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Ty Cobb [From Bill Burgess' Ty Cobb Memorial Collection]
Cobb's World Series Performance and Comparisons
Ruth and Wagner Supporters (spreadsheet)
Early Player Profiles
Was Cobb the greatest all-around baseball player who ever lived?  PART I


The Scintillating Breakdown of a Masterpiece Career, to which all others must be compared.

By Bill Burgess III

Below are the times Ty led his league, and the times he came in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th or 6th, respectively in various hitting categories.
Included also, are the career breakdowns for Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, and Rogers Hornsby for comparison and contrast. 
Cobb BA Hits 2B 3B HR Runs RBI TB OBA SLG SB BB Hornsby BA Hits 2B 3B HR Runs RBI TB OBA SLG SB BB
Led 12 8 3 4 1 5 4 6 7 8 6 Led 8 4 4 2 2 7 3 7 9 9 0 3
2nd 3 3 4 2 2 2 2 2 7 3 1 1 2nd 2 1 1 1 2 1 1 2 1 1 0 1
3rd 1 3 1 1 2 2 1 2 3 2 3rd 1 1 1 1 3 2 1 1 0
4th 2 1 1 1 1 3 1 4th 1 3 4 1 2 1 0 2
5th 1 1 2 1 1 1 5th 5 1 0
6th 2 2
Ruth BA Hits 2B 3B HR Runs RBI TB OBA SLG SB BB Wagner BA Hits 2B 3B HR Runs RBI TB OBA SLG SB BB
Led 1 1 12 8 6 6 9 13 11 Led 8 2 7 3 0 2 5 7 4 6 5
2nd 2 1 2 1 2 3 2 1 1 2nd 2 2 1 3 1 2 2 1 1 3 0
3rd 2 1 1 2 1 1 1 3rd 5 3 2 2 2 4 2 2 2
4th 1 3 3 2 4th 2 3 1 2 3 2 1 1 1
5th 1 1 5th 1 1 1 2 1 1 2 2
When Ty Cobb retired following the 1928 season, he held around 90 ML or AL records, 30 of which still stand today in 2004, 75 yrs. later.
When Ty retired after the '28 season, he held the ML career records for: Games, ABs, BA., Hits, Runs, RBIs, TBs, SBs,
Steals of Home, Extra Base Hits, Singles, Runs Produced;   He also was 2nd in doubles, triples, and extra bases on hits.
That is the most impressive collection of records at retirement that anyone else can claim. Not even the more glorified Ruth could approach it.
Here are a sampling of some of his more impressive achievements, not all of them career totals, the likes of which few, if any can dream of. 
Ty won 12 Batting titles in 13 yrs., 1907-19;  In 21 out of 24 seasons, he came in the top 6 in BA.  He missed with .240(1905), .334(1920)
& .340(1923).  In a 16 yr. stretch, '07-'22, he came in 1st in BA 12 times, and 2nd, 3 times.  Hard to imagine such consistency in excellence.
Highest percentage of HRs with men on base, for over 100 HRs.  69.2%.  Next highest Sam Thompson, 65.9%.  Next highest in mid-50's.
ML record for most times getting 5 hits in one game, 14 times.
Consecutive game hitting streaks was something of a Cobb specialty.  In 6 different seasons, Ty had the longest consecutive game
Hitting streaks in his league. 1906(25), 1911(40), 1912(34), 1917(35), 1926(21), 1927(21).
ML record of most steals of home,  - 54 of 98 tries. Ty stole home in every year from 1907-27, except '25. That's 18 yrs. in a row, & 21 total.
Most times hitting above .320  -  22 consecutive seasons, from the age of 20 until he retired, only missing his rookie & second yr..
Holds record for most hits in a month  -  68 in July, 1912. He accumulated 30 games, 127 AB, 33 runs, for a .535 BA.  Had only 1 hitless game in July.  Had a 34 g hitting streak.
