon my memory, and in plain opposition to each other--the forms of Tyrus Cobb and William Lange. Somehow, some way, these two always present themselves before me for comparison, and, despite all the praise they lavish on the Georgian today, I cannot see
where the gigantic Lange was his inferior! Lest I seem biased in my love for old-time pals, I'll instantly add this: That I cannot see where Cobb is the inferior of Lange. If ever two men, of strangely different physical and temperamental types, were
to be counted as an equal, well-matched pair, these two were Lange and Cobb.
Were Lange a youthful player of today, he'd be Cobb's greatest rival. Had Cobb played in the time of Lange, he'd have been big Bill's closest competitor. If Lange possessed the eel-like agility of Cobb, there would have been no chance to stop him. If Cobb
had the size of Lange, without impeding his own speed, he'd never get through scoring.
On the defensive, there was, to my way of thinking, no choice, between Lange and Cobb. Both could cover enormous outfield territories: both were marvelously sure when they got their hands upon the ball. I think Lange had
the better throwing arm of the two. Moreover, Lange, originally a catcher by trade, could be brought in from the gardens and used anywhere in case of need, and played all the infield places capably for Chicago at one time or another.
At the bat: Considering the time when each played, and the rules, I can see small difference between the colossal Californian and the wiry wonder of the South.
Lange had no foul-strikes to handicap him, but in his day a caught foul tip was an immediate out. Then, too, he faced great pitchers, who during at least part of his career, worked from a shorter distance, and there were no "sacrifice 
flies" in the score to help his average.
It was on the bases, though--in the wondrous way that both circled round the cushions--that the strange likeness between Lange and Cobb is most strongly demonstrated. It is said that Cobb does a lot of daring things, all his own
invention, never tried by any other player. I distinctly remember many of Cobb's tricks as exact duplicates of Lange's --tricks forgotten when Bill left the game, and revived long afterward by the Georgian. Nor do I call Cobb a copy-cat: he never saw
Lange play ball, and his tricks are simply those that naturally found new roots in the mind of a thinker and great base runner. Lange stretched his hits just as Cobb does now. Lange was lightnig quick to rush for an adjoining base on the slightest fumble
or lack of watchfulness--just as Cobb is today. The smallest slowness of slovenliness in the throw-in, the pickup of the throw-in, or the guarding of bases, meant the sudden arrival of Lange at the next
 station--as is the case with Cobb when the smallest opening is given. In straightaway steals, both Lange and Cobb were marvels at getting away, or getting the jump on the pitchers's delivery. For a heavy man, Lange had terrific
speed. Perhaps the lighter-built Cobb could actually outsprint Lange, but when it came to the instant of arriving at the base, Lange's immense size used to scare the infielders out of his way.
to the instant of arriving at the base, Lange's immense size used to scare the infielders out of his way.  He never spiked any one, because he didn't have to --they broke for cover when his 230 pounds bore down upon them. Cobb makes up for lack of weight
by the wicked impetus of his slide and the dangerous onrush of his spikes. Lange stole a few more bases, both on the season and in proportion to number of games and chances offered. But in those days they were accustomed to let a runner steal or fail,
without trying the hit and run or bunting as he went--hence Lange had fewer blossoming steals killed off by the batsmen than is the case with Cobb.
In - short, Lange, in my humble opinion, was the full equal of Cobb--and, therefore, one of the greatest ballplyaers that the game has ever known."  (Baseball Magazine, August, 1915, by Bill Phelon)
1920  -  "Tyrus Cobb ranks as king of all batsmen in more ways than one--and one way is in consistency."  (Baseball Magazine, August, 1920, pp. 384, "The Season's First Month in Review", by Bill Phelon, pp. 381-384)
Melville Webb,  Boston sportswriter 1897-1951 1936  -  "For what he accomplished as a hitter, to set records for practically everything except home runs, and as a thrill-producing base runner, Ty Cobb often has been proclaimed as the greatest ball player of all times.  For nearly a quarter of a
century, Cobb stood far, far above the ranks of even the very best; temperamental, to be sure, but forever flashing his daring and unexpected bits of brilliant baseball, the like of which has never been matched." (Boston Globe, 1936, --
(The History of Baseball, by Allison Danzig & Joe Reichler, 1959, pp. 162)
Irving (Sy) Sanborn,  Chicago sportswriter 1900-1930 1922  -  "Tyrus Cobb has been crowned the greatest player of all time, although he owns no world's championship emblem." (Baseball Magazine, Oct., 1922, pp. 490, "The Most Important Cog in the Baseball Machine, by Irving Sanborn, pp. 389-390, 518)
Damon Runyon,  NY sportswriter,  1911-1917 1920's  -  Damon Runyon of the Hearst press called him "Tire-us, the Jewel of Jawjah" for his endurance.  Runyon said a good many observers felt that, contrary to widespread opinion, Ruth did not overshadow him except in power hitting.  Other writers
cited the judgment of some American League players in contending that  Cobb still possessed more offensive and defensive abilities than the glorified Babe.  For one basic consideration, he struck out far less than Ruth, the chronic fanner. (Cobb by Alvin
Stump, 1994, pp. 355
Sam Crane,  ML 2B, 1880-90.   NY sportswriter, 1990-25 1918  -  "As an all-round player I think Cobb has it on them all.  He is a player without a weakness, the greatest player I ever saw.  If he could have starred in the old days before the foul strike rule went into effect, he would have torn things wide
open."  (Baseball Magazine, April, 1918, pp. 476, column 2,  "The Dean of Baseball Writers", by F.C. Lane, pp. 475-476))
Ferdinand Cole Lane 1934  -  "It was such a fire of positive baseball genius that made Ty Cobb the greatest player the game has produced. . . . But not one of them could match Ty's bold and daring recklessness, his impatient, never satisfied, persistent fight to outstrip
Baseball Magazine, Editor-in Chief (1910-37) all other players in the race for fame, to stand alone and unchallenged on top of the baseball world."  (Baseball Magazine, April, 1934, pp. 497,  A New Application For Top Notch Honors, by F.C. Lane, pp. 497-498)
1937  -  "Take the brightest name of all in the baseball calendar, Ty Cobb.  He was the first choice for the famous Hall of Fame, the player who had more votes for the highest honor than any other.  Ty is generally recognized as the greatest of diamond
stars." (Baseball Magazine, June, 1937, pp. 298, "Baseball Stars - Are They Born or Made?, by Ferdinand C. Lane, pp. 297-298, 326-327)
1981  -  Hyannis  -  The names and dates come a little more slowly when you're 96, like Ferdinand Lane.  But Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth are hard to forget - and Lane knew them both. . . "Ruth, he was big and strong and an awful hard hitter," Lane said.  "No
doubt about that - he hit 'em hard into the seats.  But Cobb was the best. . . he was a good runner, fast on his feet, a good man to make hits.  I remember him well, he was a fighter, he was - "Tyrus Raymond Cobb.""  Cobb's name rolled slowly off Lane's
tongue.  "We were at his home in Georgia," said Mrs. Lane.  "He was a man who never let anyone walk over him."  Mr. Lane said they never played favorites while her husband was editing Baseball Magazine, "never believed in it," but her husband winked that
he thought the Yankees were probably his favorite team.  Not long ago he debated with another of the residents at Whitehall Manor, a younger man who thought Ted Williams was the greatest player who ever lived.  "Ty Cobb," insisted Lane.(Craig Little,1981)
Fred Lieb, 1938  -  "However, I wanted the views of the one man I thought best qualified to answer the question.  That was Connie Mack. . . In his half century of baseball, he has seen the entire parade of the game's great pass by.  I heard Connie call Ty Cobb the 
Philadelphia sportswriter,  1910-1911 game's greatest and with the passing of the years, he hasn't changed his mind. . . if anything, Connie is more insistent in awarding first place to the fiery Georgian. . . (Concerning Babe Ruth, Lieb continues), "Writers and fans have put him there, yet
NY sportswriter,  1911-1934  I still have to find a baseball man with the experience and background of such men as Mack, Barrow, the late John McGraw, the late Miller Huggins and McCarthy, who would go as to rate Ruth the greatest player of all time.  they all concede Babe was the
St. Petersburg, FL,  1934-1977 game's greatest showman, but for sheer playing greatness they place him behind Cobb and Wagner, some even place him behind Gehrig, Keeler and Speaker.  While I consider Ty Cobb the game's greatest player, I am somewhat at a loss to understand why Ruth is
not given higher ranking.  Was it that during a good part of Ruth's career he not only was the game's Home Run King, but also it's outstanding Play Boy?" (Sporting News, Jan. 27, 1938, pp. 3, column 5)
While in St. Petersburg, FL,  Fred spent many summers 1961  -  "Tyrus Raymond Cobb, the game's greatest all-time star and holder of the highest lifetime batting average - .367 for 24 seasons--died of cancer at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta,Ga., July 17:  (New York Times, July 18, 1961)
in St. Louis, writing for Sporting News under Taylor Spink 1970  -  "But Fred, though "deep in my heart" regarding Cobb as the best player, was able to make a case for Ruth as the greatest complete player because of his great pitching ability, his fine arm, his running and fielding skill and the fact that he
revolutionized the game by ushering in the home-run era. (Sporting News, April 11, 1970, pp. 45, column 3)
1977  -  "At least as late as 1930, Ty Cobb and Hans Wagner generally were regarded as the greatest players of all time.  However, now that Ruth's contributions to baseball can be fully evaluated, Mr. Babe looms up as number one."
"Shortly after Ruth's death in 1948, Taylor Spink, publisher of The Sporting News, asked me to take the Ruth side in a debate with Harry Salsinger of the Detroit News on the subject "Who was the greater--Ty Cobb or Babe Ruth?"  As a matter of
fact, up to that time I myself had considered Cobb to be number one.  In arguing for Ruth, I made my case on the larger meaning of the word "great."  (Baseball As I Have Known It, by Fred Lieb, 1977, pp. 168)
Ed Bang,  Cleveland News sp. ed. (1907-60) 1962 - Probably no living writer was better acquainted with the real Ty Cobb than Ed Bang, former sports editor of the Cleveland News. Bang, now 82 and living in retirement in Cleveland, is a charter member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America,
having been present when that organization was founded in 1908, and holds card No. 1 as the senior member of the BBWAA . . ."Here and now let me place myself on record after 54 years of big league baseball coverage.  I have never seen anyone who could be
rated a close second to Ty Cobb.  I arrived at that judgment long before Cobb retired from baseball, and no player I have seen in the intervening years has caused me to waver even slightly from that position.  The Georgia Peach, as he was known
familiarly, if not always affectionately, was simply the Greatest. (The Sporting News, Jan. 10, 1962, pp. 13, column 1)
Heywood Broun 1910  -  "Here is the best man in the world at his game, without the shade of a doubt: the best of any time.". .. "spectators at baseball games do not like this player who gives them more for their hard-earned ticket than any man alive or dead gave them."
NY sports writer, 1911-mid-20's (Broun, continued) (NY Morning Telegraph, Oct., 1910, by Heywood Broun)
Dan Daniel, NYC sp. wr., 1910-60's 1928  -  "Cobb was the greatest player in baseball history."  (New York World Telegram-   The History of Baseball, by Allison Danzig & Joe Reichler, 1959, pp. 162)
1933  -  "When you rate the great outfielders of all time as individuals you must concede the three top places to Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker.  Some may declare Cobb to have been the greatest ballplayer the game has developed.  Some, may fight the
verbal battle for Ruth, who has been not only a wondrous performer on the field but a record-breaking attraction at the box office.  But the Babe and Ty split the two top ratings, and then comes Speaker.  Behind Tris you may like to designate Joe Jackson.
Or perhaps you favor Wee Willie Keeler, the hitting scientist and the defensive student. . . . . of the White Sox of 1919, who by many authorities are rated at least one of the first three clubs of baseball history."
1958  -  "The greatest ball player, in all-round effect on the game, the fans and the players,  Babe Ruth.  The most richly talented, Ty Cobb.  The greatest pitchers, Matty and Walter Johnson. 
The greatest club, the 1927 Yankees. (Sporting News, March 19, 1958, pp. 14, column 3)
1960  -  "The Presentations were made by Dan Daniel, who called Ty the greatest player baseball yet has seen.  The diners shouted their approval.  (Sporting News, February 16, 1960, pp. 5, column 1)
1961  -  "Ty Cobb is dead, at 74, and now comes a revival of the old debate as to where the Georgia Peach belongs in the all time rating of baseball heroes.  Much as I would like to give the top accolade to Babe Ruth, to whom I was much closer than I was
 to Cobb, in all fairness and honesty, I must rate Ty as the greatest player the game has seen. . . .Faster than the rest, nimble of mind, always audacious and aggressive, domineering and arrogant with the mark of the genius, fiery of temper, accurate
of eye and unerring in his baseball judgment, sometimes cruel, Tyrus Raymond Cobb of Banks County, Ga., and the Detroit Tigers, was the diamond ne plus ultra, in a class by himself.
(New York World Telegram & Sun, July 18, 1961)
1962  -  "Ty Cobb, greatest player of them all, played on that field for many years.  (Sporting News, September 15, 1962, pp. 12, column 3)
Shirley Povich 1939  -  Detroit, June 11.--  The man they say was the greatest ball player who ever lived came back to the scene of his former triumphs today.  His name has to be, of course, Ty Cobb.
Wash. sportswriter,  1922-1974, and afterwards (Washington Post, June 12, 1939, pp. 19,  "This Morning . . . With Shirley Povich")
1959  -  "They were, of course, Cobb, Speaker and Ruth, names that go together like other inseparable trinities, viz: Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin, or Winken, Blinken and Nod.  … Cobb was simply the greatest, most exciting baseball athlete of his time
or any other:  Ruth was the dramatist with his home runs that were matchless for frequency and distance, and Speaker the complete artist with the glove, who could also hit." (Baseball Digest, March, 1959, pp. 42, 43)
1961  -  "This week's obituaries must fall short. . . Inevitably, there were the comparisons:  Cobb or Ruth. . . Ruth's was the home run.  Cobb's was the whole sweep of other baseball skills, his dominance in his sphere as unchallenged as Ruth's kingship
of the batted ball for distance. . ."On fan impact, if not on skills, the comparison need not be ruled out.  Both could tense up a whole ball park, in their special ways. 
The Cobb man gave them a different show.  He was electric, both at the plate and on the bases. . .As an individual, he could destroy a whole ball team.  to Ruth, a single was only a single.  For Cobb, it was merely the
start of a progressive tour around the bases with excitement at each point, whether he was stealing or scrambling for an extra base on somebody's hit, often his own. Cobb's approach to baseball was that of a clinicist.  Thus it was that he once exploited
the rookie catcher of the Athletics, Wally Schang, with the complaint, "Get back a step, your're bothering my swing."  When Schang complied, Cob laid down a bunt. . .The 12 AMERICAN League batting championships Cob won, nine of them in a row, from 1907-15
permit little debate that he was the greatest hitter than ever lived, even though his home run total is pale alongside Ruth's. But his nine home runs were enough to tie him for the league lead in 1909 and he was recoginized as a power man at least in his
era.  Of Cobb, it can always be said, there he stands, high against the baseball sky, perhaps as the longest-enduring baseball figure."  (Washington Post, Wednesday, July 19, 1961, pp. B1,  "This Morning. . . With Shirley Povich")
1969  - " I did not know Cobb well when he was the greatest ballplayer in the history of the game with twelve batting championships, nine in a row, and a lifetime - lifetime, mind you - average of .367.  Today if a player hits .367 for a week,
it's a big story." (All These Mornings, by Shirley Povich, 1969,  book)
William B. Hanna,  NY sportswriter, 1888-1930 1924  -  "Ty Cobb, whose amazing exploits throw into the shade all other records which have ever been made on the diamond." (Baseball Magazine, June, 1924, pp. 300,  top, right blurb, "The Twenty-five Greatest Players" by W. B. Hanna)
John B. Sheridan 1926  -  "Cobb is done with baseball.  Laid down his bat which for 21 years had terrorized opponents and ceased to use the amazing brain and marvelous legs which drove opposing teams to madness 15 years ago.  The greatest player of all time, by far the
St. Louis spwr. (1880's-1929) the greatest, will probably never again be seen playing in a game of professional baseball.  The day I have dreaded has come.  I will not see Cobb play ball again.
Sporting News column, "Back of Home Plate", 1917-29 It is almost incredible.  I had entertained the hope that so long as I wanted to see baseball games I would have the exquisite pleasure of seeing now and then the great Cobb play.  It has been my fortune to see the great John L. Sullivan, Jack McAuliffe,
Tommy Ryan, Jim Corbett, Peter Jackson, Jack Johnson, box Tilden, the greatest of the tennis players of all time; Bobby Jones, the greatest and most attractive golfer of all time; Hagen, the great money player and professional star, but none of them gave
me such exquisite pleasure as the sight of Tyrus Raymond Cobb playing baseball.  Of course, baseball is by far the greatest of the games.  Tilden was, in his line, as great as Cobb was in baseball, but tennis in not baseball.  No, not by a long shot. . .
That Cobb was the great ball player may be taken as axiomatic.  I have never heard this point contested. . . .
"He was not rated as a great fielder, but he did get everything in the field that any other man could do--cover ground, go get them, sure hands, a good man on a ground ball and a good thrower.  His style was not so graceful or facile as that of
some great fielders, but I never could see any weakness in his fielding."
He has been my idol, my idea of what a ball player should be and, in later years, my dearly beloved friend. . .  For 20 years I have admired and
loved him.  I still entertain the hope that as age creeps upon us that from time to time
I can sit down quietly as in the past and talk to Tyrus Raymond Cobb, the Bayard of Baseball, the ball player beyond fear and above cavil."                (Sporting News, November 11, 1926, pp. 4, column 6)
Jake Morse,  Boston sports writer, 1884-1907, late 30's 1911  -  "In the American League Ty Cobb has not only succeeded in doing superb work in all departments but is playing faster ball than ever and never has done more work to win games for his club than this season.  He is fairly in a class by himself,
and top-notcher that he is, plays with the same reckless disregard of results as ever.  A man of the speed of Ty is bound to cause trouble for someone, but it is sheer nonsense that he will consent to slow up for some player who fails to get out of the
way.  It is nothing if not dangerous to catch a man like Cobb when he is making for a base under full headway and any fielder who attempts to stop him does so at his own peril and need not wait for apologies from Ty if he comes to grief.  Attempts galore
have been made to prove that Ty is a dirty ball player, and those who howl the loudest at him are the ones who would do the same for him were he a member of the team in the city for which they root.  It all depends whose ox is gored.
(Baseball Magazine, September, 1911,  pp. 42)
Dick Young,  NY sports writer, 1942-1987 1960  -  "Cobb's thin right arm slid around Mantle's shoulder, drawing Mickey close to him.  "I think you're wonderful," said the greatest ballplayer who ever lived.  (NY Daily Sunday News, Sept. 18, 1960)
Bozeman Bulger 1928  -  "Many baseball men to this day regard Wagner as the greatest ball player that ever lived.  His only rival in that respect is Ty Cobb.  The records give Cobb a shade the better of it, but it is still a debatable subject.  Wagner had one big
Birmingham Age-Herald(AL) sp.ed., 1899-1905 advantage.  He cold play the outfield as well as anybody and could play the infield better than anybody.  The claim for Cobb's superiority is based on his speed, batting and aggressive spirit.  Many hold that Wagner was superior as a straight-away hitter.
NY sportswriter 1906-1931 That is very likely true, but the old Dutchman, as he was affectionately called, lacked the sparkling variety of Cobb's attack. . .There are mighty few laymen in this country who have so thorough a knowledge of paintings and great painters as Ty Cobb. . .
"The baseman or catcher who blocks him does so at his own peril(Cobb quote)."  There is a lot of truth in that. . . The catcher must take his own chances in blocking the path.  If he is bowled over, that is his own lookout.  
Under the rules, he has no defense. . .  Wagner himself was an aggressive base runner. Probably he has gone through as many clashes of spikes as the fleet-footed Cobb. There never was a base runner quite the equal of Cobb, though.  The chances are there
never will be.  Wagner, however, took the clashes of temperament and spikes as all a part of the day's work.  His imagination stopped right there." (The Saturday Evening Post, Twenty-five Years In Sports, by Bozeman Bulger, May 26, 1928, pp. 37, 136)
"He was possessed by the Furies."  (Boze Bulger speaking about Ty Cobb,  date of quote, uncertain)
Harry Salsinger 1950  -  "Ty, Honus and Babe"  --  Unquestionably the greatest three players in baseball history were Cobb, Wagner and Ruth and they can be rated in that order.  I wonder how many of those who voted ever saw Cobb, Wagner or Mathewson in action.  Or, how
Detroit News sports editor, 1907-1958 many of them ever studied a baseball record book.  (Sporting News, February 15, 1950, pp. 3, column 1)
1950  -  "In any all-time rating of players, Tyrus Raymond Cobb stands alone.  He was the greatest of the great, a fiery genius and the game's outstanding individualist. . . He was a keener student of the game than his contemporaries and understood the
game better than they did.  What is more, he understood them better than they understood themselves. . . . Baseball also has its lonely figure sitting on the Olympian heights.  There is but one, Tyrus Raymond Cobb, and the game will never know his like
again.  While others have changed the destinies of peoples, the ways of living and the means of life.  Cobb revolutionized and remade the sport of a nation. . . . Some men rate Wagner ahead of Cobb.  Honus was undoubtedly the best infielder of all time. A
great hitter and base-runner.  He knew baseball, but never in the deep sense that Cobb did.  He lacked the extra touch, the spark, the flame; there was no fire to Wagner's play: he was sound and thorough, but phlegmatic. Above all, he lacked imagination.
He did not have Cobb's inventive mind.  In his greatest moments Cobb was the very soul of baseball.  Ruth had more batting power than any player before or since his day. He was the Goliath of the game, the Samson, but he was more than a great slugger.  He
was one of baseball's best left-handed pitchers before he concentrated on knocking the ball into the next county and when he quit pitching he developed into an outstanding outfielder. He was fast enough, had a fine pair of hands, was a sure judge of a fly
ball, played batters well, threw with speed and exceptional accuracy.  He lacked Cobb's speed on the bases but ran with fine judgment.  He never threw to the wrong base and almost never made a wrong play, and those are the standards by which ball players
judge their fellow players.  Ruth pleased the eye, while Cobb pleased the mind and eye.  Ruth lacked the speed, the quick break, the lightning-like thrusts of Cobb.  He lacked his imagination.  He was an entirely different type.
(Sporting News, May 24, 1950, pp. 3, column 4)
1955  -  "Ty's Greatest Still Unrivaled After 50 Years  -  Brilliant and unorthodox, a fiery genius and the game's outstanding individualist, Ty Cobb made baseball history for more than two decades.  He dominated the game. . . . His is the story of
a mighty brain and the driving force of genius that made him great when other men, superior in physical strength and natural ability and speed, remained mediocre.  (Sporting News, September 7, 1955, pp. 10, column 2)
Ring Lardner,  Chicago, Boston, St. Louis, NY spwr., 1907-29 1916  -  "He (Ring Lardner, Sr.) also took me to Comiskey Park to see Ty Cobb.  We sat out in the center field bleachers so dad could keep up a running fire of conversation with Ty.  My father was very eager for me to see Cobb, whom he rated the  
greatest player in the history of the game.  (The Sporting News, Jan. 15, 1942,  interview of John Lardner, Jr., son of Ring Lardner, by J. G. Taylor Spink)        
Ed Wray,  St. Louis sports editor,  1900-1955 1947  -  "The feature of a brief, written reply by Wray listed sports personalities he considered most outstanding in 47 years of reporting - Ty Cobb in baseball, Man O'War in horse racing, Edward B. Cochems in football, Jack Dempsey in prize fighting
and Willie Hoppe in billiards. (Sporting News, March 26, 1947, pp. 15, column 2)
Warren Brown 1938  -  Baseball Types Changing   -  Baseball types are changing, Warren Brown, sports editor of the Chicago Herald and Examiner has found, and as a result, future recruits are no longer called Ty Cobbs.  "We have noticed that our baseball standards are
NY spwr. 1922-23 changing," writes Warren.  "Some of you who have come in late, may have missed entirely what used to be an annual feature making its appearance at this time of year.  That feature was the annual discovery of 'another Ty Cobb.'  "We are not sure when the
Chicago spwr. 1923-74 practice of looking for or even announcing another Cobb was discontinued.  Nor do we know why it was, save perhaps for the very obvious fact that there never has been and never will be another Cobb.  "It may have been, of course, that the things that Babe
to baseball and for attendances, baseball salaries and things in general, caused the drift away from Cobb.  At least we have noticed that for a while, there was an occasional announcement that this rookie or that was another Babe Ruth.  As we come down
through the years, we hit upon another player who has been a bit of a sensation from law.That is Joe DiMaggio of the Yankees. Having established the type, the rush then began to find another Joe DiMaggio."(Sporting News, January 20, 1938, pp. 4, column 5)
Henry P. Edwards 1926  -  "It will not seem like the same old American League with Ty Cobb numbered among the missing, writes Henry P. Edwards in the Cleveland Plain Dealer. In fact it is difficult to believe that the famous Georgian, the most colorful player the American
Cleveland sports editor,  1898-1942 League ever has known, will not go to bat around the circuit next season.  Twenty-one years ago Cobb came up from the South to join the Detroit Tigers and it was he, more than any other one player, who is responsible for the construction of the great
AL PR office, Chicago, 1928-1942 baseball plant at Navin field.  Detroit was a poor baseball town until Cobb began to assert himself as the "world's best" and break records with unceasing regularity until most of the batting, base running and run getting marks became his.  In fact he
was to baseball from 1906 to 1920 or so, what Babe Ruth is today-- the game's greatest drawing card.  He revolutionized base running.  Infielders hated to see him dashing down the plate, his 180 pounds skimming over the dirt and hurtling, spikes
foremost, into the sacks. . . . But whatever may have been Cobb's shortcomings as a manager, there is no denying the fact the baseball world has known no greater player." ( The Sporting News, Nov. 11, 1926, pp. 4, column 3, Scribbled by A Scribe column)
Charles Emmet Van Loan 1912  -  "Now there's Cobb, for example.  They say of Ty, and truly, that he is the greatest of living ball-players, if not the greatest that ever lived.  He came up out of Georgia seven years ago, bringing with him a long bat, a pair of slim,
San Francisco, Los Angeles,  New York  sports writer, 1904-1910 flat-muscled legs, and a peppery disposition.  To-day he is probably the most valuable bit of baseball property in existence.  Pittsburgh paid twenty-two thousand five hundred dollars for Marty O'Toole, on speculation.  How much do you suppose Cobb would
bring, when his very name is a guarantee of the highest grade of efficiency?  On the field Cobb is aggressive, argumentative, daring to the point of recklessness, always in the thick of the battle, fighting every minute to win.  The popular idea of Cobb
is that he is a sort of thunderbolt in breeches; but put him in his street clothes, and he is the quietest man on the Detroit team.  (Munsey's Magazine, July, 1912, pp. 528, Big Leaguers In the Spangles and Out,  by Charles E. Van Loan)
Ed Rumill,  Bost. spwr, Christian Science Monitor,  1930-72 1948  -  "The Georgia Peach stood so far above the others, it may be that no player will ever even approach him." (Baseball Magazine, March, 1948, pp. 349, column 1, "Evers Has Everything", by Ed Rumill, pp. 349-350, 354)
Rodger H. Pippen, Baltimore sp. editor,  1906-1957 1959  -  "Of all the great athletes in which Pippen held close association throughout the Golden Era of Sports until his retirement in 1958, he pulled no punches in opining that Cobb was the greatest of them all.  (Baltimore Sun, 1959)
Ed Pollock,  Philadelphia sportswriter,  1918-1963 1934  -  "Ty Cobb, if correctly quoted, regrets that as a player he took baseball so seriously.  Taking baseball seriously made Cobb the greatest player the game has ever known." 
 (Philadelphia Ledger, 1934)  (History of Baseball, edited by Joe Reichler Allison Danzig, 1959, pp. 163, which gave the newspaper reference, but  no dates)
1961  - "Though recognized as the greatest all-around player, Ty was just another private in the ranks when it came to taking orders from Connie Mack in the dugout."(Baseball Digest, 1961, pp. 67-72, "This was Ty Cobb, by Ed Pollock in the Phil. Bulletin)
Joe Williams,  Cleveland & NY sportswriter,  1910-1964 1925  -  "It will be a long time before the game develops a second Cobb, and then it will be just that--a second Cobb.  You've seen the first and only. (Cleveland News, June 30, 1925)
(Quote found in The Joe Williams Baseball Reader, edited by Peter Williams, 1989, pp. 14, column 2, but it gives no page or column)
1945  -  "Tyrus Raymond Cobb.  In my book he was the greatest ballplayer of all time.  I put Ruth in a separate category, the slugger supreme." (San Francisco, March 21, 1945)
Tom Meany,  NY sports writer,  1922-1956 1953  -  "He was Tyrus Raymond cobb, possibly the best ball player who ever lived certainly the most dynamic" . . "the ballplayer who, to paraphrase General Forrest, was called "the bestest by the mostest."  John McGraw called  Honus Wagner the best, many
 called Babe Ruth the best but the most called Ty Cobb the best."  (Baseball's Greatest Players, by Tom Meany, 1953, pp. 24)
1963  -  "Then there was Ty Cobb.  The only Cobb, combative and controversial.  His fiery spirit made him one of the great ones, perhaps the greatest.  No one in this favored land who grew up believing that this mercurial man from Georgia was the best
ballplayer of all time is likely to change his opinion now.  Cobb set more records than any player who ever lived.  Many of these have been broken in the 35 years that have passed since he retired.  Some still stand.  Some will always stand.
Cobb was Cobb.  There was no other like him, nor is there ever likely to be.  (Baseball's Best, by Tom Meany & Tommy Holmes, 1964
Ernest Lanigan,  Spwr. (Phil.,1887-1991),  Sp. News, 1888-1891 1953  -  "Ty Cobb was "without question" the greatest player of all time and Fred Clarke was the No. 1 manager.  Those were the definite opinions of Ernest J. Lanigan, historian of the Hall of Fame and Museum, who celebrated his 80th birthday here, Jan.4.
NY spwr. 1907-11,     Hall of Fame Historian, 1946-59
Hugh Fullerton, Chicago spwr. 1893-1930's 1930  -  "Cobb was the fiery, fighting Southern type, a very likable man with a wild temper, and undoubtedly the greatest player of all time.  Beside being the best base runner and hitter he was a magnificent fielder and a fine thrower until he hurt his
arm, but it was his indomitable spirit that made him the leader.  He fought for every point and fought his fellows if they did not battle as hard for victory as he did.  I sat behind Cobb on the club house porch once with Germany Schaefer, watching him
instead of the game.  He moved before each pitch, and leaped in one or another direction each time a ball was thrown, never still for an instant and always tensely observant of every move made on the field. (Baseball's Best, pp. 605,
(North American Review, May, 1930, pp. 605, "Baseball's Best", by Hugh S. Fullerton)
1936  -  "Cobb, it is conceded, was the super-player of all time, near perfect in every detail."  (Sporting News, January 23, 1936, pp. 3, column 3)
Francis J. Powers, 1926  -  "Cobb's Loss is Baseball's Loss  -  Cleveland fans were sorry to read of the passing of Ty Cobb.  There was no city in the league where Cobb was more popular.  He was always the object of much razzing, but he always gave it right back and the
Spwr.  Dayton, Detroit('17), Cleveland ('19 - 29), Chicago ('29 - '54) fans liked him.  Personally, I hate to think that the Georgian has gone.  I started writing baseball with the Detroit Club and found Cobb always ready to help a young fellow along. . . .The Tigers will not seem the same with Cobb missing from the troupe
PR director of East-West Shrine Football Game  ('55 - 75, San Fran.,CA) and those who had an opportunity to see him in his prime are to be considered fortunate for there never will be another in baseball like him."   (Sporting News, Nov.11, 1926, pp. 2, column 6)
Jack C. Kofoed 1925  -  "the versatility of Cobb's attack, which proved his keen baseball intelligence - of a higher degree, certainly, than the Sultan's - is enough to give him the edge.  In the field there can be little room for argument, Ruth is by no means a poor
Philadelphia spwr.               1912-23 fielder, but nature did not build him with the ranging power that was given Cobb.  He has unquestionably a stronger arm, but Ty has made better use of his, if "assist" averages can be given credence. . . No one can claim that Ty was less than a busy man
New York   spwr.               1923-38 in the field.  In this respect he heads Ruth at every department. . . . In addition, he went out, and gobbled flies that the more ponderous Yankee star could never have garnered. . . . But, purely in the business of outfielding, which is the only one on
Miami feature columnist       1938-79 which he and Cobb can be compared, he was definitely the Georgian's inferior. . . . On these figures it seems to me that Ty Cobb deserves a higher rating than does Babe Ruth at the top of the baseball ladder."
(Baseball Magazine, July, 1925, pp. 354,  "Who Is The greatest-- Cobb or Ruth?", by Jack C. Kofoed, pp. 353-354)
1933  - "Cobb is the outstanding ball player of all time." (History of Baseball, edited by Joe Reichler & Allison Danzig, 1959, pp. 162, column 1,  gives "New York Post, 1933" as a reference, but no dates)
Irving Vaughan,  Chicago sportswriter, 1910-1957 1961  -  "As for Cobb, he was the greatest.  He'd beat out a bunt and pretty soon he'd wind up at home.  Baseball to Ty was war.  He'd spike his own mother if a base was at stake.  He was a player without a weakness except that in his later years his arm
was gone.  I'll always think this was because of his habit of warming up before a game like a pitcher.  I've a notion that despite all the other things he did with such skill and wild abandon,
Cobb actually was a frustrated pitcher.  (Chicago Tribune, July 18, 1961)
James Gould,  St. Louis spwr.,  1918-1943 1940  -  "Deservedly in this list comes Ty Cobb on every poll ever taken, voted "the greatest player that ever lived."  What kind of a chap did Ty appear to me?  Of course, I saw him on the field, flashing spikes and the old bean working every minute.  Ty
was irascible to those who didn't know and sometimes to them who did;  he would fight at the drop of the hat and frequently did.  There were stories of him that he would deliberately cut down a base-guardian as he went his merry way of thievery on the
bases.  There never was the slightest basis of fact in these charges.  After all, you know the base-runner, too, has rights, and all Cobb wanted was all of them.  To me, off the field, he was the kindest and most soft-spoken of gentlemen.  In the later
years, of his long service, I got to know him very well and once - he was then with the Athletics- he came to St. Louis and I wrote a story about him.  He wasn't the old Cobb then by several nautical miles but his battling spirit still was there and, even
after 40, he still was a great ball-player.  Someway, the story struck his fancy.  He invited me out to his hotel to personally thank me and assure me that story would go into his scrapbook.  To this scribe, Cobb the nonpareil of baseball players, will
ever be a star--on and off, as the actors say.  A player of his type comes only once in three or four lifetimes." (Baseball Magazine, January, 1940, pp. 341, column 1, "Players We Have Met", by James M. Gould, pp. 341-342, 379-380)
1940  -  "They're still looking for another Ty Cobb.  And this writer will hock' the family plate--at least he would if there were any--and bet it all that, when the next century of the national pastime begins, they'll still be looking for one.
He could hit like a fiend and his like as a base-runner never will be seen again.  But he wasn't a great fielder. (Baseball Magazine, June, 1940, pp. 304, What's Baseball's Biggest Asset, by James M. Gould, pp.303-304, 328-329)
Jimmie C. Isaminger 1925  -  "Tyrus Raymond Cobb ranks as the greatest player that base ball has ever known. . . . It is possible that Rogers Hornsby hits the ball harder, perhaps oftener, than did Tyrus Raymond Cobb.  It is indubitably true that Babe Ruth hits a ball with a
Philadelphia sports writer, 1905-41 more wicked swing, more tremendous power than did or does Tyrus Raymond Cobb.  But neither ranks in our mind as the ALL-AROUND BATTER that Cobb is.  For the Georgian mastered every artifice known to batsmen. . . . He could clasp that bat in his gnarled
hands and hit distance clouts that made him no small marksman with the bludgeon.  He could place the ball as adeptly as Keeler, the greatest of all batsmen in this one feature of hitting.  Cobb had no weakness as a hitter.  He had no fault with the stick.
His appearance as the bat in the days of his glory and youth was the moment in which the opposing pitcher had his direst situation, his toughest foe and his darkest moment. . . . So Ty ran "wild" on the bases.  But he ran with a purpose.  He started
others on the same path, in fact he revolutionized the game.  He tore baseball away from its old wedlock to the army game, merely a contest of hit, run, field and throw.  He put it in a scientific groove, from which it did not free itself until Babe Ruth
and his bat lured base ball back to the old game of sock.  But he had accomplished his purpose.  His style, his methods, his finish converted base ball, growing steadily tedious, in which either the pitcher was supreme or the batter was august, into a
game where fresh stratagems were offered to outwit both. The game became speedier, the play became faster, the game held more of an appeal and a lure.  And Tyrus Raymond Cobb DID THAT.(Official American League Reach Base Ball Guide,February, 1926, pp. 38)
Bill Corum,  NY spwr. 1920-1958 1958  -  "As a figure in baseball, as must have been written down this side of this sports page at least a thousand times, Babe Ruth was to the writer "The Old Guy who stood Alone."  The description was mine and is, I think, still apt.
Yet, there is a difference between being the greatest figure in the game--the game's Jumbo and most celebrated star-- and being the greatest player of the game.  What would you be looking for? A Ruth, who could pitch with the best, play first base, and
beat your brains out with the home run?  Or a player who might play only one position and yet might be superlative as a hitter, base runner, defensive star, and a winner of games.  Because Babe was so superb and I was writing pieces in his years of glory,
and while I believed and still know that in one sense, he "Stood Alone," I still never wrote that opinion of him without somehow thinking of Ty Cobb.  Because, you see it's difficult to make a comparison between the sort of players, that Babe and Ty were.
That I saw Big George play many games must go without saying.  I, also, saw Cobb play quite a few games at Sportsman's Park--before it got around to living every golden minute as Busch Stadium." Bill then went on to say that Mays might go on to exceed all
other players who ever lived.  (NY Journal-American, Wednesday, July 25, 1958)
J. Roy Stockton 1940  -  "Occasionally you'll hear fans arguing about who was the greatest player the game ever knew, but most ball players accept Cobb as tops, without a question.  They still talk in dugouts and on trains and in hotel lobbies about how Cobb did this or
St. Louis sportswriter & sp. ed., 1917-1958 that and they are happy when they meet somebody who can tell them about Ty." (Sporting News, Aug. 22, 1940, pp. 4, column 4)
1948  -  "The question of who was the greatest ball player of all time is largely a matter of opinion and important largely to two persons-- the one expressing the opinion and the one who quickly challenges and disagrees.  We saw Sisler at his peak, and
it is not difficult to pick him as the greatest in our book.  He didn't hit home runs at the Ruth pace.  Detroit will laugh at the suggestion that Sisler be ranked above Ty Cobb.  But we'll stick to Sisler, nevertheless."  (Golden Age of Sports, edited by
Allison Danzig and Peter Brandwein, 1948, Baseball by J. Roy Stockton, Sports Editor, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
Denman Thompson 1969  -  The late Denman Thompson, sports editor of the Evening Star for many years, passed on shortly before he could find out if his late, great friend, Ty Cobb, would be voted the all-time best player.  Thompson and Cobb carried on a voluminous
Wash. spwr.,   1915-53 correspondence for years and Thompson always believed that no greater player ever lived than his friend, "The Georgia Peach".  (Washington Post, July 20, 1969, pp. 45, "Considerable Coverage", by Bob Addie)
Jack Malaney 1950  -  "putting the finger on the greatest of them all caused not the slightest bit of confusion.  Tyrus Raymond Cobb does not have even a close competitor when the king of all ball players is to be named.  That was an opinion which became unrestrained
Boston sportswriter (1919-1956) more than forty years back, a conclusion reached by the majority of the players, managers and scriveners of that era, and was continued throughout the following decade and a half before the Great Ty started to bow to the whims and edicts of Father Time.
Red Sox PR staff(1956-1970) It is an opinion which will hold forth, in the thoughts of the brainiest baseball men of the first half of this twentieth century, when the twenty-first century makes its bow, provided that the history of the sport is as accurately written and without
bias as it has been to date.  No hope is held that there ever again will be another Ty Cobb. . . .From . . . 1905 until . . . 1928, he was the most amazing of all ball players. . . . Not the greatest outfielder ever to patrol an outer garden nor the
possessor of as great a throwing arm as many others had, Cobb made up for what he lacked by the uncanny manner in which he played the game, so there never was any complaint concerning his defensive ability.  Offensively, he was so far ahead of all others
he made a joke of comparison.  He was the greatest batsman of all time and the scourge of all pitchers during his heyday. . his popularity was confined to his attractiveness as a GREAT.  He was hooted and howled at, booed, stoned, attacked by both players
and fans, and yet no other person proved the magnet for real fans as he. . . Boston, always noted  in those days as one of the smartest of all baseball cities, disliked him cordially and let him know it. . . Detroit's Tigers were the greatest attraction
because of Ty's presence in the lineup.  And because he batted in third spot in the lineup and thus was sure to come to bat in the opening inning, the stands usually were filled when the game started -- nobody wanted to miss seeing even one of his times
at bat.  He probably got as much opposition in Boston as in any city, particularly in the days of the great Red Sox teams of the first Bill Carrigan regime.  Bill -- Old Rough they call him in those days --refused to acknowledge that Tyrus couldn't be
stopped and it was a constant battle whenever the two teams met. . . Think of a player defying an entire team, not only once, but regularly and going on to play in what is today considered superhuman form.  Chances are slim there ever will be another Ty
Cobb in baseball ability. . . So perhaps it is not so much of a chance veteran baseball men are taking when they say that Ty Cobb was the greatest in the first half of the twentieth century and that he still will hold that honor when the first hundred
years of organized baseball are finished. (Baseball Digest, April, 1950, pp. 73-77, Poll names Ruth greatest, but -- I'll Still Take Cobb!  by Jack Malaney, condensed from the Boston Post)
Sam Greene 1926  -  "There is hardly any doubt that Cobb was the greatest ball player the game has produced. . . . He could do things no other ball player could equal.  He was the most scientific of the batsmen and the most daring and effective of the base runners.