Ty also holds the record for the second most hits in a month, 67 in July, 1922.  He piled up 32 games, 137 AB, 26 runs, .489 BA.
His 1st full season, 1906, became best hitter on his team, despite presence of major star, Sam Crawford.
His 2nd full season, 1907, became best hitter in league, and the youngest to win a batting title, at age 20.
His career Total Bases record lasted 38 yrs., from when Ty broke Wagner's record in 1924, until Stan Musial broke it in 1962.
His single season SB record lasted 47 yrs., from 1915 till 1962, when Maury Wills broke it.
His career SB record lasted  59 yrs., from 1918, when Ty first took the record from Wagner to 1977, when Brock took the record from him.
His career Hits record lasted 62 yrs., from 1923, when Ty took it from Wagner, to 1985, when Pete Rose broke it,  but needed 2,500 more  AB's to do it.
His career Runs Scored record lasted 78 yrs., from 1923, when Ty broke Wagner's record, until Rickey Henderson broke it in 2001.
His career records for BA., Relative BA., and Steals of Home are still standing and appear in no imminent danger of a prospective
threat on the horizon.
His career .366 BA. looks more beyond reach with each passing year.
In the first  Hall of Fame vote (tabulated in the Commissioner's office in Chicago,IL on Feb.2,1936), Ty received 222 out of 226 votes, 98.84%. Only Tom Seaver, with 425 of 430 votes (98.84%) in 1992, has polled higher,
albeit in an election of infinitely less competitive quality.
That a so-called least popular player could outpoll all the most popular players all these years, in elections that can never begin to approach the first election in quality, is a testament to the voters integrity and Ty's unequaled quality of play.
Upon his retirement, he held the ML Career records for Games, AT, Runs, Hits, RBI's, BA, SB, TB, Runs Created, Runs Produced, Extra Base Hits,
Ty Cobb's routine style of play was so hyper-aggressive that it defies credibility.  On 3 different occasions, he stole 2nd, third & home, before the batter at the plate had finished his at-bat.  And once on 3 pitches!  Now that's, "In your face!!"
He routinely scored from second on infield outs.  He routinely went from 1st to 3rd on infield outs.  Once he scored from 1st on an infield out.
He often scored from 1st on outfield singles.  With him on 1st base, the pitcher became a thrower, helping the batter by his antics.  Ty recognized no unwritten "gentlemen's" rules.  He do'd anything to throw you off your game.  In spades.
Mixing perfected mechanical ability with brains, his was the most versatile batting attack on record.  Other dangerous hitters, such as Ruth, Williams or Bonds could be disposed of by walking them.  Without fear. 
But Cobb was too dangerous to put first.  That was prelude to a pitchers nightmare scenario.  Because once on base, with Cobb trash-talking & dancing off 1st, the bedeviled pitcher became a thrower.  The hitter following Cobb had a much easier life
than he deserved, courtesy of Cobb.  So once again, as in the taking of extra bases, we have Cobb contributions to winning that cannot be quantified or documented by Mr. Sabermetrician. 
It is such a shame that so many of Ty Cobb's contributions to the winning of ball games cannot by virtue of their nature, be quantified so that he receives credit officially.  The taking of extra bases, distracting the pitcher from the hitter , were only
two of Cobb's amazing skills, which go unaccredited by today's sabermetricians.  Another skill was simply modeling for his team mates what the winning attitude should be.  Many stars such as Eddie Collins, George Sisler, Al Simmons, Mickey Cochrane,
and Rogers Hornsby freely admitted they modeled their own play, in all ways, on Ty Cobb's play.  His controlled intensity of concentration was an inspiration to Hornsby, Sisler, Collins, Speaker, Cochrane, Al Simmons and countless others.
One more skill, unaccredited, yet phenomenally vital. Could Ruth, Mantle or Hornsby teach their team mates to fulfill their hitting potential.  Ty could.  Ty did.  With Ty on your team, you automatically optimized                           
 your teams hitting potential. Mr. Sabermetrician?  Are you listening?  Not ALL contributions to winning ball games can be documented into your numbers.  While not counting towards greatest player status, his gifts counted towards most valuable person in the dugout!!!