Detroit spwr. 1922-63 In the outfield, he was below the standard of Tris Speaker, Eddie Roush and a few others, but he made himself a star.  He developed a sense of showmanship that led to some of the most spectacular catches ever made by an outfielder. . . .Baseball will
hardly see his like again." (Sporting News, Nov.11, 1926, pp. 1, column 5)
1926  -  "Ty Cobb, lean of flank, is presented as "the greatest ballplayer of them all."  That was 15 years ago and it is interesting to note that Cobb clung to the title to the end of his diamond career.  The Georgian kept so far ahead of the field that
none arose to dispute his eminence.  "In comparing a ballplayer," the editor in 1912 wrote, "the Cobb standard always is used."
That same line would be appropriate today, tomorrow, possibly as long as baseball endures." (Sporting News, December 16, 1926, pp. 6, column 6)
1934  -  "It was there that Ty Cobb started in 1905 the spactacular career that stamped him as the greatest player of all time."  (Sporting News, March 22, 1934, pp. 6, column 3)
1939  -  No other writer (Harry Salsinger) did more to spread the fame of the fiery Cobb, to give the country a clear and sympathetic picture of this many-sided genius
whom most qualified observers call the greatest ball player in history." (Sporting News, Dec. 28, 1939, pp. 7, column 3)
James T. Farrell 1957  -  "It is impossible to over-praise his ability on the ball field. . . . If there ever is another Ty Cobb in baseball, this will be a most extraordinary happening.  Ball players like Cobb are singular, rare, even among those who are indisputably
Wrote My Baseball Diary, 1956 great.  I am very glad that I saw him play frequently.  Ty Cobb is generally regarded as the greatest ball player who ever lived.  That was how he was thought of at the height of his career. . . . But be this as it may, Ty Cobb remains as something
phenomenal and utterly extraordinary in the history of baseball. . . . He had the natural equipment, the instinct, or intuition, the head, the daring and the interest to be what he was--a ball player of untold greatness.  There are great ball players who
are mechanically perfect, who do everything well and show their unmistakable abilities.  there are others like Cobb.. Cobb played with his full potential and you always sensed that.  He gave himself to the game, and with a baseball intelligence that
matched his daring. Added to every other talent there was mind.  He played with his mind, and this you felt as you watched him.. We can say that there are many kinds of ball players, including great ones.  But even among the great ball players there is
something particular to say of Ty Cobb.  He played with brilliance.  Averages, better fielding equipment, night games, more road trips, the lively ball and the whole shebang notwithstanding, it is rare that you see athletes like Ty Cobb.  As a ball player
he was what the French call quelque chose, and on the ball field he had je ne sais quoi.  It means the same in English-- "I do not know what."  (My Baseball Diary, by James T. Farrell, 1957, pp. 219)
1966  -  "Possibly one had to see Ty Cobb play to believe that he played as he did.  He was the most singular phenomenon of a ball player whom I have ever seen play, more singular even than Babe Ruth or Ted Williams." (August 11, 1966)
C. Lamont Buchanan 1951  -  "He was Tyrus R. Cobb, the Georgia Peach, called by more experts than any other man, baseball's greatest all-around player.  For nearly 25 years Cobb dominated the sport.  He played each contest as though his life depended on it. . . Connie Mack,
authored many BB books once asked what baseball's greatest record was, without hesitation pointed to Cobb.  "The toughest thing to do is to continue hustling and bearing down after you have achieved success.  Yet Ty never let any of his incredible achievements slow him down or
make him complacent.  His great number of titles over a long period of time is baseball's greatest record." . . . Many experts rate the Georgia Peach as the greatest ballplayer who ever lived.  "That Cobb," they swear.  "He was in a class all by himself."
(The World Series and  Highlights of Baseball by Lamont Buchanan, 1951)
Joe Falls 1961  -  "I'm sad because I think of the times my boy, Bobby, who would ask me to tell him about Cobb.  I'd disguise my ignorance of the man by merely saying, "Bobby, he was the greatest player who ever lived."  And he'd ask, hesitantly, even greater than
NY spwr.  1951-1953,   Detroit spwr. 1953-? Babe Ruth?"  I'd reply, "Yes, even greater than Babe Ruth," . . .and his eyes would light up with an admiration that can come only with hero worshipper of 9."  (Detroit Free Press, Tuesday, July 18, 1961, pp. 25, "Confidence!  It Made Cobb Great, by Joe F
1969  -  "Mr. (Dick) Young asks us to name the greatest single player in history, and this has to be either Ruth or Cobb and you can argue long into the night over the merits of these two players, and finally I came up with Ruth because he seemed to have
more of an impact on the game, though for sheer ability, Cobb probably had an edge on The Bambino." (Sporting News, July 5, 1969, pp. 2, column 2) (note: ripped Ty off through double-talk.  Falls now in 2001 puts Ruth #1 again in a personal letter.)
1975  -  "This was one of the wisest moves ever made in the Tigers' history, because Cobb became the greatest player in the game."   "Some say Cobb was the greatest player of all time. "  (The Detroit Tigers by Joe Falls, 1975)
Cliff Bloodgood 1926  -  Cobb Stands Alone  -  For twenty-two years Cobb has blazed a flaming trail along the pathways of baseball, has done the things wonderful, spectacular, Herculean -- things almost unbelievable in the sheer brilliance of achievement.
Baseball Magazine Editor-in-Chief & sp. wr. , 1925-54 Cobb not merely has no equal but he never had a rival.  They've called him "peerless," the"wonder man," "amazing," the "baseball sublime," yet none ever has properly praised him because the English language knows no adjective sufficiently superlative to
  describe Ty Cobb--of "Jawja,  Sah." (Reach AL Official Baseball Guide, 1926)
1941  -  "If any youngster doubts--no old timer who knows anything at all about baseball would--the greatness of Ty Cobb, the game's number one man in the Hall of Fame at Cooperstown, let him take a look at the records.  This genius of geniuses with his
blazing spirit lasted 24 years in the American League and except for his first season batted better than .300 all the way. (Baseball Magazine, January, 1941, pp. 356)
1951  -  "Ty is generally regarded as the greatest of all players, and a detailed review of his record achievements alone would require more space than is allotted for this article.  (Baseball Magazine, May, 1951, pp. 405)
Tommy Holmes, Brooklyn, NY spwr., 1920-56 1954  -  "But as a hitter and as a base runner, Cobb stood alone.  You can say that Mays has more power but all you actually know is that Willie hits the modern lively ball farther than Cobb could hit the leather covered rock pitchers threw 40 years ago.
Home runs were not unknown to Cobb.  for instance, he led the league in 1909 with nine, indicating that he was one of the best of his time.  (Brooklyn Eagle, August 11, 1954, pp. 18 This is Ridiculous--Mays Versus Cobb)
(Author's note;  In the interest of historical accuracy, Cobb easily outslugged Mays.  Cobb led his league in RBI's 4 times, Total Bases 6 times, slugging ave. 8 times, OBA 6 times.  Mays led the same categories 0 times, 3 times, 5 times, 2 times. 
Moreover, Cobb may have led his league only once in home runs, but he came in 2nd place for homers twice, and 3rd place twice.  Overall, only Ruth can outrank Cobb as a slugger historically.)
Herman Wecke,  St. Louis sportswriter, 1912-66 1926  -  "Cobb, the player, was the greatest. . .  Cobb, when at his best, was always doing the unexpected.  When he reached first he usually upset the entire opposing team." (Sporting News, Dec. 9, 1926, pp. 3, column 2)
Bill Dooly,  Phil. spwr., 1924-47,   Phillies'  PR staff, 1947-56 1926  -  "Cobb's retirement will give birth again to the fruitless discussion that attempts to fasten the fame of being the greatest player in the history of the game on this man or that man.  It will result in a digging up of the records of Pop Anson,
famous first baseman and manager of the old Chicago White Stockings: of Honus Wagner, the Flying Dutchman of the Pittsburgh infield, and of the contemporary Babe Ruth and Rogers Hornsby.  Disregarding the merits of the testimony offered by the admirers
of Anson, Wagner, Ruth and Hornsby, we credit Cobb with being the greatest individualist that ever trod a baseball diamond.  Babe Ruth has his flair of showmanship,  is perhaps even greater than Cobb ever was as a creator of newspaper headlines,
and no doubt, has proven a greater drawing card, but Cobb was Cobb and no other has approached him. . . There has only been one Cobb--there'll never be another."
"Disregarding the merits of the testimony offered by the admirers of Anson, Wagner, Ruth and Hornsby, we credit Cobb with being the greatest individualist that ever trod a baseball diamond.  Babe Ruth has his flair of showmanship, is perhaps even
greater than Cobb ever was as a creator of newspaper headlines, and , no doubt, has proven a greater drawing card, but Cobb was Cobb and no other has approached him." (Sporting News, November 18, 1926,  pp. 7, column 3)
Fred Corcoran.  Massachusetts golf promoter 1965  -  "Ty Cobb was a boyhood hero of mine.  I always thought he was the greatest baseball player who ever pulled on a pair of spikes." (Unplayable Lies, by Fred Corcoran, 1965)
Sid Keener,  St. Louis spwr.,  1907-51, 1961  -  "Every one identified with baseball agrees that Cobb was the game's greatest individual player," remarked Keener.  "Of course, there is Babe Ruth and his record as a home run slugger, and the mighty Honus Wagner. However, Ty was creative, daring,
Hall of Fame  Director, 1952-63 and courageous. He compiled more records than any other player. Ty will be missed in Cooperstown and throughout baseball. However, his performance on the ball field will live on and on."(July 20, 1961,"Ty Cobb Dies; One of First Hall of Famers",by Farmer)
1963  -  "I still think Ty Cobb was number one," the former sports writer said.  "He was the individualist, the creator.  He was the first man to go from first to third on an infield out.  He was the first to score from second on an outfield fly."
In praising Cobb, Keener said he did not intend to take any luster away from Babe Ruth or any of the other all-time stars of
the game. They were all different," he added, "Ruth was a stylist--the best in his specially, the home run. He captured the imagination of the public. He was great."
(Staten Island Advance, August 24, 1963, picked up this article from Cooperstwon, N.Y. (AP)--"Ty Cobb Is Still No. 1 To Baseball's Historian")
Gordon Cobbledick Many of Cobbledick's columns focused on the never-ending debate over who was the greatest ballplayer of all time or who did or did not deserve admission to baseball's Hall of Fame.  Cobbledick did not agree with polls of sportswriters and broadcasters
Cleveland sportswriter, 1928-1964 who named George Herman "Babe" Ruth as the greatest player of the twentieth century.  In Cobbledick's opinion Ty Cobb was the greatest player.  Acknowledging that Ruth was a superlative home run hitter, Cobbledick maintained that in every other category,
with the possible exception of throwing, Cobb was superior to Ruth. (Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 171, "American Sports Writers", pp. 75)
Harvey T. Woodruff 1928  -  "Ty Cobb, for 22 years with Detroit and the last two seasons with Philadelphia, has announced his retirement from active baseball at the end of the current pennant fight.  Thus passes the greatest diamond performer of all time.  That is
Chicago spwr., 1898-03, 1909-37 The Wake's opinion.  With those who may choose some one else we have no quarrel or argument, but for all around accomplishment give us Ty Cobb.  Babe Ruth unquestionably has attracted more people through the turnstiles than any other player, past or
present.  He has produced more home runs in one season and still is producing them.  He is a clouter.  If Cobb be inferior to Ruth as a home run hitter he was not inferior in any other respect, not even in batting.  On the bases, in the outfield, in quick
thinking, he outclassed the Bambino.  One watches with anticipation when Babe Ruth is at bat.  One watched with anticipation when Ty Cobb was at bat, in the field, or on the bases.  If one didn't watch one was likely to miss something worth seeing.  Even
when Ty passes his name will endure long in record book.  He led the American league in batting twelve years -- nine years in succession, from 1907-1915 inclusive.  That mark is approached only by Hans Wagner, who topped the list eight times in the
National league.  Cobb led his league in stolen bases ten different seasons and had a record of 96 in 1915.  Marks which he holds take nearly a half page in the baseball guide.  Strangely enough, this greatest player of all time never enjoyed being on a
world's championship aggregation.  Three times while he was a member Detroit won its league pennant --1907-8-9--and lost three times in succession, to the Cubs  twice and to Pittsburgh.  Always a high salaried player.  Cobb retires independently wealthy.
. . . It always will be a pleasant memory to The Wake that we saw him in action so many times during his prime. ( Sept. 23, 1928, pp. A2, Chicago Daily Tribune, In the Wake of the News;  Harvey T. Woodruff inherited this column from Jack Lait in Nov.,'19,
who in turn, had inherited it from Ring Lardner in Jun.,'19. Lardner had conducted the column since June, 1913.  Harvey T. Woodruff conducted the column In the Wake of the News until his death in '37, when Arch Ward inherited it until his death in '55.
James Crusinberry 1951  -  "In fact, it was his terrific base-running, along with his superb batting and strong fielding, that made Ty Cobb the greatest player the game ever had.  Now, of course, speaking of Cobb as the greatest player of all time may not be a universal
Spwr.  (Chicago, '03-07, 11-23, 27-32), (NY, '10-13), (St. Louis, '08-10) opinion, but it is mine as well as that of such an authority as the late Charles A. Comiskey and a number of other baseball men who watched Cobb during his entire career.  (Baseball Magazine, April, 1951, pp. 375).
Hub Miller, NY sports writer 1952  -  "Crowding the 25-year champs at 24 was perhaps the greatest player of them all, Tyrus Raymond Cobb, the Georgia Peach.  Cobb set the American League afire shortly after joining the Detroit Tigers back in 1905, and kept the flame burning brightly
until he hung up his spikes with the Philadelphia Athletics in 1928."  (Baseball Magazine, March, 1952, pp. 17)
Dwight Freeburg, Baseball Magazine writer 1941  -  So speaks Tyrus Raymond Cobb, generally considered the greatest ballplayer of all time.  (Baseball Magazine, August, 1941, pp. 414)
Arthur O. W. Anderson, Baseball Magazine writer 1941  -  "Perhaps the most classic and wide-spread baseball question is, "Who was the game's greatest ballplayer?"  Most of the decisions on this one, and there must have been millions, have slipped the duke to either Tyrus Raymond Cobb, or John Henry
Wagner.  If, in contrast to the baseball umpire's decision, which is generally in the minority, but always final, this were left to a vote, the verdict would undoubtedly go to Cobb, the fiery Georgia Peach.  But if it were left to a consensus of expert
baseball opinions of those who were familiar with both players in their prime, it would probably go to the Flying Dutchman.With such acknowledged baseball experts as John J. McGraw and Ed Barrow giving Wagner the palm."(Baseball Magazine,May,1941,pp. 554)
Robert W. Beall, Baseball Magazine writer 1930  -  "Shortstop would present the second greatest ballplayer the world has produced--Honus Wagner.  Next to Cobb, the Flying Dutchman rates as the game's most wonderful performer.  Who will ever forget those two?  Wagner was a circus all by himself. 
Many people went every time Pittsburgh came to town just to see Honus play like they go to see Babe Ruth sock home runs now.  Now for outfielders.  Ty Cobb leads them all. Ty could do anything. . . He is the game's greatest hitter, run scorer and base
runner. . . He ran wild on the bases. . . He always specialized in the unexpected. . . He played at all times to win--tried his hardest even though his team might be out of the pennant race.  That's the spirit that conquers worlds and builds empires."
(Baseball Magazine, July, 1930, pp. 363-365, 375;  quote apears on pp. 365))
Malcolm Bingay 1946  - "What Shakespeare was to literature, Beethoven was to music, Caruso was to tenors, Napoleon was to warfare, Lincoln was to statesmanship, Newton was to physics, Ty Cobb was to baseball--peculiar, alone, unique; the apotheosis of the apple slappers.
Detroit News sp ed. 1903-10, . . . I am also asked, whenever I broach the subject, what Ty Cobb would do with this fast ball and modern style of play.  I have already explained what Sam Crawford would do.  But with Ty it is different.  Nobody ever knew what he would do--anywhere or
Detroit News city editor, 1910-14 at any time, on or off the field. With his lightninglike thought processes, his power of concentration, his sublime courage and his ruthless will to win, there is no doubt he would be a sensation under any set of conditions, or with any kind of ball.  But
Detroit News managing editor, 1914-28 it would not be the Ty Cobb who stands alone now in the Hall of Fame at Cooperstown.  Ty's genius was strategy, . . . That year(1915) Cobb was thrown out thirty-eight times while trying to steal.  But here figures don't mean much.  More strategy.  Any
Detroit News London Bureau chief, 1928-30 time the Tigers were away ahead, and our pitcher was working smoothly, Cobb always ran wild on the bases, just to build up his reputation as an India-rubber idjit on a spree, as that old sports writer, Kipling, might have called him.  He never wanted any
Detroit Free Press, editorial director, 1930-53 infield, pitcher or catcher, to have a moment's rest.  He wanted'em so badly scared they'd still be frightened the next day.  I must admit that, having watched this piece of greased lightning in human form ever since that first day he joined the Tigers in
Saw Cobb every Detroit home game, 1905-26 August 1905 after he had hung up his spiked shoes for good, the game was never quite the same for me.  I never see a runner rounding second now, hesitating and dancing back to the bag like a frightened bird whose mother is trying to push him out of the
nest, that I don't recall what Cobb would have done in the same situation. . . With Cobb on the bags, it was easy for the batters following him to get hits.  The pitcher had something else on his mind. . . . But he ( Tigers owner Frank J. Navin) never
denied it was Ty's fame brought the money to the gate.  Ty made possible the great new field. . . .There are many leaders of business today who will confess that they came to Detroit during the first and second decades of the twentieth century so that
they could watch Ty Cobb play. . . . "I didn't know that you were a baseball fan, Jimmy." (Malcolm Bingay to Jimmy Doolittle, famous aviator.) "I'm not," he grinned; "just a Cobb fan.  As a kid in St. Louis I never missed a game in which Cobb played, but
| can't remember being interested in any others.  What interested you in Ty Cobb?"  "Speed!" said Jimmy.  "Just speed!  I wanted to see him go around those bases."  "Would ty have made a good aviator?"  "Yes--a wonder!  I have never known any other man who
had such complete co-ordination of mind and body."  (Detroit Is My Own Home Town by Malcolm Bingay, 1946, pp. 152, 154-155, 157-158, 163, 259-260.)
Bert Walker, Detroit spwr. 1920-47 1921  -  "In stategy, there isn't a manager in the game who can out-brain Cobb.  He is the most brilliant player in the game and he can be expected to devise brilliant plays for the club as he has devised them for himself."
(Sporting News, April 21, 1921, pp. 4, column 3)
Wilbur W. Wood 1961  -  "I was flabbergasted that this greatest of all ball players remembered the incident and had demeaned himself to apologize publicly. . . I submit that this bears out your contention that Cobb was a wonderful and warm-hearted man, tops in character
St. Louis spwr., 1913-19, 23-24       NY spwr., 1924-50 and everything else."  (Sporting News, December 14, 1961, pp. 14, column 4 & 5)
Abe Kemp,  San Francisco spwr., 1907-69 1961  -  "pointing a finger at the greatest ballplayer of all time"   (San Francisco Examiner, July 21, 1961, by Abe Kemp)
James R. Harrison, NY Spwr. 1919-30 1925 - ". . . Cobb, who has done more for local baseball than any man living or dead.  The greatest player who ever wore spikes, holder of more batting and base running records than any other man, a fiery and hard-working manager-this is all the Georgia Peach has been to Detroit. (NY Times, May 17, 1925, pp. S1)
Arch B. Ward, Chicago spwr. 1930-55 1937 - "Ty Cobb was the greatest player of all time, and Joe Jackson was the best natural hitter . . .(Chicago Daily Tribune, May 18, 1937, pp. 22)
Stanley Woodward 1961  -  "He was the greatest hitter, the greatest base-runner, the greatest strategist and --The GREATEST BALL PLAYER (New York Herald Tribune, July 18, 1961)
Spwr. (Boston, 1923-30),   (NY, '30-62)
Paul Gallico,  NY spwr. 1923-36,   In the same blunt appraisal, Gallico saw Cobb as the greatest player who ever lived, greater even than Babe Ruth or Honus Wagner, a unique, compelling character. . . an astonishing man who infused such drama, flesh and blood into the chill records he set
lived in Europe, Monte Cargo, Monaco,  (1936-76, death) that his like has not been seen since. (The Golden People, by Paul Gallico, 1965)
John Drebinger,   NY spwr. 1927-64 1935  -  "The greatest all-around performer that baseball ever developed, taking into account all of the game's ramifications, batting, base running, defensive skill, longevity and general brilliance, was Ty Cobb.  Only a stride behind him rode
Tris Speaker.  In fact, Spoke's one misfortune was that his illustrious career had to run concurrently with that of the famous Georgia Peach.  And the most colorful, glamorous and perhaps the most truly great of them all was George Herman Ruth."  
(New York Times, December 26, 1935, pp. 24, "Sports of the Times", by John Drebinger, Pinch-Hitting for John Kieran)
1938  -  "Cobb, perhaps, came closer than any to filling all the requirements.  He was dynamic,  brilliant, literally driving himself to greatness.  What he did not come by naturally he acquired by long and patient practice.  He ranked for years as the
greatest sure-fire hitter the game ever saw.  To this he added a dash and daring on the basepaths no player has ever been able to match.  He was not the greatest of fielders, but by long, diligent practice he drove himself to the point where he could do
all things more than reasonably well.  With the same determination that he tore into his sliding pits until his sides were raw he would practice throws to the plate until his arm was ready to drop off."  (Baseball Magazine, November, 1938, pp. 549)
Arthur Daley,  NY spwr.,  1926-74 1945  -  "But why try to explain Cobb's method of doing things?  He was so far beyond the average that what might seem simple and fundamental to him would be out of the reach of the ordinary athlete.  The fiery Georgian--pardon me, he is a very meek
chap--made so much baseball history that his like never will come again."  (NY Times, September 2, 1945, Sports of the Times column, by Arthur Daley)
1957  -  "Cobb was more than just a great player, probably the greatest of them all.  He was a diamond intellectual, analyst and psychologist rolled into one.  Not only could he hit better and run faster that anyone else, but he also could outthink any
other ball player."  (NY Times, June 4, 1957, Sports of the Times column by Arthur Daley)
Kenneth D. Smith,  NY spwr. 1925-63,  Hall of Fame, 1964-80 1952, 1962  -  "Cobb is one popular conception of the greatest baseball player of all time."  (Baseball's Hall of Fame, by Ken Smith, 1952, 1962,  pp. 109)
1961  -  "At Tupelo, Miss., last February, Andy Reese, Giants' speedster of the late '30's recalled how Cobb worked with Lefty O'Doul and himself.  "We trained in his home town, Augusta, and he hadn't yet reported for his own last year with the A's.  He
made Lefty and me come out every morning at 7 o'clock and hit.  I guess that's what he used to do himself when he was a minor leaguer.  But here he was, 41, out there with a bat.  Cobb won the batting chamionship for O'Doul in my book."
(Smith, continued)   (New York Mirror, Thursday, July 20, 1961, by Ken Smith)
William J. O'Connor,  St. Louis spwr., 1908-1917 1914  -  "Off the field Ty is first a gentleman, affable and retiring.  He's not the bellicose, blatant butcher-beater that he has been pictured.  On the contrary, he's what Robert Burns would call a "discontented ghost, a perturbed spirit."  Ty has a
grievance.  Cobb, unquestionably the greatest ball player on earth, the highest salaried individual in the rank and file of the diamond"  (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 8, 1914)
Ed Batchelor,  Detroit spwr. 1906-17 1939  -  "There never was such a combination of brains and skill."  Batchelor recalls today.  "Others might have been able to imagine the plays he made, but only Cobb could execute them."  ( Sporting News, April 6, 1939, pp. 9, column 5)
1961  -  "As the oldest active member of the Baseball Writer's Association of America, in point of continuous service dating back to October 1908, it was my privilege to see a very large percentage of the baseball games in which Tyrus Raymond Cobb
appeared during his tenure of 22 years with the Detroit Tigers.  This, I believe, lends some authority to my appraisal of his talents and accomplishments.  It has established that, in my considered opinion, he was , all things considered,
the greatest ballplayer that ever lived and the most valuable piece of property ever owned by any ball club,". . . "Early in his baseball life, a canard developed that Ty was a brawler who constantly sought trouble.  Unfortunately for him,  there then
were . . . on the Detroit roster, a few who were contemptible bullies. . . "So much of the Cobb saga has to do with his hitting and basestealing that many fans forget his accomplishments as a fielder.  He was one of the best, with speed enough to cover
ground, good judgment on fly ball, sure hands, and an adequate arm.  In fact, in his early days his arm rated excellent but he impaired it somewhat by insisting on trying to develop into a pitcher and spending a lot of time throwing curves and various
trick deliveries.  ( My Life in Baseball - the True Record,  By Ty Cobb with Al Stump, 1961, pp. 9-11)
1965  -  "Ah, now there was a ball player.  A player of fantastic skills. . . .But he won't utter a word about Cobb, the man.  "There's only one thing I want to remember--that he was a great ball player.  I don't want to remember the rest," he said.
(Batchelor, continued),    (Sporting News, August 28, 1965, pp. 15, column 2)
Edgar B. Brands, St. Louis spwr., 1930-1954 1962  -  "While active players vied for the limelight, the game lost the greatest player in its history when death claimed by Ty Cobb." (Sporting News, Jan. 3, 1962, pp. 14, column 2)
C. William Duncan, 1958  -  "I didn't know Cobb intimately when he played for Detroit.  I met him only once then, via Lu Blue, the Detroit first baseman.  I did know Cobb intimately in 1927 and 1928, when he played for the Philadelphia Athletics, also in 1929 and in 1930.
Phil. spwr. 1921-67 The latter year I visited him for ten days at his home in Augusta.  Cobb to me was not only by far the greatest player I ever saw, he was a fascinating conversationalist, well versed in finance and world affairs as well as baseball.  I spent dozens of
of evenings with him and listened to him by the hour.  I was surely a friend of his and he of mine.  Al Simmons was his friend.  So was Dan Howley, manager of the Browns and later Cincinnati.  When I visited Ty in Augusta, he seemed to know everybody and
everybody knew him.  Some of his buddies went fishing with us.  He was far from a lonely man. So I want to pay tribute to the greatest ball player and, in my opinion, an outstanding personality and friend." (Sp. News, Nov. 19, 1958, pp. 15, column 4 & 5)
1962 -  "Ty Cobb was a man who had many friends and there were many who disliked him. . .to me he was the greatest player I ever saw by far during 53 years watching the game as a fan, feature writer and TV commentator."
(Sporting News, Jan. 17, 1962, pp. 15, column 2)
Harry M. Grayson,  Phil. & NY spwr.,  1910's-74 1939  -  "they never laughed at the man who was to stand alone as the fiery genius of baseball.". . .Bill Croke. . .  He is the man who peddled the greatest ball player of all time to Bill Armour. . .  July 4, 1905.  (New Enterprise Ass., Apr. 6, 1939)
1944  -  "Tyrus Raymond Cobb stands alone as the fiery genius of baseball.  Ty Cobb possessed a combination of talents that has been found in no one else, but it was his burning desire to excel that made him the greatest ball player who ever lived.  Cobb
was so sincerely a bad loser that he became a terrific winner.  Cobb was the only player who dominated the game. . . .They did not know how to play him.  (They Played the Game: The Story of Baseball Greats, by Harry Grayson, 1944, pp. 3)
Rud Rennie, NY spwr.,  1925-56 1927  -  "People talk of Babe Ruth as a better ball player than Cobb.  Right now, he is.  But when one considers their life time averages there can't be any comparison.  Cobb is in a class by himself."  (NY Herald-Tribune, 1927,)
Barney Kremenko, 1961  -  Cobb Was Game's Greatest Star  -  "Cobb, the first player elected to Baseball's Hall of Fame-- even outpolling home run king Babe Ruth by seven votes in the original balloting in 1936--was the unique genius of the game's first century.  . .
NY spwr. 1931-68 . . . brought to the game a special brand of daring, intensity and consuming will to win that never has been matched by any player past or present. . . Cobb most recently was honored by the New York chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association on
Jan. 21, 1960.  In an unusual departure from custom, the writers honored Cobb as "the outstanding player of 1911" --  49 years later--and heard him say feelingly,  "I'm proud I was a ball player."  (NY Journal-American, July 18, 1961)
Furman Bisher,  spwr.(1938-90's),  Atlanta spwr. (1950-90's) 1950  -  "Tyrus Raymond Cobb, recognized in Georgia and other parts of the world as the greatest ball player of all time, came home to his native state, August 29, and found the Atlanta Crackers waiting for him,
 (Sporting News, September 6, 1950, pp. 29, column 2)
Bill James,    prolific baseball author, 1970's-present 1984  -  "(Maury) Allen's book is entertaining and thoughtful, and its selections at times are courageous.  He avoids the knee-jerk selection of Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth as the greatest ever, "  (Bill James 1st Historical Baseball Abstract, 1984, pp. 276)
Ward Morehouse,  1943  -  "I saw my first big league (baseball) game in 1920.  I have found it generally agreed that the White Sox club of 1919 were the absolute standout team of all time, that Cobb was the greatest player and Johnson the greatest pitcher.
NY Sun dramatic critic &  Broadway columnist,  1920'2-50's (Sporting News, September 24, 1942, pp. 2, column 5)
AL Thomy, Atlanta Constitution spwr. 1961  -  "Thus will come to an earthly end the saga of the Georgia Peach, Ty Cobb, the incomparable, the athlete aflame with an insatiable desire to succeed, the greatest baseball player of all time.  His accomplishments are legion and have been recounted
July 20, 1955-86,  Sporting News correspondent, '66-86 many times before."  (Atlanta Constitution, July 19, 1961, pp. 26)
Edgar F. Wolf (Jim Nasium),St. Louis sports cartoonist, spwr. 1931  -  "Probably the most colorful player of all time, as well as the greatest, was Ty Cobb."  (Sporting News, February 19, 1931, pp. 3, column 6)
John Durant 1947  -  "Cobb comes first.  He was King.  A score of years after his retirement, when the first Hall of Fame selections were being made, the experts said, "Well, first of all there's Cobb."  His name led all the rest.  And for the twenty-four years he
Free-lance book author played he led all the rest--in hitting, base stealing, run making--in everything.  He is remembered as a base runner and hitter but he was spectacular in the outfield although his arm was considered little better than average.  Even so, he led the league
in assists one year. As for his batting, he had no peer and it is unlikely that he ever will have. .  . remember, that Cobb never got anything but the best from the pitchers he faced.  They never eased up on him.  They worked the corners and fed him every
known trick delivery. . . . Cobb was King.  ( The Story of Baseball by John Durant, 1947)
Wilton S. Farnsworth, 1912  -  STAR OF TIGER TEAM IN A CLASS BY HIMSELF  --TY COBB IS KING OF BALL PLAYERS  --"After seven years of work on the diamond Ty Cobb--Tyrus Raymond Cobb is his complete title--is without doubt the king of baseball players.  The accompanying box
Boston, Atlanta, NY spwr. 1904-37 proves that he is a better offensive player than either Lajoie or Wagner, the only men who dispute his title.  And where they come in to be compared in the same class with the Tiger is beyond the wildest dream of the writer. . . . Cobb may have a superior
in every department of the game, but all around he is the champion.  Davy Jones, the former leftfielder of the Detroits, beat Cobb in a 100-yard race for a side bet one day last season.  Surely Milan, of Washington, and Speaker, of Boston, have it on him
in fielding.  Birmingham Cree and a dozen others have a better arm.  But where does this bunch compare with Cobb?  Why, he would be worth them all put together if the bunch was on the market."  ( Atlanta Georgian, January, 1912, by W. S. Farnsworth)
Bill Leiser, San Francisco spwr. 1922-65 1945  -  "IT WAS TY COBB, THE GREATEST BASEBALL PLAYER who ever lived, at present a very successful businessman, whom we wanted. . . .Esquire, the magazine, had asked us to secure Ty Cobb's services if possible, and we wouldn't have batted any eye, nor
would Esquire have batted one of the pop eyes of the gentleman on its cover, if Mr. Cobb had suggested a stiff fee.  If Mr. Cobb's services were actually to be paid for, on a business bases, in this situation something like $10,000 would have been
about right.  Ty is a good business man; and he knows it.  And some say he's a difficult uncooperative type guy.  Why, this greatest player who ever lived, this "difficult guy," this very busy man who had previously had not the slightest indication that
he would be asked to do this job--right there, then and there, without hesitation; gave two weeks of his time and a lot of work to the American kids who love baseball and promptly said he couldn't accept any money for working with a bunch of boys. . . .We
shall never forget Ty's unqualified first answer, "If you mean it, I'll do anything you say."  (San Francisco Chronicle, April 27, 1945)
John Manning, Detroit spwr. & sp.ed., 1922-60 "He ran the bases as they never had been run before and never will be run again.  He gave no quarter and he asked none.  He took the extra chance, got that extra base.  He was flame and fury.  He was Ty Cobb.  There will never be another."
(Manning, Continued)  (Detroit Times, February 18, 1960, Last of a series of 3 articles on Ty Cob)
John F. Steadman, Baltimore sp.ed. (1945-2000) 1961  -  To Be The Best Was Cobb's Obsession  -  Baseball and the human race never knew another like him. . . . he cared not that he wasn't always popular, only that he was forever the best.  His rich ability earned for him the highest decoration of
acceptance the game could bestow--the first man to be enshrined in the Hall of fame. Cobb's accomplishments are so numerous that he virtually turned the record boods of baseball into an autobiography. (Sporting News, Jan. 24, 1862, pp. 12, column 5)
He left a record of accomplishment that may some day be challenged but never surpassed.
John J. Ward,  Baseball Magazine writer 1937 - "Ty Cobb was a shining example of a brilliant but difficult temperament.  He was the greatest player baseball has ever known. " (Baseball Magazine, July, 1937, pp. 308)
Art B. McGinley, Hartford, CT  spwr., 1920-74 1960  -  "greatest baserunner of all time". . ."his super talent". . "There will never be another Ty Cobb. racing for the nearest base, his steel spikes glistening under the summer sun, a star hated, feared, and admired." (Hartford Times,  April 16, 1960)
Ed Burkholder, Free-lance author 1955  -  "When Jim McAleer said "No" to Harry Baker, the St. Louis Browns lost the greatest ballplayer that ever played baseball.  You may have guessed his name by now, as he was none other than the great Tyrus Raymond Cobb, better known as Ty Cobb!
Wrote "Baseball Immortals, 1955 (Baseball Immortals by Ed Burkholder, 1955, pp. 58)
J. E. O'Phelan, 1926  -  "The passing from the active field of the major leagues of Ty Cobb was recognized in these parts as the big news story that it undoubtedly was.  Even the newspapers which had been filled with wet and dry propaganda prior to the election allowed
space even in the editorial columns to pay tribute to the Georgia Peach's greatness."  (Sporting News, Nov. 11, 1926, pp. 2, column 5)
Gordon J. Mackay,  spwr.  1896-1939 1928  -  "Men mobbed him if they could, yelled for his heart and shouted for his blood.  Then they cooled down and shattered the welkin with plaudits for his might.  They saw him throw an enemy camp into a ferment with one derisive twist of his fingers
Boston spwr. (1896-09), Phil. spwr.(1909-39) and thumb. They saw him disconcert nine men by his mere presence by his mere presence on the bases. They saw him perform miracles on the diamond, such miracles as no successor has ever bequeathed to baseball." (Sporting News, Sept. 27, 1928, pp. 4,col. 3)
Cleveland spwr. (1914), Camden spwr.
Harry B. Smith, San Francisco spwr. 1950  -  "Smith declared that Ty Cobb was still his choice as the greatest ball player of all time despite Babe Ruth's prowess as a home run hitter.  His said Bill Lange, old-time slugging outfielder with the White Stockings in the 90's, might have
approached Cobb's greatness had he not retired at his peak." (Sporting News, May 3, 1950, pp. 42, column 5)
Matt Gallagher, Chicago spwr., 1909-31 1925 - Tyrus Raymond Cobb, the "Georgia Peach," who is without a doubt the greatest athlete of all time, is rapidly nearing the "dead line" of his scintillating baseball career. For twenty years Cobb has been making and breaking record on the diamond, and
each season finds him still hitting the ball, still fighting with amazing energy to win every game he starts." (Los Angeles Times, Nov 29, 1925, pg. A4)
Feg Murray,  Syndicated Sportswriter and Cartoonist, '33-52 1926  -  "Ty Cobb.  Will the world ever see his equal?  For twenty-one years now he has led Father Time a merry chase, and has been giving that worthy gentleman, as well as the baseball prophets, the merry "Ha, Ha," ever since 1914, when the first
Los Angeles Times columnist, '22-33. Ty Cobb is slipping stories started to circulate.  Cobb may not be the greatest manager in baseball, but he is its greatest player, and there never was a greater one before him." (Los Angeles Times, Apr 27, 1926, pg. B2)
Bill Henry, LA Times spwr. 1921-70 1926  -  "We rise to the side of our contemporary expert, Ed Franey, who utters a loud and vehement protest against the theory that Babe Ruth is the greatest ballplayer.  Babe is the best press-agented ballplayer and no mistake but he has a long way to
travel before he can begin to compare records with Ty Cobb or, to go back a little further, Honus Wagner and Nap Lajoie." (Los Angeles Times, July 31, 1926, pg. 11)
1950  -  "I'd like to join my fellow sports-page alumnus Henry McLemore in disagreeing with the "best athletes of the half century" picked by the Associated Press.  Worst boner of all was picking Babe Ruth as the greatest ballplayer -- he couldn't carry
Ty Cobb's glove.  Cobb was a better hitter, better fielder, better base runner, better contributor to the team's victory spirit." (Los Angeles Times, Mar 7, 1950, pg. A1
Jack Gallagher, LA Times staff correspondent 1925-45 1927  -  "Cobb was the greatest ballplayer.  And he is still the greatest ballplayer.  He plays not only with his legs and arms but with his brains.  He thinks every second of the game and acts.  In years gone by Ty would tell the pitcher he was going
down to second on the next pitched ball.  And he went. He doesn't do so much  talking nowadays, but let his opponents for a second take their minds off him and he will do something that will tend to upset their equilibrium's.  When Cobb is on the field
he considers every one of the opposing players his personal enemy.  In his own mind his mission on any diamond is to win.  On the ball field he never asked nor gave any quarter.  Fight!  Fight!  Fight!  That's his individual psychology when he dons a
a uniform. Otherwise he is a genteel southern gentleman." (Los Angeles Times, May 8, 1927, pg. A4)
Edgar Vincent (EV) Durling, LA Times columnist,  1915-57 1936  -  "I think Ty Cobb was the greatest ball player who ever lived.  Hans Wagner second." (Los Angeles Times, March 1, 1936, pg. A1)
Henry McLemore, United Press Correspondent, 1920's-40's 1946  -  "Ty Cobb was and is the greatest baseball player of all time." (Los Angeles Times, Jul 26, 1946, pg. 5)
Prescott Sullivan, San Francisco spwr. 1927-76 1953  -  "The man who is generally regarded as  baseball's No. 1 immortal . . . (Sporting News, February 25, 1953, pp. 11, column 1, "Ty Doesn't Believe Collins Had It on Him", by Prescott Sullivan, pp. 11, column 1-5)
1958  -  "The greatest and richest of ball players was only 42 when he had to quit."  (San Francisco Examiner, 1958?)
Robert Eugne Ray,     Los Angels Times,  1924-41 1940  -  "At that Earl (Hamilton) rolled up one pants leg and showed three ugly scars, lasting mementos from the fightingest, greatest player baseball ever had."  (Los Angeles Times, March 14, 1940, pp. 24, "The Sports Ray", by Bob Ray)
Russ Newland,  Pacific Coast Ass. Press spwr. 1925-55 1954  -  "Their promise of a trial flushed Tyrus Raymond Cobb out of the bushes, and started probably the greatest player of them all on his way."  (Washington Post, March 7, 1954, pp. C2)
Miscellaneous support for Ty as the Greatest Ever
MacLean Kennedy, Baseball Historian 1933  -  "He has been named the greatest outfielder of all times.  There have been outfielders at different periods of the game who surpass the Georgian's performance as a fielder and thrower, but there the argument ends.  Speaker, who ranks but a few
points behind Cobb in all-around value, was superior to Cobb on the defensive. . . Cobb was never acclaimed as an artist in playing the outfield.  He was more colorful, in many ways, than was Speaker, but in playing the position, the Peach didn't have the
class of Tris.  The famous Georgian was brilliant, aggressive, fearless and dashing in all departments of the game, but his fame came chiefly as a batter and base runner.  Speaker had dash and daring, too, could throw and run and his ability to come in
to take a short fly and to race far back to take a long drive will long be remembered.  It was Speaker's original style that made him the outstanding player of an outfield position.  There was nothing erratic, eccentric or temperamental about Speaker, 
but when he cut loose in his outfield playing he was the personification of all that colorful, brilliant and impressive.  Then this great outfielder was a batsman who I rate among the best." (Sporting News, January 5, 1933, pp. 5, column 1)
JG Taylor Spink, 1942  -  "For many years we have been asked the same question, over and over: Who was the greatest player of all time?"  . . . finally, we decided to put it to the ball players themselves.  We addressed letters to about 100 former major league stars and
Sporting News Owner & Editor-In-Chief, 1914-62 managers and asked them the question.  One hundred and two votes were cast and the answer is:  Tyrus Raymond Cob.  Not alone did the old ace players and pilots of the nation select Cob as the greatest player of all time but they made him their choice by
an overwhelming majority.  He received 60 of the votes cast; the remaining 42 were divided among 14 players. . . So there you are.  You know how the players stand.  We know how they voted and why and we sincerely hope that this will provide a lasting
answer to the question.  (Sporting News, April 2, 1942, pp. 1 & 13, " Greatest Player of All Time Survey", by JG Tayor Spink)
1947  -  "and that Cobb, the greatest player of all time, had been released.  Just like that!  (Judge Landis and 25 Years of Baseball, by JG Taylor Spink, 1947)  (Actually ghost written by Fred Lieb, Spink signed off on it & endorsed it.)