When you got Cobb, you not only got baseball's greatest hitter & baserunner.  It's an historical fact, that Ty is the greatest hitting coach who ever lived. In his 1st season as Tiger manager, 1921, the Tiger's collective BA jumped from .270 to .316,
an improvement from 95% of the league ave. to 107% of the league ave.  Staggering.  And again, when he went to the Phil. Athletics in 1927, after Ty had worked with that teams hitters in the spring, that team
went from a collective team BA of .269 to .303, an improvement from 94% of the league ave.  to 105% of the league ave.  As Ty put it in his autobiography,  "In all modesty, I could teach hitting".  The fact can hardly be disputed.  
        For Career Totals, Ty still lists 1st in BA, Relative BA, Runs Produced, steals of home, 2nd in Hits, Runs, Triples, Outfield Assists, Outfield Double Plays, 
4th in Steals, Games Played, At Bats, Doubles, Total Bases, Outfield Putouts,  5th in RBI's,  8th in OBA, Extra Base Hits,6th, Relative OBA,
12th, Relative SA.
        Although the newer stats are somewhat suspect to myself & the larger BB community, I will include those where Ty Cobb ranks somewhat up there.
He lists 2nd in Runs Created, Adjusted Batting Wins,  4th Total Player Rating, Adjusted Batting Runs, 9th in Adjusted Production,
12th in Total Average,
      Certainly, no one before & since, has ever known baseball in the deepest possible way as Ty Cobb did.  Every sport is known to have certain individuals who were known for their deeper understanding of their sport.  In baseball, it was John McGraw, 
Connie Mack, Eddie Collins, Buck Ewing, Miller Huggins, George Sisler, Cap Anson, Casey Stengel and others. Certain sports writers were also credited with a better working knowledge of the game.  Writers who were so credited were Tim Murnane &  
Sam Crane who were  themselves former ML players. Others were Frances C. Richter of Philadelphia, John B. Foster, Branch Rickey, Ferdinand C. Lane, William B. Hanna, Grantland Rice of New York, Bill Phelon of Cincinnati & Jake Morse of Boston. But no one
ever had the game so deeply planted in their psyches & souls as Ty Cobb.  He would visit retired former star ballplayers in every city to sit at their table & pick their brains for long-forgotten tidbits of tactics & strategy.  He admitted thinking
about baseball most waking moments.  In time, he so absorbed the game that he virtually became one with his baseball thoughts & fantasies.  In a very real sense, he merged with it.  He breathed it.  He became his thoughts, and lived them out on the field.
    Incidentally, of the 17 named above, 13 idolized Ty Cobb as the greatest ballplayer who ever lived.  They also called him the smartest ballplayer to ever play the game.  Apparently, it took one to know one.
The 5 who didn't call Cobb the best ever were: McGraw, who preferred Wagner first & Cobb second as in a class of their own. McGraw was also a NLer, who saw Wagner 10 times more than Cobb. Ewing, who died in 1906, before Cobb had gotten going. Foster, who
preferred Buck Ewing first, Cobb second.  Grant Rice who always called Cobb & Ruth the best ever, with Wagner next.  When Ruth died, Rice called Ruth the best.  Rickey named Wagner first, Cobb second.  Wagner for a season, Cobb for 1 game.
        All fields produce their supreme artists.  Ty was to baseball what Beethoven, Mozart & Bach are to music. What Lasker, Capablanca, Alekhine & Fischer are to chess.  What Hannibal, Napoleon, Lee & Stonewall Jackson are to military strategy.
Ty Cobb became, due to his compulsive, obsessive, disciplined dedication to his sport, its supreme transcendent historical genius.  He could anticipate all his rivals moves on the field. He'd long-ago catalogued their strengths & weaknesses.