J.A. Robert Quinn,  Browns VP & Bus.Man.,  1917-23 1945  -  "My big thrill in baseball was Sisler's play in 1922, the year the Browns lost the pennant to the Yankees by a game.  Ty Cobb was baseball's greatest player, but in 1922, when Sisler hit .420 and stole 51 bases, I think he was greater for one
Red Sox Owner, 1923-33,  Dodgers Buss.Man.., 1934-35, season than any player in the game." (Sporting News, Dec. 6, 1945, pp. 5, column 3)
Braves Pres., 1936-44,  Hall of Fame director, 1948-52
Ban Johnson,  (AL Pres.,'01-27),  Cinc. spwr., 1887-93 1927  -  "Cobb is unexcelled-unequaled I should have said.  The greatest runner, the greatest hitter and the most powerful attacking force the game ever knew, - In addition a great fielder in his prime."  (Sporting News, March 14,1929, pp. 5, column 2)
Earnest S. Barnard, AL President 1927 - 1931 1928  -  "Ty Cobb Greatest Player.  Ty Cobb, in the opinion of President Barnard of the American League, is the greatest player baseball has ever had." (Los Angeles Times, Aug. 19, 1928, pg. A3)
Albert (Happy) Chandler 1983  -  "Ty Cobb has to be recognized as the greatest ball player American baseball has had. . . . Yes, Tyrus Raymond Cobb from Georgia.  Ty Cobb has to be No. 1 based upon the records.  He was my idol.  Opinions die, but his records live.
Baseball Commissioner (1945-51) And he was exciting on the field. . . . He was a tremendous player and he fought fair.  He was the first man elected to the Hall of Fame." (Baseball Digest, December, 1983, pp. 28-31, "Hall of Famers Recall Their Boyhood Idols", by Joan Culkin)
Edson S. Brewster, telegrapher, 1890-1938) 1938  -  "Come to think of it, Cobb was the best.  Ruth was the guy at the gate, but Ty could do things." (Sporting News, June 30, 1938, pp. 4, column 6)
Fred Logan 1938  -  "In 49 years I have not seen a greater ball player than Ty Cobb.  For batting, skill, speed, audacity, base-running achievements -- well he was in a class by himself.  But when it comes to color, ability to draw the crowd, and appeal to the fans
Clubhouse man:  Giants(1889-1938) & Yankees (1903-1938)  --Babe Ruth had no second.  He was the greatest home run hitter, of course.  But he also was the top card at the gate.  Baseball has not seen anything approaching him, and the future will struggle in vain to match the Babe at the box office.  Cobb had a
habit of Cobb had a habit of making enemies in the crowd.  Ruth always made friends.  He was an idol, a great showman -- and he never overdid his showmanship." (Sporting News, Aug. 25, 1938, pp. 4, column 6)
John K. Hutchens,  NY Herald Tribune book reviewer, 1948-63 1962  -  "To me, the spectacle of Cobb stretching a double into a triple was always more exhilarating than a Ruthian homer."  ( Baseball Wit and Wisdom by Frank Graham and Dick Hyman, 1962, pp. 68)
NY Times Book Review ed., 1944-1946 "Then the crowd fell into a nervous silence that was a tribute accorded no other ball player I ever saw. . . Through the dust I saw him kick the ball out of Buck Weaver's hand, and break for home, and make it.  He stood up, laughing.  I sat there,
sweating.  For here, obviously, was something not quite of this world, cynical, merciless, a little frightening." (Esquire, Diamond Blues, by John K. Hutchens, sports)
Larry McPhail,  Yankees owner, 1945-47 1940's  -  Suddenly Larry stopped, grabbed us by the arm, and said:  "You and I saw Cobb in his great years.  Remembering him as he was, don't you often get weary watching the humpty dumpties that are drawing pay as big league players today?" 
Reds GM, 1935-36,      Dodgers GM, 1938-42, (Sporting News, February 15, 1950, pp. 3, column 4)
Leonard Gettelson, 1926  -  "Ty Cobb's great record is a common theme in baseball.  People assume, quite as a matter of course, that this record has never been equaled.  They are right.  And yet, perhaps few of those fans, who are most ready with their praise, most eager
Baseball Statistician, 20's-70's to crown the Tigers' manager with a laurel wreath, as the one peerless player of all time, could give you more than a fragmentary argument as to why he should be thus honored.  Fortunately Ty's supremacy is not a mere opinion.  There are many facts which
can be drawn from the records to convince even the most skeptical.  The pedestal upon which Cobb towers above all his fellows, past or present, is founded upon the imperishable records of the game. (Baseball Magazine, March, 1926, pp. 453, column 1)
George Weiss,  New Haven, CT BB club, 1919-1929 1961  -  "Ours was a friendship of long standing. He played for me at New Haven(CT), where there was no Sunday baseball in New York and was a stockholder with me at New Haven.  Only last summer he was my guest at a Baltimore series in Yankee stadium. His
NY Yankees:  Farm system director, 1932-47;  GM 1947-60 death is still a real shock although we knew he was failing."
NY Mets Pres.,  1962-67  "There was no denying that Cobb stood alone as a baseball player, undoubtedly the greatest of all."  (By Associated Press, July 18, 1961, pp. 21)
Ned Hanlon, ML OF 1880-92, 1909  -  No man is a better judge of ball players than Hanlon.  He has seen them all for the past 30 years, and praise from him is praise indeed.  This is what he said of Ty Cobb:
NL man. 1889-1907, exc. 1890 player's L. man. "I don't believe that the ball player ever lived who had anything on Cobb.  He is surely in a class by himself.  His remarkable hitting ability, his fielding, speed, and nerve make him to my mind the greatest player the game has ever developed.
I doubt whether Cobb is appreciated as he deserves to be.  He is a wonder." (Washington Post, Sept. 23, 1909, pp. 8, "Tigers Pound Walker" by J. Ed Grillo)
Joe McCarthy, Manager, Cubs ('26-30), Yankees ('31-46), Red Sox ('48-50) 1950 - "Wagner and Cobb are still regarded as the bet all-around ballplayers America has produced. (Holiday magazine, May, 1950,
Edward Browning 1948  -   Edward Browning was a scorecard concessionaire at Sportsman Park, for the St. Louis Browns from1902 and the Cardinals from 1918.  He watched them come and go in the Big Time, and usually managed to watch four or five innings of every game
Sportsman Park scorecard concessionaire, played at the park.  But his favorite, as yellow clippings on the wall of his small shop under the stands at Sportsman's Park indicated, was Ty Cobb.  "It will be a long time," he would conclude his dissertation on Cobb,
Browns (1902-1948),  Cardinals (1918-1948) "It will be a long time," he would conclude his dissertation on Cobb, "before I see another man like that."  (Sporting News, June 30, 1948, pp. 37, column 1)
Bill Friel,  AL  2B, 3B, OF,   1901-03 1942  -  "All you have to do is look at the records."
Browns Bus. manager,  1923-31, AL ump, 1920 (The Sporting News, April 2,1942, Greatest Player survey) Sporting News mailed out over 100 letters to former ML stars & managers.  It asked, "Who do you consider the greatest ball player of all time?  Why?"
Michael Francis Martin, Senators trainer 1942  -  After cutting up old touches with (Rube) Vickers, (Clyde) Milan urshered the old-timer into a raging debate, into the respective abilities of Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb, in which Trainer Mike Martin was holding out for Cobb as the greatest player of all time." (Washington Post, June 20, 1942, pp. 19, This Morning With Shirley Povich)
Henry W. Morrow 1953  -  "Of all the ball players he ever met, Morrow held Ty Cobb in the greatest admiration.  "He was by far the greatest player of all time," Henry said.  "He was so far ahead there was not even a runner-up."  When Cobb broke into the majors, he used a
Served Louisville Slugger, 1912-46 44-ounce hat, but with advancing years he gradually reduced the weight, until he was using a 38-ounce stick when he retired. (Sporting News, January 21, 1953, pp. 17, column 1, necrology)
Charles Conlon,  1937  -  "While on the subject of those heroes, Matty was the best pitcher, Wagner the best infielder, Cobb the outfield marvel.  Ruth was a grand guy, always obliging.  But strictly a specialist in the home run.  Not a Cobb all around.  Chase was the
NY professional baseball photographer,  1904-41 greatest first basemen.  Too bad about Hal.  But when he had it, he HAD it.  (Sporting News, May 27, 1937, pp. 4, column 6)
Ernie Harwell 1994  -  "Baseball's greatest player --Tyrus Raymond Cobb --died today in his native Georgia."  Spoken over PA system in Detroit by Ernie Harwell, the night Ty died, July 17, 1961.  "On that long-ago summer night, I pronounced Ty Cobb the greatest of them
Sports Announcer, 1948-91,  Detroit 1960-91 all.  No one has come along since to make me change my mind, although several of his important records have been broken since his death. . . . Not only did we school boys and our fathers consider the Georgia Peach the greatest ballplayer of all--greater
than even Babe Ruth--he was one of our state's most famous native sons.  (Ty Cobb by Richard Bak,1994, pp. x1, xii)
Harold Seymour 1928  -  "Dear Mr. Lane,  Now I wish to speak to some of the 2-game a year fans who know more than John McGraw. Those of you who are yelling about Rogers Hornsby and Babe Ruth as being the greatest batsmen and players of all time.  Did you ever see Ruth
Historian, wrote 3 volume set place a pretty bunt and beat it out, steal bases and slide all over the field, and did you ever see Hornsby slide?  When Hornsby is coaching on a baseline he stands there, never says a word, nor moves, dead on his feet, in the field he's the same.  Now
the other side of it, who of you ever saw Tyrus Raymond Cobb, the Georgia Peach, the greatest ball player who ever swung a bat?  Always scrapping, fighting, taking chances.  Cobb uses more energy on the coaching line than Hornsby does in the game.  Ty
plays baseball, Hornsby and Ruth are all for long hitting.  Anybody big enough can hit 'em a mile but none but Ty can bat like he did and still does after 20 years.  Who can run like him?  Slide like him?  Fight like him?  Cobb can't lose.  It isn't in
him.  He would have made good in any business.  So when you look for a model of playing greatness, boys, pick the greatest example of red blooded American athlete in the greatest game,
the Immortal Tyrus Raymond Cobb, Georgia Peach.  signed:  Harold Seymour (Baseball Magazine, January, 1928, pp. 380, "Our Letter Box, fan letters to the editor, pp. 379-383)
1990  -  "I read about 'role models' now.  I guess if I had one it was Ty Cobb.  I used to read everything in the New York Sun on him, and I saw him play.  I just wrote a review of a book on him.. Now it's shown that he was a driven man, a psycho.
A great ballplayer, of course, maybe the greatest of them all.  Maybe -- it's hard to say.  Ruth would certainly be in there.  Ruth wasn't a specialist.  He hit for average as well as for distance.  And of course he was a star pitcher as well, but I don't
think anyone ever hit a home run as he did.  He was hitting when home runs were very unusual.  He hit more home runs than the whole team, and way ahead of the league.  But Cobb was the type of player who had this tremendous aggressive spirit, and he was
not only fast but a daring and intrepid baserunner, constantly had the other team on the defense.  He was an expert hitter, held his hands apart or slid the upper hand down, hit the ball, bunted -- he was great at upsetting a team, crossing them up,
pulling the unexpected, using all kinds of psychological tricks.  Pete Rose was a top-flight hitter, but to compare Pete Rose with Ty Cobb is ludicrous."  (The National Pastime, by SABR, 1990, #10, pp. 68, column 1)
Babe Ruth's teammates who support Ty as the Greatest Player Ever. BR = Babe Ruth
Miller Huggins(BR manager,1920-29) 1920  -  "Miller Huggins, boss of the Yanks and a smart baseball man, was discussing Ruth with the writer(Harry Salsinger) a few days ago. "There isn't any doubt that Ruth is the greatest drawing card of all time," said Huggins.  "He pulls them in.   He
Yankees manager,  1918-29 makes the turnstiles click.  Cobb, admittedly the greatest player of the game, never was a drawing card to compare with Ruth.  Have you figured out why?  You know the American sport-loving public likes the fellow who carries the wallop.  It is so in golf,
NL 2B, 1904-16 in boxing, and in various other sports.  It would naturally be that way in baseball.  The fellow who can pound the ball is always the fellow that will win the hearts of the bleachers.  He gets their                                          
Cardinals manager, 1913-17 affections.  Cobb, brilliant as he is, appeals to only a portion of baseball followers.  Cobb is the idol of the students of baseball, but all those interested in the game are not students; most of them miss the fine points, the inner dope.  Cobb cannot
be fully appreciated unless you are a student of baseball.  If you have made a close study of the game, Cobb is a marvel to you and there is no one near him.  There is but one Cobb.  But Ruth appeals to everybody.  No matter how much of a novice at
baseball a man may be, he will appreciate Ruth, for Ruth busts that ball and as I remarked they like the fellow who busts them.  So, while Cobb appealed to only a few, comparatively, who could fully understand and appreciate his finesse, Ruth appeals to
everybody.  They all flock to see him." (The Sporting News, August 12, 1920, pp. 3, column 5) (Above conversation occurred between Huggins & Detroit sp. ed. Harry Salsinger when Yankees visited Detroit in Aug.,'20 for series with Tigers.)
1929  -  "It took him nearly two seconds to name his outfield--Ty Cobb.  Tris Speaker and Babe Ruth.  Who could hope to compete with a set of outfielders like that?"  He asked.  "Cobb, of course, has first call as the greatest all round man in the trio."
The greatest player of all time?  'Wagner or Cobb',  take your choice.   Still I'm inclined to consider a good infielder more important to a team than a good outfielder." said Huggins.
  (Washington Post, Feb. 5, 1929, pp. 20, "Cobb, Speaker, Ruth Best Outfield", by William J. Dunn)
Ed Barrow(B. Ruth manager, 1918-19,Y GM,'21-34) 1929  -   Barrow selected his 5 Greatest Ever Players.   1. Wagner,  2. Cobb,  3. Lajoie,  4.  Ruth,  5.  Speaker (Sporting News, Feb. 28, 1929, pp. 4, column 6) Confirmed order in his autobiography (My Fifty Years In Baseball by Ed Barrow, 1951, pp. 33)
Detroit manager, 1903-04,  Red Sox manager, 1918-20 1951  -  "Hans Wagner is the greatest ballplayer of all time.  The Flying Dutchman stands alone.  Babe Ruth was the game's greatest personality, and its greatest home run hitter.  Ty Cobb was the greatest of the hitters and the only man I ever saw who
Yankees GM & Business manager,  October,1920-47) could unnerve a whole ball club single-handed, though I have always had a tremendous admiration for Larry Lajoie and consider him only a step behind Cobb as the greatest batsman of them all.  But there is no question that Wagner was the greatest
all-around ballplayer who ever lived. (My Fifty Years in Baseball by Edward Grant Barrow with James M. Kahn, 1951, pp. 33)
1951  -  "When I saw Cobb at the gathering of old-timers for the seventy-fifth anniversary party of the National League, he was a reserved and poised man of sixty-five, somewhat mellowed by the years.  But the vision of him running wild on the bases,
harassing the pitchers, taunting the catchers, and announcing boldly he was going to steal second on the next pitch, fighting, clawing, and generally throwing the whole other side into confusion, can never be erased from the minds of those who saw him
through the many years of his greatness.  He was the man of a half century.  I doubt that baseball will ever see his like again." (My Fifty Years in Baseball by Edward Grant Barrow with James M. Kahn, 1951, pp. 194)
Herb Pennock (BR teammate,'15-19,23-33) 1939  -  "Pennock said it was foolish to say that the Yankees of 1938 or 1937 were tops.  The best club, he emphasized, was New York of 1927, for which he pitched. .Bill Dickey, Pennock said, is the greatest catcher of all time.  Walter Johnson and Lefty
AL P, 1912-34 Grove were, in his book, the best pitchers.  The greatest natural hitter was Joe Jackson, he believes, but as the greatest hitter for results, he chooses Ty Cobb.  Ruth, he added, was No. 2 in his list of natural hitters.  Cobb, said Herb, made himself
Red Sox coach, 1936-39,   Phillies GM, 1943-48 a wonder, with his confidence, audacity, speed, aggressiveness and determination." (Sporting News, June 8, 1939, pp. 6, column 3)
1945  -  "The greatest hitters in the past three decades--and by that reference, is not meant the most spectacular, like Ruth, but the most consistent, like Ty Cobb, Paul Waner, Joe Sewell, Whitey Witt, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Stan Musial--were all
men who took a short stride. . . It was almost impossible to fool Sewell.  He leveled his bat with the skill of a machine gunner and popped the pitches to left and right, depending on where the ball was thrown. 
 He struck out only 3 or 4 times a season. (Sporting News, March 15, 1945, pp. 2, column 4)
Leo Durocher, ML SS 1928-41,  ML man. '39-55, 66-73 1961  -  "Ty was over the hill then, of course, but when he stepped on the field everyvody knew he was the greatest, and he looked the part," Durocher dcommented.  (Los Angeles Times, Jul. 18, 1961, C2)
Art Fletcher    (BR teammate,'27-34) 1939  -  "Considers Ty Cobb greatest player he ever saw.  Has deep regard for memory of both McGraw and Huggins."  (Sporting News, September 28, 1939, pp. 7, column 3, Daguerreotypes)
NL SS, 1909-22,  Phillies man.,  1923-27,  Yankees coach, 1927-45
Bob Shawkey  (BR teammate, '20-27,29-30) 1977  -  "There are three of them it's awfully hard to judge between: Williams, Jackson, and Cobb.  I'd say that Cobb was the greatest all-around player I ever saw, and the smartest.  He studied everything.  He'd get to know how you were trying to pitch
AL P, 1913-30,  Yankees coach, 1929,  Yankees manager, 1930 him, and he'd shift his feet accordingly.  If he knew you were watching his feet, he'd wait until the very last second before he did it.  And if you did manage to fool him with a pitch, then he was quick enough up there to bunt at you and beat it out.
(Shawkey, continued), (The Man in the Dugout by Donald Honig, 1977, pp. 170-171)
Carl Mays (BR teammate, 1915-23) see above lines, 251-253
AL P, 1915-33,  NL P, 1924-29
Everett Scott (BR teammate, '14-17, 22-25) 1929 - One of the finest tributes to Cobb's genius came from a ball player, a star himself, Everett Scott: "He is the only man in baseball who ever gave me a thrill.  In retiring from the game I'll carry one picture with me always, Cobb tearing down the
AL SS, 1914-26 base line.  If I live to be 100 I'll never see a more fascinating picture than he made.  He was a cyclone, a tornado, a typhoon all rolled into one." (Jan.19,1929 - Joe Williams Baseball Reader by Peter Williams, 1989, pp. 17)
1942  -  "Yes, Ty Cobb was a character, as well as probably the greatest ball player that ever lived," Scott said.  (Sporting News, October 29, 1942, pp. 6, column 4)
Stan Coveleski  (BR teammate,1928) 1961  -  "Even if a player didn't like Ty Cobb, he had to admit the Georgia Peach was great, says Stan Coveleski, who was an American League pitcher('16-28) during Ty's prime.  I personally liked Cobb," said the 72-year-old Coveleski.  "A lot of the
AL P, 1916-28 players didn't, however.  But no one could say he wasn't great.  You had to see him to believe one man could be that good.  "In the outfield he was terrific.  And he got on base so much that he drove the pitchers and catchers crazy trying to catch him.
He was fast, really fast. But the best thing about his ability to steal bases was his slide." (Sporting News, Sept. 13, 1961, pp. 15, column 4 & 5)
Lefty O'Doul (BR teammate,1920, '22)
Muddy Ruel,   (BR teammate, 1920) 1934  -  "The most flashy  ballplayer I ever was, or ever hope to see, was Ty Cobb.  Ty was certainly endowed with amazing mechanical abilities.  He was fast as chain lightening , had an uncanny knack of making a quick start, was a good batter and a
AL catcher, 1915,  1917-34 natural base-runner.  Mechanically, Cobb would have been a great player, one of the leading dozen of his day.  But Cobb's rise to greatness was due to headwork.  He was always a keen student of baseball.  He was a past master of player psychology.  He was
White Sox coach, 1935-45,  Cleveland coach, 1948-50 resourceful, audacious and tricky.  He became one of the smartest players who ever lived.  And it was his baseball smartness, coupled with speed of foot and other mechanical gifts, that made him the most sensational player in the history of the game."
Browns manager, 1947 Ty Cobb was, undoubtedly, the smartest batter who ever lived.  Ty was a left-hander, and like most left-handers, hit hardest to right field.  Ty, nevertheless, generally hit toward left field.  That was because he played the percentages.  He could beat
out an infield hit to shortstop.  An infield grounder to second base would catch him at first."  (Baseball Magazine, February, 1934,  pp. 400, 426, "The Mental Side of Baseball, interview with Muddy Ruel, pp. 399-400, 426)
Joe Sewell  (BR teammate, '31-34) 1983  -  "Ty Cobb.  He was a great ballplayer," said Sewell.  "He was just my idol.  He was the greatest baseball player I've seen in the major leagues from the 1920s to the present day.  Yes, Ty Cobb is the greatest ballplayer I've seen yet.  I've played
AL SS, 1920-33,  Yankee coach, 1933-35,  with Babe Ruth and roomed with Lou Gehrig, seen Tris Speaker, George Sisler, and a lot of those great players…DiMaggio, Willie Mays, but Ty Cobb could do more things, and do more things to beat ya. . . . "Overall, Ty Cobb could do so many things to beat
Cleveland scout, 1952-62, Mets scout, 1963 ya.  He was fast, a great outfielder, great hitter, and he was highly intelligent.  Don't forget that." (Baseball Digest, December, 1983, pp. 28-31, "Hall of Famers Recall Their Boyhood Idols", by Joan Culkin)
Frank Baker (BR teammate, 1921-22) 1961  -  "But Ty and I later reviewed it often and became great friends in late years.  I respected him.  He was a tough baby on the field.  Don't think that he couldn't play the game better than any other man."  Baker said without qualification Cobb was
AL 3B, 1908-22,  except 1915, 1920 the outstanding player of all time, even putting him ahead of Babe Ruth for complete ability. . . He was hot-headed in a game and possibly he was misunderstood," added Baker.  "I don't think Ty was a mean man, just that he was reckless on the bases and
came into you like a ton of bricks.  I just never saw a man demand as much attention by the other team.  There was Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio and now Mantle. All great players but they didn't get the attention Cobb got from the other teams.