How the middle ages looked at Michelangelo, DaVinci & Rembrandt, American League pitchers, catchers & infielders viewed Ty Cobb.  As a creature apart.  To be viewed with awe & wonder.  Almost mystical.  The super-human player.  Cobb was so intolerant of
being beaten, that he had others, even in the rival NL, convinced that he couldn't be beaten.  This lasted until 1920, when the owners who ruled baseball, decided to turn the game inside out, in order to allow another player to sparkle, & line
their own pockets with gold. Minus the lively ball, there was no way on Earth that Babe Ruth was going to narrow the gap to overtake Cobb, who in '22, at the age of 35, hit .401, 1.40% of the AL ave. Ted Williams hit .406 (1.52% League ave.) at age 23, &
.388 (1.52) at age 39.  However, Ted didn't have the responsibility of managing a team.  He could focus all his attention on getting his hits.  Moreover, he couldn't field with Cobb, run bases with Cobb, teach hitting with Cobb, or inspire others.
        Once, as a manager, he called 21 straight pitches correctly to his player, Fred Haney.  When Haney, incredulous, asked how he did it, Ty nonchalantly said, when you've played this long against catcher Steve O'Neil, you know how he calls pitches!
        I and many others consider it a massive historical injustice that today's sabermetricians continue to rate Ty Cobb beneath not only Babe, but others as well.  They refuse to concede that Ty's many contributions to winning games are significant.
The tragedy is, that they only delude themselves and the blind.  Their rankings, as well as their formulas will probably never find acceptance in the baseball community at large, until they adjust their thinking to reflect accepted reality from the fans.
The bottom line truth is, no one can down-rate true greatness.  They simply believe they can, and live out their own reality.  While SABR has a mere 7,000 members, baseball fans run into the many millions.  And even within SABR membership, possibly only
70% consider Babe Ruth the greatest ballplayer ever.  I'd imagine that 25% of SABR members agree that Cobb is #1.  So the keepers of the flame of purity have not been driven into exile or underground.  We simply ignore them, quietly.  Until now.  We're
patiently awaiting for our mathematical friends to catch up.  Lesson. Baseball can not be reduced to numbers or formulas, regardless of how well-intentioned or brilliant one is. Sport has too many intangibles, as Ty so richly proved when he was with us.
       No one can attain this level of scintillating genius without others taking due notice.  From 1912 on, Ty began being called the greatest
player to have ever played the game of baseball.  In poll after poll, survey after survey, he strode and conquered.  Following is a brief sampling
of some of the better-known examples of where Ty was acknowledged as the ballplayer supreme of all times.  There was no close 2nd place.
 1. In 1912, the editors of Baseball Magazine set a precedent and named Ty as the greatest baseball player who ever lived. It was the first
time they did that.  (They launched the magazine in May, 1908). It was also the last time they did that. The following issue, they named Joe
Jackson his closest  active rival. Editor-in-Chief, from 1912-37, Ferdinand C. Lane, often & emphatically, stressed that Cobb knew no close
2. In 1926, The Sporting News published a small sidebar. Philadelphia, Dec. 23 (AP).  The Phil. Sports Writers' Association sent a telegram
to Cobb: "The Philadelphia Sports Writers' Association desires to express to you and Tris Speaker it's utmost confidence in your honesty
and integrity. The sporadic outbursts have in no way lowered you from the pedestal as the outbursts have in no way lowered you from the 
pedestal as the greatest ball player of all time. We deem it a privilege to invite you as a guest of honor to our annual banquet Feb.8."
The message was signed by the officers of the association, Louis H. Jaffe, President: Robert T. Paul, Treasurer, and Larry McCrossan,
Secretary. A similar telegram was sent to Speaker.  At that time, their Ass. included the Inquirer, Daily News, Record, Bulletin,&  Public Ledger.
All told around 30-40 sports writers.
3. In the book "The History of Baseball" by Allison Danzig and Joe Reichler,1959, there appears this tidbit on page pp.177. "In 1932,
(Grantland) Rice tabulated the consensus vote of a baseball group on the greatest performers in the different departments of the
game. The findings were: Greatest hitter of all time - Joe Jackson.  Hardest hitter - Babe Ruth. Greatest all-around offensive star - Ty Cobb.
Best base runner - Ty Cobb. Greatest infielder - Hans Wagner. Greatest fielding outfielder - Tris Speaker. Greatest pitcher -  Johnson,
Mathewson, Young. Greatest catcher - Buck Ewing, Kling, Cochrane. Jackson's selection as greatest hitter got the votes of Cobb,Ruth &
4.  In late June, 1931, the Philadelphia Public Ledger commisioned one of their baseball writers to go into the dugouts of the major
league teams to find out who the managers of that time thought was the greatest player of all time.  They were asked to give 5 players in
order of rank.  So,  C. William Duncan went out into ML dugout and asked the following jury of 12 the question, "Whom do you consider
the greatest baseball player ever?"  They were asked to give 5 players.  Happily, this was the very moment when the bubble of Babe
Ruth's fame, hovered at its pinnacle of glory.  That makes this poll decisive and unalterable.  By contrast, the 1950 sports writers poll,
was conducted largely by men who had never seen Cobb play.  Or Ruth either, for that matter.  This article was published in the
Philadelphia Public Ledger on July 5, 1931, Magazine section,  pp. 7.  It was also excerpted in Literary Digest, August 1, 1931, under
Personal Glimpses, Picking an All-Time Emperor of the Diamond.  It was also referred to in The Life That Ruth Built by Marshall Smelser,1975, pp. 433)
The summary results of that amazing poll is given here below.  The full article with the actual comments of the managers appears in my
file, Assessing Ty, which is in this Ty Cobb Memorial Collection, starting at line 1179.  In the Ty / Babe debate, I hold this poll to be the
"Smoking Gun", and along with the Sporting News April 2, 1942 poll, represents The Final Word in such discourses.
In July,1931, C. William Duncan conducted this survey for the Philadelphia Public Ledger.
Burt Shotten Connie Mack Kid Gleason Gabby Street Wilbert Robinson Walter Johnson
Cobb Cobb Cobb Cobb Cobb Cobb
Lajoie Collins Wagner Wagner Keeler Wagner
C.Klein Lajoie Collins Ruth Jackson
Wagner Simmons F.Parent Wagner Ruth
Ruth Ruth Chase Ferguson Collins
Cochrane Speaker
Dan Howley Jimmie Burke Bill McKechnie John McGraw Bucky Harris Joe McCarthy
Cobb Wagner Wagner Wagner Ruth Ruth
Wagner Cobb Cobb Cobb Cobb Cobb
Lajoie Speaker Keeler Sisler Wagner
Collins Lajoie Simmons Simmons Collins
Hornsby Hornsby Terry Speaker Lajoie
5.  In the first  Hall of Fame vote (tabulated in the Commissioner's office in Chicago,IL on Feb.2,1936), Ty received 222 out of 226 votes,
98.84%. Only Tom Seaver, with 425 of 430 votes (98.84%) in 1992, has polled higher, albeit in an election of infinitely less competitive quality.
The official results of the toughest Hall of Fame competition that baseball can ever see are thus.  Out of 226 total votes from 226 sports
writers:  Cobb 222, Wagner 214, Ruth 214, Mathewson 205, Walter Johnson 189, Lajoie 146, Speaker 133, Young 111, Hornsby 105,
Cochrane 80, Sisler 77, Eddie Collins 60, Jimmy Collins 58, Grover Alexander 55, Lou Gehrig 51, Roger Bresnahan 47, Jimmy Foxx 21,
Walsh 20, Delehanty 17, Traynor 16, Frisch 14, Grove 12, Chase 11, Ross Young 10, Terry 9, Kling 8, Lew Criger 7, Evers 6, Mordecai
Brown 6, Chance 5, Schalk,McGraw,Simmons 4 each, Bender,Roush,Joe Jackson 2 each, and 1 vote each for:Marquard, Bradley, Rucker,
Daubert,Crawford,Connie Mack, Norm (Kid) Elberfeld, Frank(Home Run) Baker,Fred Clarke, Dazzy Vance,Dean,Gehringer,Harnett.