(Baker, continued)  (Baltimore News-Post, July 18, 1961, by John F. Steadman)
Roger Peckinpaugh  (BR teammate,1920) 1942  -  "He wasn't the slugger that Babe Ruth was, but he could do everything else."  (Sporting News, April 2, 1942, Greatest Player survey) Sporting News mailed out over 100 letters to former ML stars & managers.  It asked, "Who do you consider the
AL SS, 1910-33 greatest ball player of all time?  Why?"
Cleveland coach, 1928-33,   Cleveland manager,  1941 1944  -  "I guess I was lucky," interjected Roger Peckinpaugh.  "I don't know how many times I tagged Ty out at second base, yet he never so much as spiked me.  On his slide to second, he'd usually throw his feet out toward center field, and try to grab
Cleveland VP & GM 1942-46 the base with his hand.  I'll never forget the feeling, though--just knowing that guy was taking that big lead off first and would be coming at me any second." (Sporting News, April 13, 1944, pp. 17, column 4, Inside Pitches column by Galleyproof Gus)
1977  -  "Cobb was the greatest of all, in my book.  In addition to everything else, he was a smart ballplayer.  He never had one spot where he stood in the batters box.  He stood in different places for different pitchers, according to what they had and
how they pitched him.  I never saw another hitter do that.  They have one spot and that's it.  I'll tell you, they never threw at Cobb very much.  If they did, he'd step out and warn them.  "Don't do that again," he'd say.  And if they did, he would drag
a bunt down to first, and if the pitcher covered, Ty would knock him for a loop.  So they seldom threw at him.  He was a tough monkey, that guy.  A real tough monkey.  He played a slashing game out there.  You could be behind ten runs, and he'd still come
into second base and bat you around." (The Man in the Dugout by Donald Honig, 1977, pp. 219)
George Mogridge   (BR teammate, 1920), AL P, 1911-25,    NL P 1926-27 1942  -  "He had everything, believe me."  (The Sporting News, April 2,1942, Greatest Player survey) Sporting News mailed out over 100 letters to former ML stars & managers.  It asked, "Who do you consider the greatest ball player of all time?  Why?"
Jimmy Burke (BR teammate, 1931-33) 1931  -  "I give Wagner first place, he says.  "He could do everything and is the greatest I've ever seen.  Cobb gets second place with me.  Why name more?  They stand alone."  "But I want five selections, Mr. Burke," I said.  "Well, that's a tough
(NL pl. 1898-99, 1901-05),  (Det. coach, 1914-17) assignment.  When you get through with Wagner and Cobb, you run into trouble.  (Who is Baseball's Greatest Player? by C. William Duncan (The Philadelphia Public Ledger, July 5, 1931, Magazine section, pp. 7)
 (Browns manager, 1918-20), (Red Sox coach, 1921-23), (Yankee coach, 1931-33)
Larry Gardner  (BR teammate, 1915-17) 1942  -  "He had the finest coordination I ever saw in a player.  Because of his mental and mechanical ability, and his marvelous application of the two, he could do everything exceptionally well." (The Sporting News, April 2,1942, Greatest Player survey)
AL 3B,  1908-24 Sporting News mailed out over 100 letters to former ML stars & managers.  It asked, "Who do you consider the greatest ball player of all time?  Why?"
Amos Strunk ( BR teammate, 1918-19) 1942  -  "His dash, color, aggressiveness, hitting, and speed on the bases were beautiful to watch."   (The Sporting News, April 2,1942, Greatest Player survey) Sporting News mailed out over 100 letters to former ML stars & managers.
AL OF, 1908-24 It asked, "Who do you consider the greatest ball player of all time?  Why?"
Duffy Lewis (BR teammate, 1914-17, '20) 1942  -  "The greatest ball player was Ty Cobb--though none of us was crazy about him when he played.  However, you had to admire him for his ability.  Once he got on the bases, he had the pitchers up in the air until he got off.  There didn't seem to be
AL OF, 1910-17,  19-21,         Braves coach,  1931-35 anything that he couldn't do." (The Sporting News, April 2,1942, Greatest Player survey) Sporting News mailed out over 100 letters to former ML stars & managers.  It asked, "Who do you consider the greatest ball player of all time?  Why?"
1945  -  "Cobb, of course, was the greatest of them all," Lewis went on.  "I used to like to play against Detroit just so I could watch Ty.  He could do everything and he never cared who was pitching."
(Baseball Magazine, May, 1945, pp. 388, column 3,  "Duffy Lewis Recalls--by Ed Rumill)
Ty critics like to sneer that Ty's own teammates either openly hated him or disliked him intensely. While that was true with a few of them, many liked him.  All knew that they needed him to win. He who laughs last, laughs best. The following all ended up
calling Ty the best that ever lived. Let this give the lie to Ty's critics. Many more liked him than not, even if some of them had to evolve over time.
Ty's Detroit teammates Support.
Hughie Jennings, ML SS,1B, 1891-1902 1912  -  "Cobb is a dashing player who always takes chances, and exerts himself to the utmost.  He plays well within the rules of the game. . . . But I know that he never intentionally injured a player at any time. . . . It is hard to estimate what Cobb's
Detroit manager, 1907-20,   Giants coach,'21-25 worth is to the Detroit team.  He is its mainstay in batting and base running, and one of its strongest features in defensive work.  His wonderful record on the diamond has made him a popular idol throughout the circuits, and I have no doubt that he has
acted as a drawing card in luring many thousands of spectators every season to the games in which he participated.  He is a player whom everybody likes to see on the field, for he always does his best.  The bleachers are crowded with fans who come to see
him play, expecting something startling, something unusual, and Cobb seldom disappoints them.  I believe he was in large measure responsible for the wonderful success of the Detroit team in winning three pennants in succession. . . . In my long career on
the diamond, both as player and manager, I have come in contact with most of the leading stars of the game, past and present, and I can say without prejudice, and I believe no one will accuse me of partiality, that I claim for Cobb the distinction of
being the greatest player baseball has ever known."  (Baseball Magazine, March, 1912,  pp. 15-17,  How the Greatest Player in the History of the Game Looks to His Own Manager,  by Hugh Jennings)
1919  -  Still Greatest at That  -  "Of course, you also realize that in spite of this perceptible slowing up Cobb is still the greatest player in the game today;  he is that by long and far.  The beauty about him is that he went so high that he can
continue coming down for several years and still have the edge on other players.  He can continue playing for years and years and still rank on top."  (Sporting News, December 4, 1919, pp. 2, column 2,  picked up Detroit, Mich., Dec.1-)
1920  -  "People seem to be fond of comparing George Sisler with Ty Cobb just now.  It has become a popular sport, almost a fad.  He is, I am informed, a very likable young fellow and his temperament is of the type which never antagonizes or makes
enemies.  Such a disposition is an admirable one in the business world or in social intercourse.  But it has its drawbacks on the diamond.  Baseball is far from a parlor sport and while it is lacking, or should be lacing in the blood and bruises which too
often characterize football, it is, nevertheless, a pretty strenuous sport.  the domineering, aggressive type of player who runs rough shod over everything between him and his goal is the type which will carry furthest on the diamond.  Cobb is
distinctly of that type.  He is restless and ambitious and aggressive.  He is fair, but he wants all the law allows him.  Any advantage which comes his way he will utilize to the full.  It is his temperament quite as much as his extraordinary talents
which has carried him at a tremendous pace through fifteen years of strenuous work.  Sisler is entirely different.  He is quiet, almost backward in his way.  He never seems to court the limelight as Cobb loves to do.  He evidently hasn't the knack of
pushing himself forward.  He depends entirely upon his marvelous ability and strict application to business.  A very worthy ideal, but unless he changes somewhat, or uncovers talents to outshine those of Cobb, if such a thing be possible, I doubt if he
will ever be Cobb's equal as a personality on the diamond.  After all, it is color quite as much as anything else which attracts the public to a player.  Cobb has a lot of vivid color.  Sisler has little.  Cobb has that about him which makes him a great
drawing card.  People admire Sisler and appreciate his record, but they are hardly thrilled by his exploits as Cobb used to sway the audience.  In short, Cobb outclasses Sisler in his direct appeal to the public. . . .Personally I am inclined to believe
that he is good as Cobb in natural ability as a hitter.  And he seems to be making the best use of his natural ability on the bases.  Sisler is just as fast as Cobb in his prime, and he is certainly not lacking in intelligence.  But I doubt if he will
ever be Cobb's equal as a base runner.  Cobb has developed a slide into the bag which no modern player can equal.  The only men I ever saw in my experience who could approach it were Joe Kelly and Wild Bill Dahlen.  Cobb's base running is not altogether a
matter of speed or knack or even brains, though he uses all three.  His slide easily puts him is a class by himself.  It is more than a fall away slide, although it is generally called that.  He throws himself away from the baseman and around him,
catching the bag with his toe or his hand.  This is a stunt for a contortionist.  It has caused endless arguments in the stand when Cobb has seemed to be out at second or third while the umpire insisted on calling him safe.  Most of the time, at least,
he was safe.  Other players would have been out, but not Cobb.  He had eluded the baseman's groping hand and wriggled back to the bag like an eel.  It is certainly a masterpiece, that slippery, baffling slide of Ty's.  Sisler has a good slide and is a
finished base runner in every respect, but when you compare him with Cobb, you compare him with a master who has had no equal as a base runner, at least in recent years.  Of course, it is impossible to speak of leading stars without mentioning Babe Ruth.
Ruth deserves all the notice he has been getting.  He is the king of sluggers.  And the public likes sluggers.  A slugging team like the Yankees will always be a drawing card.  In the long run, however, it isn't slugging so much as other things which win
pennants and it isn't slugging which sticks in the public memory. . . . Slugging will always appeal to the crowd because it is so obvious.  If a batter knocks the ball over the fence you can see it go.  That is Ruth's favorite stunt.  Of course, the man
has uncommon batting ability, but after all, it is the beef that does it.  Let a brainy player, however, like Eddie Foster engineer a hit and run play that would win the game equally well, and the fine details of that play would be lost on the crowd.
Baseball ,at least baseball popularity, is a fine example of the old adage, "Seeing is believing."  (Baseball Magazine, March, 1921, pp. 468, interview with Hugh Jennings before he had resigned with the Detroit Tigers, in late 1920.
1921  -  "They can laud Babe Ruth to the skies", he said, "but there will never be another Ty Cobb.  He is the greatest man who ever played baseball, and I believe that today he is just as valuable to a team as Ruth.  He may not clout them as far, but he
clouts them oftener and is still the quickest thinker in baseball."  (Sporting News, December 8, 1921, pp. 3, column 3)
1925  -  "In Cobb we have the most temperamental and also the greatest of all ball players . . .Cobb was a law unto himself and by being permitted to work our all his own plays and plans unhampered by any managerial restrictions that others players were
under, he developed himself into the most remarkable ball player of all time." (Los Angeles Times, Dec 31, 1925, pg. A11)
1926  -  "Ty Cobb is unquestionably the greatest player of all time." (Los Angeles Times, Feb 3, 1926, pg. B3)
"Wild Bill" Donovan, (Ty's teammate, '05-12, 18) 1915 - "Ty Cobb is the greatest player in baseball," Bill Donovan has been quoted as saying.  "He is in a class by himself.  I have seen all the stars in my time, but there's nobody in Cob's class when it comes to hitting, fielding, and base running.  He
NL P ( 1898-02),  AL P ('03-12, 15-16, 18) is the quickest thinker in the game and is a wonder at figuring out plays before they are made.  When Cobb hits the ball he sees at a glance just how far he can run around the bases.  He times his arrival at a certain bag to the fraction of a second.  He
NL man. 1921,   AL man. '15-17,  Det. c '18,  Player's L. ump.  03, 06 seldom hits at bad balls and his confidence is remarkable."  (Washington Post, Feb. 26, 1915, pp. 8, " 'Griff' " May Drop Men Before Training Trip" by Stanley T. Milliken)
Red Corriden, (Ty's teammate, 1912) 1942  -  "He had baseball intuition.  He was a hard, clean ball player.  Sure, he was tough, but you had to be in those days."
AL SS, (1910, 12);   NL SS,1913-15;    White Sox manager, 1950 (Sporting News, April 2, 1942, Greatest Player survey) Sporting News mailed out over 100 letters to former ML stars & managers. It asked, "Who do you consider the greatest ball player of all time? Why?"
NL coach,  1932-46,     AL coach,  1947-48, 50
Ralph Works, (Ty's teammate,'09-11) 1919  -  "Ty Cobb is undoubtedly the greatest player in the world, but he has been with Detroit for many years since that club won its last pennant." (Baseball Magazine, August, 1919, pp. 209, "Examples of a One Man Team, by Ralph T. Works, pp. 209-210)
AL P,  1909-12,  NL P,  1912-13
Oscar Vitt,   (Ty's teammate, '12-18, 21) 1937  -  "Cobb and I have since become the best of friends, and I regard him as the greatest all-round player that ever lived.  The greatest batter of 'em all was Joe Jackson; the greatest fielder, Tris Speaker, but Cobb could do so many things neither
AL 3B (1912-21), Cleveland. manager (1938-40) of them could do, that you have to rate him top," insists Ol' Os.  (Sporting News, November 18, 1937, pp. 3,  column )
Jack Coombs, (Ty's coach, 1920) 1942  -  "You know what he could do.  I don't have to tell you."
AL P, 1906-14, Detroit coach, 1920 (Sporting News,April 2,1942,Greatest Player survey) Sporting News mailed out over 100 letters to former ML stars & managers. It asked, "Who do you consider the greatest ball player of all time? Why?"
Ed Ainsmith,   (Ty's teammate,1919-21)
John Bogart,  Detroit P,  1920 1982-  "I got along fine with Cobb.  I'll tell you, to me he was the greatest all-around player who ever lived.  He did everything--run, hit, field. . . Imagine hitting .367 lifetime! . . . If Cobb was playing today with that artificial grass, 
they'd never get him out.  As a manager, Cobb was all right. . . See that green chair and TV over there?  I watch games all the time."  (Cobb Would Have Caught It, by Richard Bak, 1991, pp. 147-148.  Interview with Richard Bak, July, 1982)
George Cutshaw, (Ty's teammate, 1922-23) 1942  -  "He had the finest competitive spirit of any player I ever saw or heard about."
NL 2B, 1912-21,       Tigers 2B, 22-23 (Sporting News,April 2,1942,Greatest Player survey) Sporting News mailed out over 100 letters to former ML stars & managers. It asked, "Who do you consider the greatest ball player of all time? Why?"
Johhny Bassler, (Ty's teammate, '21-26) 1937  -  He spent many years with the Detroit Tigers as first string catcher and regards Ty Cobb as the greatest player of all time.  (Los Angeles Times, May 26, 1937, pp. A13, "Johnny Bassler Likely to Make Good as New Boss of Seatte Club After Succeeding
AL catcher, 1913-14, '21-27 Fiery Spencer Abbott", by Braven Dyer)
Charley Gehringer,   (Ty's teammate, 1924-26) 1975  -  "Try not to get out of a game without a hit."  That's one of the things he tried to impress upon me:  Never give up.  No matter what the score is, no matter what the situation.  Always try harder and harder to get that base hit.  That's what he
 Detroit 2B, (1924-42),  Det. coach,('42),  Det. GM & VP, (1951-59) preached, and that's what he practiced.  Every time at bat for him was a crusade, and that's why he's off in a circle by himself."  (Baseball When the Grass Was Real, by Donald Honig, 1975,  pp. 42)
Donie Bush,  (Ty's teammate, '08-21) 1942  -  "He loved to win." (The Sporting News, April 2, 1942, Greatest Player survey) Sporting News mailed out over 100 letters to former ML stars & managers.  It asked, "Who do you consider the greatest ball player of all time?  Why?"
AL SS,   1908-23,         AL manager,  1923, 27-31, 33 1961  -  "Personally, he was hard to get along with.  We didn't get along too well, but I've got to give it to him: I just can't envision anybody in baseball ever being as great.  He had no weakness, unless you consider his throwing in the later years.
. . . .He was terrific.  His best game?  He was sensational in every game." (New York Times, July 17, 1961)
George Moriarty, (AL 3B, 1906-17) 1930 - Although a generous crop of rookies have made their appearance in the major leagues this season, the task of uncovering another Ty Cobb is as futile as ever.  Cobb is generally conceded to be the greatest ball player the game has ever produced.
AL ump (1917-41,  except for Detroit manager,1927-28) That he had "everything" is obvious because a weakness in a player is quickly detected, and passed around as common knowledge: but managers and players have never been able to point to a flaw in Cobb's play.  For the steenth time I was asked this
question the other day:  "Do you think the game will ever produce another Cobb?"  Frankly, I do not believe that we shall ever see another player equal to Cobb at any future time.  The reason is logical. (Baseball Magazine, Jan., 1930, pp. 366)
Johnny Neun,   (Ty's teammate, 1925-26) 1949  -  "He was, of course, supreme." (Sporting News, April 9, 1949, pp. 14, column 2, "In One Lesson, Neun Explains Stealing is Not Only Objective", by Joe Williams, of the New York World -Telegram)
Yankee coach (1944-46), Yankee manager (1946), Reds manager (1947-48)
NL 1B (1930-31), Reds manager (1947-48
George Henry Burns, (Ty's teammate 1914-17) 1931  -  "When an infielder doesn't give the runner a piece of the bag to get into, he deserves to be spiked.  Ty Cob taught me that.  Many people thought that Ty was always going out of his way to spike players.  I played with him and knew him well. 
AL 1B, 1914-29 Ty just demanded his rights and when his rivals wouldn't give them to him he fought for them, and how!  And speaking of Cob, there was the greatest ballplayer of all time.  He could do everything well and what a fighter he was.  He was greatly
misunderstood, however.  Burns says the greatest pitcher the game has produced was Walter Johnson.  There was a real man as well as a pitcher.  (Los Angeles Times, May 24, 1931, pp. F4, "Burns Makes Hit As Mission Pilot, by Bob Ray)
Harry Heilmann,   (Ty's teammate, '16-26),  AL OF,  1914-29 1939  -  "Unquestionably, the greatest ball player who ever lived - by far.  And he would have been a great banker, an outstanding industrialist, a famous general, or a potent figure in any field he chose.  No other man I've ever known had Ty Cobb's
(Cinc. coach, '32), (Detroit announcer, '33-50) frenzy for excellence, his self-discipline of his tremendous application.   I call him the best friend I ever had in baseball." (Washington Post, June 12,1939, pp. 19,  "This Morning With Shirley Povich")
1947  -  "Cobb never hit more than 12 home runs in any single season, but he was the greatest ball player who ever stepped on a field." (Sporting News, Apr. 30, 1947, pp. 8, column 1, "Too Much Brawn, Not Enough Brain, Heilmann Answer to Low Bat Marks")
Eddie Wells,  (Ty's teammate, 1923-26) 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
Det. P, 1923-27, Yankees P, 1929-32,   Browns P, 1933-34 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
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.
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)
Bert Cole,  (Ty's teammate,  1921-25) 1970  -  But, As Cole says, he got along better with Cobb than most.  He discounts the stories about Cobb's being penurious, mean and selfish. "Cobb wasn't inherently mean or really stingy. He was just fanatical about winning.  When he won, nothing  was
AL P,   1921-1925, 27 too good for us.  There was steak for everybody.  When we lost, he wouldn't even give you conversation. .  ."He could also have been a home run hitter. He was big and strong enough.  But he actually enjoyed outsmarting rather than over-powering opponents.
He was virtually impossible to get out with a runner on first if the first baseman was holding the runner.  He could hit it through that little extra hole almost every time. I'll bet he hit .500 in those situations. . . .And a lot of people think he did 
it all on brains and guts.  But he had great speed.  He was once timed -- in a baseball uniform at 9.9 in a 100 yard sprint. . . . When I broke in, he and Harry Heilmann were having a helluva race for the batting title, and suddenly Harry went into a
month-long slump.  "Ty had Harry off in the corner of the park everyday for hours before each game trying to figure out ways to break him out of that slump.  Well, Ty was a tremendous batting instructor, and he pulled Harry out of it."  That was the year
Heilmann hit .394, Cobb .389, and Heilmann took the batting title.
Heinie Manush,  (Ty's teammate, 1923-26) 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
AL OF ('23-36),   NL OF  ('37-39) 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
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)
1964  -  Heinie Manush, a teammate of Cobb's, picked Ty, too.  ((Sport, August, 1964, pp. 87, by Joe Reichler, Living Hall of Famers Pick The Greatest Centerfielder Ever, pp. 15-16, 87-88)
1969  -  "I'd take Cobb over Ruth," declared Heinie Manush.  "Why?  Because although Ruth could beat you with one swish of his bat, Cobb could beat you several ways.  He might only single, but it didn't take him long to come all the way around."
(Manush, continued), (Baseball Digest, Nov., 1969, pp. 20-24)
Del Baker, (Ty's teammate,1914-16) 1942  -  "He went out and made his own breaks.  He was a battler ." (The Sporting News, April 2,1942, Greatest Player survey) Sporting News mailed out over 100 letters to former ML stars & managers.  It asked, "Who do you consider the greatest ball player
Detroit catcher,  1914-16 of all time.  Why?"