6.  (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?"  They received 102 letters in response.
  Sixty former players, managers, coaches voted for Ty Cobb, 17 voted for Honus Wagner, 11 voted for Babe Ruth, 2 each for Hornsby
and Ross Youngs. Ten others received 1 vote each: Delahanty, Gehrig, Speaker, Jerry Denny, DiMaggio, Ott, Sisler, Eddie Collins, Walter
Johnson & Mathewson. 
Ty's support is listed as these 48: Connie Mack, Speaker, Eddie Collins, Walter Johnson, Sisler, Cochrane, Simmons, Dykes, Ted Lyons,
Clark Griffith, Clyde Milan, Carl Mays, Billy Evans, Casey Stengel, Duffy Lewis, Nick Altrock, Larry Gardner, Ossie Bluege, Bing Miller,
Max Bishop, Billy Southworth, Bill Carrigan, Donie Bush, George J. Burns, Peckinpaugh, Del Baker, Steve O'Neill, Gavvy Cravath,
Steve Yerkes, Kiki Cuyler, Charles (Dick) Spalding, Charlie Root, Bill Friel, Ira Thomas, John (Red) Corriden, Jim (Death Valley) Scott,
Mike Kilroy, Harry Davis, Frank Shellenback, Bob Johnson, Lena Blackburne, Amos Strunk, George Cutshaw, Floyd (Pep) Young,
George Mogridege, Tom Daly, Ray Fisher.
Babe's support is listed as: Bucky Harris, Rube Walberg, Waite Hoyt, Lawton (Whitey) Witt, Jimmie Foxx. These 5 were the only names
listed in the article. 
Honus' support only listed: Jimmy Sheckard, George (High Pockets) Kelly, Bill McKechnie.  Surprising that only 3 names are listed here.
One of Hornsby's 2 supporters was Carl Hubbell.  John Walter Cooney says Hornsby as a hitter, Sisler for all-round.
DiMaggio's supporter was Stan Hack,  Speaker's supporter was Charles (Big Jeff) Tesreau, Gehrig's supporter was Lefty Gomez.
Eddie Collins lone supporter was Caroll W. Brown.  John (Bucky) chose Ed Delahanty, John Wesley (Pebbly Jack) Glasscock chose Jerry Denny.
Ross Youngs 2 supporters were Frankie Frisch & Bill Killefer.
It is such a disappointment that only some of the raw data was listed or preserved. 
Even though only 48 of Cobb's 60 supporters are listed, from my own research, I can say that the 12 unlisted names could have included
any of the following 37, who are official Cobb supporters living in 1942:  Babe Ruth, Rogers Hornsby, Cy Young, Joe Jackson, Ray Schalk,
Charlie Gehringer, Herb Pennock, Harry Heilmann, Bob Shawkey, Nap Rucker, Gabby Street, Bill Bradley, Dan Howley, Bill Terry,
Joe Wood, Fred Haney, Lee Fohl, Red Faber, Everett Scott, Stan Coveleskie, George McBride, Ruel, Ed Walsh, Art Fletcher, Willie Kamm,
Oscar Vitt, Home Run Baker, George Moriarty, Rube Bressler, Jim Bagby, Bobby Lowe, Al Schacht, Jimmie Callahan, Heinie Manush,
Ed Ainsmith, Luke Sewell or Joe Sewell.
Even though only 3 of Honus' supporters are listed here, from my own research, I can say that the 14 unlisted names could have included
any of the following 15, who are official Wagner supporters living in 1942:  Bill Klem, Branch Rickey, Ed Barrow, Sam Crawford,
Bill McKechnie, Jimmie Burke, Fred Clarke, Johnny Evers, Max Carey, Mike Kelley, Tommy Leach, Ed Roush, Waner Brothers, Heine Pietz, Orval Overall, Robert Emslie, John Tener.