Detroit manager   1936-42, Det. coach, 1933-38 1961  - "The burning desire to excel. That was Ty Cobb, the greatest ball player who ever lived."  Upset by a magazine writer's(Alvin Stump) bitter presentation of Cobb's last days,Baker wanted to go on record that "there wasn't a mean bone in Ty's body."
Cleveland  coach,  1943-44 Cobb had a fiery temper, sure.  And there was that overpowering urge to win that brought him into violent contact with opponents and sometimes teammates.  But always there was an underlying decency that quickly brought praise and kind words after he had
Red Sox coach ,  1945-48, 53-60 chewed you out.  That even prompted him to help recruits quietly in a day and time in baseball when they got little assistance in winning away jobs from old regulars.  There'll never be another Cobb,  Anybody who saw him or knew him will agree with that."
(Baker, continued),  (Sporting News, Jan. 10, 1962, pp. 14, column 4)
Dan Howley,    (Ty's coach,1919, '21-22) 1931  -  Dan Howley, manager of the Cincinnati Reds and former leader of the St. Louis Browns and 1926 pennant-winning Toronto Leafs in the International League is another Cobb admirer.  "Ty first without a doubt," he said.  "No one                      
Browns' manager, 1927-29 ever approached him.  I'll give Wagner second and that's all I'll name.  I think Al Simmons is the best ball player in the game right now.  I might name Al, but what about Mickey Cochrane, Frankie Frisch, Rogers Hornsby, Babe Ruth and Bill Terry among
Phillies catcher, 1913 the present-day players, and Eddie Collins, Nap Lajoie and Tris Speaker among the older fellows?  I can't include them all in your list, so I'll pick only Cobb and Wagner."
(Who is Baseball's Greatest Player? by C. William Duncan,  -- The Philadelphia Public Ledger, July 5, 1931, Magazine section, pp. 7)
Fred Haney,   (Ty's teammate,1922-25) 1929  -  "And, as for playing ability," Haney went on, "any talk of comparing any other star with him is almost ridiculous.  Moreover, Fred finished up, "he could manage a team.  All he lacked was the co-operation of some soreheads who wouldn't have
AL 3B,2B,  1922-27,     NL 3B, 1927,29 co-operated with anybody." (Sporting News, April, 1929,  pp. 3, column 2-6, "Ty Cobb, A Failure as Manager? 'No,' Says Fred Haney, Who Should Know, pp. 3 )
Browns manager, 1939-41 1964  -  "Tyrus Raymond Cobb was the greatest ballplayer of them all.  What he possessed, and to a superlative degree, was determination.  I was a rookie with the 1922 Detroit team for which Cobb was player and manager.  He had always been my idol; now I
Pirates manager, 1953-55 had a chance to observe him first-hand.  Sitting on the bench, I would pull my cap down over my face and use one of the eyelets as a telescope, narrowing my vision so that I saw Cobb and Cobb alone.  What a sight he was as he prepared to bat! The muscles
Braves manager, 1956-59 of his jaw tensed; his bright blue eyes began to blaze; his forehead furrowed into an intense frown.  He was working himself into a fury--a fierce determination to dominate the pitcher, to hit the ball.  By the time he stepped into the batter's box, you
could almost see sparks in the air.  He dared them all; and one way or another, he hit them all.  He drove infielders crazy.  He tried to excel at everything he did.  Cobb was determined to be the best of them all, and he was.  Most of the records that he
set have never been broken and probably never will be.  Many a down-and-out old ball player or ballplayer's widow lived for years on his anonymous generosity. (June, 1964)
George McBride, AL 3B ('08-20),  NL 3B ('05-06) 1964 -  Yep, I played during the years when Cobb was in his prime, and I was a shortstop.  But I never had any trouble with Cobb and those spikes of his.  Got it in the glove and threw it down to the base.  That's all.  Went over to Detroit with him as a
Wash. manager ('21),  Det. coach ('25-26, 29) coach for a few years after I got through playing with Washington.  Some say as he was a dirty ballplayer, but I say he was a good hard ballplayer.  There are some players who didn't like him, but you know he was a ballplayer's ballplayer.  He hustled out
(Ty's teammate,1925-26) there.  I think he  was as fast as anybody, from home to home.  I mean, all the way around.  Good strong arm.  Baserunner…oh, boy.  He'd steal on those pitchers.  'Course I played with Honus Wagner, too.  He was a great ballplayer.  Awkward, but he had
everything.  Good legs, big hands.  Cobb was a different type.  Cobb was a harder ballplayer than Wagner.  I think Cobb was the best I ever saw, really.  "Course Ruth was another type.  He was a great pitcher.  I hit against him, and he was a great
pitcher.  Great ballplayer. (The National Pastime, Winter, 1985, pp. 44) (a rediscovered interview, taped in 1964 for "The Glory of Their Times" by Lawrence Stanley Ritter, 1966)
Ira Thomas,  (Ty's teammate, 1908) see below, lines 1092-1099.
AL catcher, 1906-15
Phil. A's coach, 1925-28
Ty's Athletics teammates for Ty.
Mickey Cochrane,   (Ty's teammate,1927-28) 1932  -  "Ty Cobb," said Cochrane,  "Growing up around Boston, I saw all the big leaguers and right from the start Ty was my hero.  I went to as many ball games as I could and you may be sure I never missed one when the Tigers came to town if I possibly
AL catcher (1925-38) could help it.  I became acquainted with him when I broke in with the Athletics and later, when he came over to our club, that acquaintance developed into a real friendship.  If he were playing ball today he'd still be my hero, which is the
Detroit Manager, (1934-38), A's coach (1950), Detroit VP (1961-62) tip-off on how he registered with me." (Literary Digest, Jan. 1932,  In answer to question,  "Who was your baseball hero?"  (Also appeared in Baseball Magazine, May, 1931, pp. 347, by Frank Graham)
Yankee scout (1955),  Detroit scout (1960) 1942  -  "He had everything that goes to make up a great ball player." (The Sporting News, April 2,1942, Greatest Player survey) Sporting News mailed out over 100 letters to former ML stars & managers.  It asked, "Who do you consider the greatest ball
player of all time?  Why?"
Al Simmons,  AL OF,   1924-41,  43-44 1928  -  "People have wondered if Ty Cobb's presence in the outfield didn't help me with my batting last year.  Ty is a great hitter and he understands batting.  Besides, he is always ready to give advice.  I'll say for Ty that he could give anybody a few
Ty's teammate,1927-28 hints that would be worth while.  I didn't change my batting style to any extent last season, although Ty did persuade me to alter my stance in the batter's box against some left handed pitchers.  This suggestion of his proved helpful. (Baseball
Magazine, Feb., 1928, pp. 437)
1942 - "I never expect to see another player like him." (Sporting News,April 2,1942,Greatest Player survey) Sporting News mailed out over 100 letters to former ML stars & managers. It asked, "Who do you consider the greatest ball player of all time? Why?"
1942  -  "Many folks have asked me if Ty Cobb helped me in 1927 and 1928, when he was with us.  The answer is definitely, "Yes."  Ty had the championship attitude, if anyone ever had.  He gave me many valuable pointers.  He was an inspiration." (Sporting
News, Nov. 5, 1942, pp. 8, column 6)
1944  -  "Ty Cobb helped me when he came to the Athletics years ago and I was just a kid," Simmons said.  "He taught me to crouch a little and bend over the plate, with my arms away from my body.  In that position I learned to follow the ball from the
Guide stance would hurt my power.  Connie Mack must have felt that way, too, because he let me alone.  So, although Tyrus Raymond Cobb made me over above the waist, I didn't change below it.  And I'm very glad I didn't." (Baseball Magazine, Sept., 1944)
1953  -  "I owe a lot to Ty Cobb, too.  I learned a lot from him when we were roommates the last two years he played for Mr. Mack." (Sporting News, August 5, 1953, pp. 5, column 2)
Bing Miller, AL OF, 1921-36,  AL coach,  1937-53 1942  -  "He had the baseball sense to grasp any situation." (Sporting News, April 2, 1942, Greatest Player survey
Sporting News mailed out over 100 letters to former ML stars & managers. It asked, "Who do you consider the greatest ball player of all time?   Why?")
(Ty's teammate, 1928) 1961  -  "He hated to lose.  He wanted to lead the league in hitting every year.  He loved to hit and he loved to slide.  The skin of his legs and hips was always raw."  (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 18, 1961)
Max Bishop,  AL 2B, 1924-35 1942 - "He may not have been a great fielder, but he could hold up his end." (Sporting News, April 2, 1942, Greatest Player survey) Sporting News mailed out over 100 letters to former ML stars & managers. It asked, "Who do you consider the greatest
(Ty's teammate, 1927-28) ball player of all time?  Why?"
Eddie Collins, (Ty's teammate,1927-28) see above lines 175-200.
Tris Speaker, (AL OF,07-28)( (Ty's teammate,28) see above lines 165-174.
Kid Gleason, NL pitcher (1888-11,exc.,'01-02) 1931  -  "Ty Cobb is the greatest ball player I ever saw.  Wagner is next.  That's all I want to pick. Go see Connie Mack and find out what he says."(Philadelphia Ledger newspaper, C. William Duncan, late July, 1931) (Survey asked 12 major league managers
AL coach ('12-17, 26-32, exc.15),   AL manager, '19-23) and coaches, Who they thought were the 5 greatest all-around baseball players who ever lived.)
NL 88-11,exc.01-02
Connie Mack,  (Ty's manager,1927-28) 1931  -  On his seventieth birthday (Dec. 22, 1931), named Cobb as the greatest.  "Ty Cobb was the greatest player of all, and there never was a pitcher to compare to Christy Mathewson.  Of those two I am certain.  You can argue about the rest."
NL catcher  (1886-96) (New York Times, December 24, 1931, pp. 21, "Connie Mack, Entering his 70th Year, Impressed By Evenness Of Competition In Big Leagues", Picked up story by Associated Press, from Philadelphia, Dec. 23)
Philadelphia Athletics' manager, 1901-50 1938  -  Ty Cobb was by far the greatest player of all time," the venerable Connie told me. "He was in a class by himself.  In saying this, it is not because Ty was an American League player.  I have seen many great players in the National League--Wagner,
Mathewson and Lajoie, who later came over to our league, also those earlier players, Buck Ewing, King Kelly, Cap Anson and many others.  In our league, we have had Speaker, Eddie Collins, Ruth, Gehrig, Al Simmons,Cochrane and Gehringer, all of them stars,
yet Cobb stood far ahead of them all.  Ruth, of course, was a wonderful showman, but so was Cobb.  Cobb was somewhat earlier and played his greatest ball before the big stands were built in New York, Chicago and Detroit,  However, he gave the crowd as
much of an electric thrill by his daring and skillful base-running as Ruth did with a drive over the fence. In fact, Cobb was a show every minute he was on the field.  Besides being the game's greatest hitter, there never was any telling what he would do-
bunt, hit behind the runner or try for distance.  He was a firebrand, but he could bring out the crowds, just as Ruth did later on.  Those spikings never were intentional;  they never left any feeling on my part and I am glad to say this remarkable
player wound up his great career as a member of my team."    (Sporting News, Jan. 27, 1938, pp. 3, column 5, by Fred Lieb)
1941  -  "As for the greatest player, the Philadelphia Athletics manager picks Ty Cobb". . . (Los Angeles Times, Mar 25, 1941, pg. A9)
1942  -  "The greatest player I ever saw from 1884 to the present day was Ty Cobb." (Los Angeles Times, March 1, 1942, pg. 17, "Connie's Only Regret He Hasn't Done Better, by Braven Dyer)
1942  -  "He surpassed all the players that I remember."  (Sporting News, April 2, 1942, pp. 1 & 13, Greatest Player survey) Sporting News mailed out over 100 letters to former ML stars & managers.
It asked, "Who do you consider the greatest ball player of all time?   Why?"
Undated  -  I once read that Connie Mack had once said, "Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb were the two greatest ballplayers who ever lived."  That is one of the most intellectually dishonest and DELIBERATELY misleading statements ever written.  It implied that
Connie, after a lifetime of pristine support of Ty as the Greatest Player, had muddied the waters and elevated Babe to a par with Ty in his opinion.  Nothing could have been further from the truth.  This little piece by Dan Daniel, NY spwr. comes the
closest to being where such a prejudiced, partisan belief could have come from. Writes Dan Daniel, NY spwr. in Baseball Magazine in the '40's, (Connie Mack still will tell you that the greatest all around player was Ty Cobb.  "Split the laurels," pleads
the Old Man of Shibe Park.  "Ruth, the most popular, Ty the marvel at the plate, on the bases."  Alas, Connie had NOT muddied the waters!  But it was obvious how such a deceptively worded statement was INTENDED to mislead following generations.
1947 - Connie Mac unhesitatingly and unqualifiedly picks Ty Cobb as the greatest baseballer of all time..."Ty Cobb outclassed them all," Mr. Mack opined. "After Cobb, you had to go a long ways down before you reach the rest. Cobb was everything. He batted
367 for his 24 years in the majors. He fielded sensationally. And, above all, he had a fanatical will to win that carried his team right along with him.
His achievements were all the more remarkable when you realize that everybody was gunning for him. His fiery disposition and his ruthlessness in running the bases -- his motto was, "The base paths belong to me!" -- made him enemies galore. 
But he took on baseball singlehandedly and won.  Incidentally, Ty told me in later years that if he had it to do all over again the he would make friends instead of enemies in the game. But I'll bet that with the first crack of the
 bat he'd forget all those nice intentions and be the old Ty Cobb all over again, fighting everybody for his hits, stolen bases and runs."  (Los Angeles Times, Jan 27, 1947, pg. 11)
1950  -  I am not taking issue with the sports writers, neither do I dispute their reasons for selecting Babe Ruth over Ty Cobb as the greatest baseball player in the last fifty years.  But for my money, Cobb was the greatest who ever lived and we may
never again see his equal.  Ruth was a great gate attraction, no doubt the most outstanding crowd pleaser, but based on a player's value to his team alone, the honor must go to Ty Cobb.  Cobb was the greatest competitor I ever saw, a fiery and fearless
player.  Winning and winning alone was all Cobb ever thought of and never gave his own personal safety much concern.  Never have I seen a player so intent on winning that he would bring harm to himself if it was necessary.  Certainly, Ruth hit the home
runs and glamorized the game, but Cobb's record in winning the batting championship nine straight years, missing a year and then coming back to win it the next three, is one of the outstanding feats of baseball.  This was the controversy at the close of
the first half of the twentieth century.  Everyone knows what I think of Ty Cobb, for I talk about him every chance I get.  I don't think anyone has ever surpassed him as an all-round player, either in fielding, hitting or base running.  I'd like to put
Tris Speaker up in that top rank too.  Tris was everywhere in the outfield;  he could grab a ball up against the fence and net a ball off his shoes directly behind second base". (My 66 Years In the big Leagues by Connie Mack, 1950, pp. 40)
Ira Thomas  (Ty's coach, 1927-28) You wouldn't know it from looking at the record books. He's only listed as an A's coach through '26. But Connie asked him to stay on unofficially to help with his pitchers and Ira did, off the record.
AL catcher, 1906-15 1926  -  "If he had an aggressive temperament like Ty Cobb, there'd be no question.  Bur how many Cobbs have there been?  Just one, to the best of my recollection.  And don't overlook one thing.  It was Cobb's driving, untiring persistence that got him
Phil. A's coach, 1925-28 where he is.  Without that spirit he would have been just a good ball player.  With it, he became baseball's greatest star.  Ty Cobb, in his prime, simply wouldn't acknowledge defeat.  He wouldn't even admit discouragement.  No handicaps could even delay
him on his course.  He would struggle to overcome defects in his own playing style.  He would fight players on his own club, players on opposing clubs and the crowd that rode him unmercifully, and thrive while he was doing all this.  There are not too
many players who can stand the gaff as Cobb stood it.  That's why he rose above all obstacles to a place where he was really in a class by himself." (Baseball Magazine, July, 1926)
1942  -  "He was not only a great ball player, but he disrupted the other team's morale by the chances he took and usually got away with.  Once he got on the bases, I would rather give him credit for a run than let him get around the bases and cause
anywhere from four to five runs damage before he was through."
(Thomas, continued), (The Sporting News, April 2,1942, Greatest Player survey) Sporting News mailed out over 100 letters to former ML stars & managers.  It asked, "Who do you consider the greatest ball player of all time?  Why?"
Team Owners support Ty.
Connie MACK, NL catcher (1886-96), Phil Athletics' manager (1901-50) see above, line 1065
Charles A. Comiskey, White Sox owner(1901-31) 1910  -  "The greatest ball player of all time?  That question would have been a poser three years ago, and may appear so to a good many people now, for there probably are more differences of opinion about the relative merits of exponents of the greatest
ML 1B  (1882-94) game in the world than about anything else one can think of.  But in my opinion no fair-minded follower of baseball, who has seen the great players in action and who has studied their strong and weak points, can come to any conclusion other than the one
I have arrived at--that Ty Cobb, right fielder of the Detroit American League Club, is the real answer to the above query.  I take it that the answer should mean the greatest all-around ability, the one most valuable to his team, and not the one most
proficient in any single position.  There might be ground for argument if I were to say I selected Cobb because he was better as a right fielder than Wagner was as a shortstop or Lajoie or Evers as a second baseman.  I pick the Detroit man because he is,
in my judgment, the most expert man of his profession and is able to respond better than any other player to any demand made on him.  I pick him because he plays ball with his whole anatomy--his head, his arms, his hands, his legs, his feet--and because
he plays ball all the time for all that is in him.  Why is Cobb a great ball player?  The first and most important reason is that he loves the game.  I never have seen a man who had his heart more centered in a sport than Cobb has when he is playing.
There never was a really good ball player who didn't think more of baseball than he did of his salary or the applause of the fans.  Cobb, being a bright young man, naturally wants to be paid, and is paid what he is worth in his profession.  Furthermore,
he probably has no objection to commendation from the people watching him;  many ball players deny they care anything for the cheers of the crowd, and few take any stock in these denials.  But I believe Cobb would continue to play ball if he were
charged something for the privilege, and if the only spectator were the groundskeeper.  In considering Cobb's baseball excellence it is only natural to think first of his batting, for batting is the part of the sport that appeals most to the big majority.
After his record of last season I believe the statement that he is the best hitter of to-day is indisputable.  Averages tell a good deal about a man's ability to hit, and the mark of .377 hung up by the Detroit man in 1909, cannot be overlooked.  It
would be folly for me to discuss the relative pitching strength of the National and American Leagues, for I have not seen any National League pitching aside from that in our world's series of 1906 and the city series.  But I will say that any man who can
hit at that figure against present-day pitching in either big league is nothing short of a marvel.  When Cobb first joined the Detroit Club word went around that he, like most of the rest of his craft, had his weaknesses at bat.  It was noised about that
a left-hander could "make him look foolish."  And it was true that Cobb was not as strong at first against the southpaws as he was against the right-handers.  But ask the left-handers about it now.  They will tell you that he is anything but a toy in
their hands at present.  The fact of the matter is that Cobb has overcome his dislike for that style of pitching, and is as effective against it now as against the other kind.  Cobb is not an in and outer, although he, like all of us, has his slumps.
With him they never last long, and are so infrequent that none of his opponents ever is counting on one of them.  Cobb is dangerous at all times, and a pitcher working against him knows he must pitch his hardest, and never let up until the Georgian either
has been retired or has added another hit to his long list.  Cobb hits when hits are needed and when they are not needed.  He is as strong in a pinch as any one, besides being able to hit the ball further away than the majority of "clean-up" hitters.
Moreover, he hits in all directions, some of his extra base drives going down the left foul line, some of them down the right, some of them to right center, some of them to center, some to left center; in fact, in all directions.  In addition to his
ability to tire out the fielders with his long smashes Cobb is one of the most expert of bunters, and of course, his speed makes him doubly effective in this particular accomplishment.  With a runner or two on the bases, and Ty at bat, he has the entire
opposing infield at sea.  No faint-hearted third baseman could live through a series against the Detroit Club.  Cobb may "look"the bunter all over when a bunt is expected to advance a baserunner, and may draw the third baseman in, confident that the ball
will be laid down, and then make him call on all his dodging ability to get out of the way of a terrific smash right at him.  I don't blame infielders for being "crossed" by Cobb.  He has the head to fool them and the ability to carry out his schemes.
Although the left handers have been convinced that they are no more effective against him than their right-handed brothers, the latter still have some ideas about his "weak spot," and these ideas are almost as many as are the pitchers.  But every
little while a pitcher will serve up one of the things Cobb "can't hit," only to see it soaring over the fence or toward it.  Another common fallacy, when Cobb was first served in the American League, was that he was a "fool" on the bases; that he "ran
wild."  There has been a reversal of this verdict, too.  Undoubtedly, Cobb has pulled off some base running "crimes," but it was not because of lack of baseball sense, but rather because he loved to run and just couldn't hold himself in.  If any one had
kept track of Cobb's successes and failures in his "crazy" base running stunts I am sure he would have found that the former far outnumbered the latter.  And I also am sure that his "crazy" running has won a lot of ball games for Detroit.  There may be
ball players who can run a hundred yards as fast as the Georgian, but there is none who can go from the plate to first base as fast, and none who can equal his speed between any two bases or around the whole circuit. . . . Now, I want to say something
about this spiking business.  Don't ever let any one tell you that Cobb purposely spikes basemen.  He is too good a sportsman for anything like that, and that he is a sportsman was proved by his letter on the spike question to President Johnson of the
American League.  he was willing to have the spikes dulled, although he knew that such action would slow him up in his play.  Cobb slides to a base with the intention of getting there, and getting there safely.  He doesn't take any more space on the base
lines than is coming to him.  To be sure, he never refuses to slide simply because the basemen is in his way, but he would not be a successful baserunner if he slacked up to avoid a possible collision with an awkward fielder or on some unusual play.
Besides, Cobb is taking even more chances in his daring slides than is the man waiting to tag him.  One of the most important assets of the great ball player is possessed by Cobb to a wonderful degree.  This is nerve.  He is not afraid of any pitching,
and it seems to delight him to be in a pinch, with his team's fate hanging in the balance.  Cobb is a better ball player today than he was two years ago.  He will be a better ball player this year than he was last.  This is because he is a student.  He is
willing to learn something new about baseball every day of his life, and he is willing to be shown his faults and told about his mistakes.  Of these latter he makes far less now than he did when he first broke into fast company.  He has had good teachers
and good examples, and he has not failed to take advantage of his opportunities to cram baseball knowledge into his head.  This is a day of great ball players, and there are many who could be named in the same breath with Cobb without disgracing the
latter.  Two of the best of the present day are Evers of the Chicago Cubs and Wagner of the Pittsburgh club." (New York Times, April 17, 1910)
1919  -  "Personally I think Ty Cobb of the Detroit team is the greatest player of all time.  This is no disparagement to others.  Ty is in a class by himself.  He is a wonderful batter and would have been able to hit any kind of pitching in the old days
as well.  He is one of the speediest men in the game.  He is as good a fielder as one would want,  but above all he is a thinker when in the game.  His mind works every minute and he carries the team along with him."  (Commy by Gustav Axelson, 1919)
?     Charles Comiskey told Joe Vila of the New York Sun:  "Baseball has changed a lot since I was a player.  In my day it wasn't necessary to specialize in all departments of baseball, but Cobb could do everything.  He could hook, slide to either side,
field with the best in the game, had a great throwing arm, could hit all kinds of pitching either by slugging or bunting and was the greatest and smartest base runner that ever wore spikes. . . . I have won pennants and world championships, but the
greatest and only disappointment of my life in baseball was that Cobb didn't play for me.  I often pleaded with the Detroit club to put a price on him, but in vain. I would have paid anything to get him."  (History of Baseball, by Joe Reichler & Allison
Danzig, 1959, pp. 163)
1930  -  "The greatest player I ever saw?  he queried, leaning forward to emphasize the question.  "that's easy," he replied, and then without hesitation, he snapped.  "That's easy!  My choice is Ty Cobb!" . . . but when we get down  the fine points of
this game and weigh the various angles, there is none to equal Cobb.  I'm serious when I say that. . . . Cobb could do everything. . . . I may be wearing myself out," he said, "But when I start talking about that fellow I can't quit. . . Cobb beat us. 
Scoring from second base on an outfield fly or  an infield grounder.  Cobb frequently upset and rattled our team as he helped beat my boys out of three pennants. . .and while I watched his play from my seat in the grandstand I could see that he threw fear
into the opposition.  That's what made him a great ball player."  "What's up now? I asked him.  "I've won pennants and World's Series," he replied, "but do you know what I consider the greatest and only disappointment of my career?  Well, I'll tell you -
it was really the fact Ty Cobb did not play for Commy."  I could readily understand Comiskey's slant.  He had not tried to conquer the word.  He simply regretted that this greatest ball player of all time was not a member of his Chicago White Sox.
"Cobb," he mumbled softly.  "He should have been with my White Sox.  I had Callahan, Jones, Griffith, Donohue, Isbell, Davis, McFarland, Walsh, Altrock, Jackson, Cicotte, Schalk, Weaver and other stars.  But I wanted Cobb.  I watched him star for the
Tigers - a boy who played the game as I did back in the late 70's.  Then I pleaded with the Detroit club to put a price on him. I wanted Ty to finish his career with my ball club.  I would have paid - well, I'd have paid anything, but they wouldn't sell."
"Ty Cobb - what a ball player!" sighed Comiskey, and then as I noted him slump back in his chair, I, too, regretted that Ty had not started and finished his sparkling career with the White Sox that this grand old man of baseball did not get his cherished
thrill."  (Sporting News, December 25, 1930, pp. 7)
Clark Griffith, Senators owner,1920-55 1918  -  "But I'll have to admit that Ty Cobb is the smartest ball player I ever saw for scoring runs and doing damage to another team.  He's always working for the Tigers, is Ty, and he's a wonder.  He's the most spectacular player I ever saw,
(ML pitcher,1891-14) (Senators manager,1901-20) and his record?  Why where are you going to match that record? . . . Yes, Jackson has the best natural batting eye I ever saw, but he isn't Cob's equal, of course, take him all round." 
 (Baseball Magazine, May, 1918, pp. 181, The Greatest Ball Club That Ever Lived, by Clark Griffith, pp. 141, 180, 181)
1921  -  "The two greatest base runners that I ever saw were Bill Lange and Ty Cobb.  Bill Lange was the best of the old timers, in my opinion, and Ty Cobb is just as far ahead of the field among modern day base runners.  I won't attempt to decide which
was the greater, but I have already admitted more than once that Ty Cob was the most brilliant ball player I ever knew.  He is slowing up now, of course, but in his prime, he was a wonder."  (Baseball Magazine, August, 1921)
1942  -  "Because he was a hitter, a base-runner, a great fielder and indomitable will to win and the aggressiveness that thrilled those who watched him play." (Sporting News, April 2, 1942,Greatest Player survey) Sporting News mailed out over 100 letters
to former ML stars & managers. It asked, "Who do you consider the greatest ball player of all time? Why?"
Tom Yawkey, Red Sox owner, 1933-76 1933  -  The greatest player he ever saw?  "I speak merely as a fan, you understand.  Cobb was the greatest player I ever saw, and so far as my memory goes, the first player I ever saw.  I definitely know he was the first person I ever shook hands with."
"What about Ruth?  If you had your chance to buy Ruth or Cobb, both at their peak tomorrow, for the Red Sox,  which would you take?"  "I'm still a fan.  I would take Cobb.  I like to see Ruth hit the long ones, but nothing has thrilled me more than the
sight of Ty Cobb dashing around the bases, taking chances, outwitting the other side.  You could never tell what he was going to do, and it was fine fun trying to figure what he might do next.  You don't get that with Ruth."  You are not listening to an
old timer talk.  This is a 30 year old business man, the youngest club owner in the history of baseball.  Cobb represents the mauve decades in baseball.  Ruth represents the hot cha-cha, and h, ey nonny, nonny, period.  I wonder if anybody really knows
which is better?  (Sporting News, March 9, 1933, pp. 6, column 4)
1945  -  "Cobb?  I've always had the greatest respect for him as a player and as a man.  I've always considered him the greatest player that ever lived." . . .
. . ."But Ty Cobb is the greatest I ever saw at any time--yes, sir, and you can go tell that to Taylor Spink!" (Sporting News, March 29, 1945, pp. 3, column 3)
1959  -  In his boyhood at Detroit, Yawkey used to idolize and hang around Ty Cobb, Sam Crawford and Bobby Veach.  (Sporting News, June 17, 1959, pp. 12, column 2)
1961  -  "Greatest all-around ball player of all time." (Washington, DC, Evening Star, July 18, 1961,  pp. A21)
1961  -  "I have lost a long time friend with the death of Ty Cobb.  Much of my early interest in baseball was aroused by meeting and knowing Ty at a very early age and there is no doubt in my mind that he was the greatest all around ball players of all
of all time."  (San Francisco  ?, July 18, 1961,  compiled from AP and UPI Services)
Walter O. Briggs, Tigers owner, 1935-52 1952 - Walter O. Briggs' great baseball idol was Ty Cobb.  "He was the greatest I ever saw and probably the greatest any of us will ever see," he said.  "Babe Ruth hit more home runs, but I don't see how he can be ranked above Cobb.  Ruth was the greatest
slugger of all time, but not the greatest player." (Sporting News, January 23, 1952, pp. 11, column 2)
Ida Shibe,   Phil. Athletics'  owner, 1935-52 1952  -  "She was following baseball when the Brotherhood operated a team at Broad and Dauphin streets, not far from her girlhood home here.  That was in the 1880s, long before there was an American League, before the modern Athletics were even dreamed of
and before she met Tom Shibe.  Rival players never were villains to Aunt Ida - just "nice boys" in the wrong uniforms - and Ty Cobb she regarded as the greatest of all time, with Babe Ruth the most magnetic. (Sporting News, May 21, 1952, pp. 30, column 2)
Umpires support Ty.
Tom Connelly 1950  -  Does Tom Connelly have a "greatest player" for his 57 years in the National and American leagues?  Certainly: Tyrus Raymond Cobb. (Sporting News, April 26, 1950, pp. 8, column 4 & 5)
AL ump 1901-27, 1953  -  Which reminded me of a brilliant cliché.  Who was the greatest ball player he had ever seen?  The former umpire looked at me as if the question was not only superfluous but stupid.  "Why, Ty Cobb, of course."  Then by way of amplification. . ."He
AL Director of umpires, 1927-54 could beat you so many ways.  He could outhit you, outrun you and outthink you.  If you needed the tying or winning run in the last inning and he was up it was even money, he'd get it." (Sporting News, June, 3, 1953, pp. 12, column 3)
1954 - As one who saw many great players come & go, Connelly unhesitatingly names Ty Cobb as the greatest all-round player he ever saw, remarking, "He could beat you so many ways."  And in his opinion, Walter Johnson, the "Big Train" of Washington, was
was the greatest pitcher. (Sporting News, January 20, 1954,  pp. 6, column 1 & 2)
Billy Evans,  AL ump, 1906-27,    Indians GM, 1928-35 1926  -  Ty Cobb, the greatest player of all time, is through as a big leaguer.  .  . There never has been and probably never will be another player just like Tyrus Raymond Cobb.  He could do everything.  Didn't have a single weakness.  During my 21 years
Red Sox Dir. minor leagues,1936-41,   Clev. Rams  GM, years in the majors I have seen Cobb do everything that it is possible for one player to do on the ball field.  There is nothing that Cobb hasn't attempted and succeeded in.  (Sporting News, November 18, 1926, pp. 6, column 3)
Pres. Southern Ass., 1943,  Tigers GM & VP, 1946-51 1942  -  " Cobb was the brainy, crafty, sensational performer,  who starred in the era of close scores when one run was usually the decisive margin.  Ruth starred in the era of swat.  Power was his greatest asset, although he had all the other attributes
of a great ball player." (Sporting News, April 2, 1942, Greatest Player survey) Sporting News mailed out over 100 letters to former ML stars & managers. It asked,  "Who do you consider the greatest ball player of all time?  Why?"
1942  -  "If there ever was a greater all-around baseball player than Ty Cobb, I have yet to see him.  Babe Ruth had more power, Tris Speaker was a greater fielder, Joe DiMaggio has a better arm, but none possessed the all-around finesse of the
Georgia Peach.  Cobb did everything well. . . . I have never seen a great hitter who had better control of his bat at all times than Cobb."
(Baseball's Best Batters, by Billy Evans, condensed from Esquire Magazine, reprinted for Baseball Digest, August, 1942, pp. 55-61)(Cobb, Ruth, Keeler, Gehrig, Wagner, Hornsby, Speaker, Collins, Sisler, Lajoie, Jackson, DiMaggio, Williams)
George Moriarty, (AL 3B, 1906-17) 1930 - Although a generous crop of rookies have made their appearance in the major leagues this season, the task of uncovering another Ty Cobb is as futile as ever.  Cobb is generally conceded to be the greatest ball player the game has ever produced.
AL ump (1917-41,  except for Detroit manager,1927-28) That he had "everything" is obvious because a weakness in a player is quickly detected, and passed around as common knowledge: but managers and players have never been able to point to a flaw in Cobb's play.  For the steenth time I was asked this
question the other day:  "Do you think the game will ever produce another Cobb?"  Frankly, I do not believe that we shall ever see another player equal to Cobb at any future time.  The reason is logical.
 (Baseball Magazine, Jan., 1930, pp. 366, "Calling Them With George Moriarty, by George Moriarty, pp. 366, 379)
Dick Nallin,  AL ump, 1915-32 1956  -  The six-foot, 200-pound arbiter rated Ty Cobb the greatest player he ever had seen.  "Babe Ruth was good, too," he conceded, "but Ruth was a different type player from Cobb.  Ty would fight you to a standstill in a game, but the Babe took things
more in stride." (Sporting News, Sept. 19, 1956, pp. 46, column 4)
Red Ormsby,  AL ump, 1923-41 1961  -  "All four--Clarence Rowland, Ray Schalk, Urban (Red) Faber and Emmett (Red) Ormsby--learned about The Georgia Peach at first hand.  They were contemporaries of Ty in the American League and spent many a day on the field of battle with baseball's
immortal star.  All four of these Chicago baseball men agreed that Cobb was the greatest player of all time, and all four agreed that none ever matched his flaming drive for victory.  But Schalk had more than admiration for Ty.  His was a deep affection.
"I loved the guy," said Schalk.  (Sporting News, December 20, 1961, pp. 14, column 3)
1962  -  "A few years ago, when Ray Schalk was inducted into the Hall of Fame, I had a Talk of more than an hour with Cobb,  He was a wonderful fellow to reminisce with.  You know, the first time I ever met Ty was when I was a raw recruit at the Quantico
Marine Base in Virginia in 1917.  I was in the same outfit with his brother, Paul, whom Ty came to visit one day.  Paul was a pretty good ball player himself.  Paul was an outfielder on the Quantico team and an excellent hitter and I was spitball pitcher.
Being a youngster then, I was pop-eyed when I saw the great Ty Cobb.  He handled himself modestly enough.  I remember that my reaction was that he was a 'good Joe.'" (Sporting News, January 17, 1962, pp. 14, column 4)
Pants Rowland,  AL ump, 1923-27 1961  -  "Kid Gleason would butter him up by telling him it was too bad we couldn't get him on our club, and when Ty came to bat, Schalk would butter him up some more," said Rowland.  "We kept our bench jockeys subdued, too.  Cobb was great enough just
White Sox manager, 1915-18 in his normal stride but, if you needled him, he was almost super-human.  He was a guy who could beat you all alone, so it was suicide to stimulate him to even greater efforts.  Without a doubt, Cobb was the greatest player of all time. . .
active in Pacific Coast League, and Cubs club When I umpired, I never got any squawks from Cobb on balls and strikes.  He'd give you a look once in a while and that's all.  The only time he ever said anything to me was when I called him out at third base once on a close decision.
'I don't believe you,' and kept right on going." (Sporting News, Dec. 20, 1961, pp. 14, column 3)
Bill McGowan,  AL ump,  1925-54 1961  -  "Ty was in a class by himself," McGowan explained,  "He could win a game without swinging a bat,  He'd come up swinging five bats, smacking his lips like a tiger and scaring the life out of a pitcher.  He'd coax a pass, steal second, third, and
home and beat you, 1 to 0."  Ruth, the umpire believes, was the greatest slugger who ever lived.  "Even if you take away all his homers and call them singles," he said, "he's still one of the games's all-time greats.  Great arm, smart and fast for a big
man.  But not as good as Cobb!" (Sporting News, September 13, 1961, pp. 14, column 2, "Cobb Greatest of All, Insists Umpire McGowan")
Bill Guthrie, Ump  (NL, 1913,  AL   1922, 28-32) 1950  -  "There was only one great player in Bill's book and that was Ty Cobb.  To Bill, the Georgia Peach represented everything.  They became fast friends," (Sporting News, March 15, 1950, pp. 18, column 2)
Brick Owens,    AL Ump,   1916-37 1936  -  Ty Cobb was the best ball player that Umpire Brick Owens ever saw.  (Los Angeles Times, March 14, 1936, pp. 14, "Bill Henry - Says")
Dolly Stark, NL Umpire 1928-40, 42,  exc. 36 1939  -  "The greatest player I ever saw was Ty Cobb." (Washington Post, May 2, 1939, pp. 19, "On the Line With Considine", by Dolly Stark) (Regular columnist was on vacation, and guest columnist filled in.)
Bill Dinneen, AL Umpire 1909-37 1938 - Umpire Bill Dinneen of the American League staff nominates Ty Cobb and Hal Chase as the greatest players of all time.  And says Joe DiMaggio is far and away the best of the moderns . . (Los Angeles Times, June 5, 1938, pp. A12, "The Sports Parade", by Braven Dyer)
Babe Pinelli, ML 3B, 1918, 20, 22-27 1951  -  "Ty Tops With Pinelli"  -  Babe Pinelli, National League umpire and former major league third baseman, is convinced that he never will see a
NL ump, 1935-56 player who will approximate the quick reactions of Ty Cobb, the famed Georgia Peach.  Babe, who spent a season with the Tigers when The Peach was in
full bloom, recently related an incident involving Tyrus Raymond . . .  "It happened in a game between the Tigers and Indians, in Cleveland," said Babe. 
 "Davy Jones was on third base and Ty was at the plate.  Ty hit the ball back to the pitcher.  Davy broke for the plate . . .The pitcher threw the ball to Steve O'Neill, then the
Indians' catcher.  Dave dashed back toward third.  O'Neill threw the ball to Rube Lutzke, the Indians' third sacker.  Meanwhile, Cobb was legging it
around the bases.  Seeing that Jones was in a rundown play, Ty never stopped . . .Finally, O'Neill chase Jones back to third base.  He tagged Dave a step away from the bag. . .
However, Steve's momentum carried him past the bag . . . Cobb, reaching third base on the inside, lit out for home . . .  Doc Johnston, Cleveland first sacker, was looking
on , awed at what he was witnessing.  He never made an effort to cover the plate and The Peach scored what turned cut to be the winning run.  He was the
Couldn't find their opinions Tim Hurst('00-09), Silk O'Loughlin('02-18),Jack Sheridan('01-14), George Hildebrand('12-34).
It would seem logical that the umpires of Ty's time would have supported him as the greatest ever.  Some of the most prominent, whom I haven't found quotes for were: Jack Sheridan ('00-14), Tim Hurst ('00-09), Silk O'Loughlin('02-18), Brick Owens('16-37),
George Hildebrand('12-34), Bill Dinneen('09-37), Ed Rommel('20-34), Harry Geisal('25-42), Ollie Chil('14-14, exc. 17-18)
It is a historical fact that in the debate between Ruth, Cobb & Wagner, the overwhelming cream of the most respected, authoritative & august names in baseball  who had actually seen these players came out in favor of Ty. I have spent years searching for
their opinions and have found most of them.  Sadly, I still haven't found a few. I am still seeking those of Tim Murnane, Cap Anson, Art Fletcher, Herb Pennock, and a few others, namely a host of AL umpires of Ty's time.
Ty as manager.
Fred Haney 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
AL 3B,2B,  1922-27,     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 manager, 1939-41 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 manager, 1953-55 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 manager, 1956-59 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
Ty's teammate, 1922-25 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)
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."
(Baseball Magazine, April, 1929)
1938  -  The new pilot of the Browns regards Ty Cobb as the greatest manager under who he has ever served.  "There never was anyone like Ty," declard 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, column 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, column 3)
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,
Francis C. Richter,  Phil.  spwr. (1876-1926) 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
AL Reach Baseball Guide Editor-In-Chief  (1901-1926, death) the improvement of the supposedly weak pitching department through the development of Pitchers Stoner, Whitehill, Holloway and Wells. (Sporting News, August 7, 1924, pp. 4, column 5, Casual Comment)
John Bogart, Tigers P,  1920,    Ty's teammate, 1920 1982  -  "As a manager, Cobb was all right." (Cobb Would Have Caught It, Richard Bak, 1991,  pp. 148)
Christy Mathewson  (NL pitcher,'00-16) 1924  -  So admired was Ty as a manager by the end of '24, that Christy Mathewson chose him as manager for his All-America team B, for Collier's, Oct. 11, 1924, pp. 45.'16-17), Giants' coach('19-20), Reds Pres.('23-25)
Dan Howley,  NL player, 1913 1923  -  "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
Tigers coach, 1919, 21-22,  Browns manager, 1927-29 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
Ty's teammate, 1919, 21-22 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, pp. 7, column 2) 
Rip Collins,  AL P, 1920-27, 29-31 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
Ty's teammate, 1920-26 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
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, April, 1930, pp. 493)
Earl Whitehall,  AL P 1923-38,  NL P 1939 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
Cleveland coach, 1941,  Phillies coach,  1943 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
Ty's teammate, 1923-26 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
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
example of what a player can do by using his head every moment of the time."  (Baseball Magazine, May, 1931,  pp. 539-541)
Larry Woodall,  Detroit catcher, 1920-29 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
Red Sox coach, 1942-48 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."
 (New York Journal-American, July 20, 1961, pp. 24, Brainy Cobb Praised by the Tigers He Managed by Barney Kremenko )
Babe Herman,  NL OF, 1926-37, 45 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
you learned plenty," is the way Babe put it.  (Sporting News, Feb.7, 1962, pp. 7, column 1,  by Braven Dyer in Los Angeles Times)
Lu Blue,  Detroit 1B,  1921-27 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)
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)

Email Bill Burgess

HomeGuru's Baseball Book StoreLink to UsBraintrust & Mailing ListsEmail the GuruContact InfoRead baseball analysis