Even though only 5 of Ruth's 11 supporters are listed, from my own research, I can say that the 6 unlisted names could have included
any of the following 6, who are official Ruth supporters living in 1942: Sam Rice, George Ulhe, Earle Combs, Red Ruffing, Johnny Stone
and Doc Cramer.
In my Cobb, Ruth, Wagner file, in my Cobb Memorial Collection, I list all of the supporters of these 3 amazing players down through the
years.  So far, I've found 250 Cobb supporters, 30 Ruth supporters, and 27 Wagner supporters, which I've documented.  My only criteria
is that they must have actually seen these players play. Even so,  I had to bend my rules to the breaking point to find Ruth supporters. 
For example, among the 14 players, who say Babe is #1, 8 started their careers after 1923, another 3 started in 1919, and Babe's final
3 supporters began their ML careers from 1914-16.  They never saw Ty at his peak, from 1909-13. 
7.  The last poll I know of where Ty Cobb was voted the greatest ever was the following from Sept.7,1963: Cobb and Hornsby Named
All-Time Greats by Voters: New York,N.Y.--Ty Cobb and Rogers Hornsby have been named the top all-time players in the major leagues in a
a poll conducted by the Academy of Sports Editors, a private survey organization which solicits votes from 100 sports editors of papers
in the 100,000 plus class.
Cobb, NO.1 man in the American League, drew 91% of the votes and Hornsby, his counterpart in the National, 79%.
Babe Ruth was the runner-up in the American only one percentage point behind the Georgia Peach.
The rest of the top ten players in the A.L. were: Joe DiMaggio, 63%; Walter Johnson 48%, Ted Williams 45%, Lou Gehrig 43%, Tris Speaker
43%, George Sisler 20%, Eddie Collins 18%, Bob Feller 17%.  In the National, Honus Wagner with 71% was in the No.2 spot.
Following were Stan Musial 70%, Christy Mathewson 57%, Grover Alexander 53%, Warren Spahn 42%, Willie Mays 38%, Bill Terry 23%,
Mel Ott 20%, Frankie Frisch 15%.
It is an historical fact, that Babe Ruth never won a poll as the best ever baseball player, when he was alive.  The very 1st time that Babe
ever won anything, was organized by his old financial advisor, Christy Walsh, in 1950.  Christy polled over 500 sports writers, and asked
them who was the greatest ballplayer ever.  I can't find the documented numbers of the vote count.  Reportedly, Ruth was included in
everyone's ballot for either right or left field, while Ty got votes for all 3 outfield positions, but we don't know how many.  For those who
like to believe that Babe was a better outfielder than Ty, why did NO ONE put Babe in center?  Because he could never handle a position
that demanded that much speed.  Ty was moved from right field to center in 1910, and stayed there till he signed with Connie Mack's A's
in 1927.  The first duty of an outfielder is to get to the ball, & Ty did this as well as any OF who ever went & got them.  Not so the more
glorified Babe. 
When told in 1950, that the BBWAA had voted Ruth the title of greatest ballplayer ever, Ty simply said, most of those writers "never saw him
play, or me."  This in contrast to the Hall of Fame vote in 1936 or the Sporting News poll in 1942, where the voters had actually seen the
players they were asked to evaluate.  Where's the value of asking someone to judge something they'd never seen?  Where indeed!?
8.  I have conducted my own private poll.  I have sought out only those opinions of those who had actually seen Wagner, Cobb & Babe 
play.  So I have endeavored to document all those baseball figures who have expressed an opinion either way.  I have documented
my findings in my file, Cobb, Ruth, Wagner, in my Ty Cobb Memorial Collection.  To date, May, 2004, the tabulation is Cobb 251, Ruth 29,
Wagner 32.  The actual commentary for the Cobb supporters can be viewed in Assessing Ty  file. 

See spreadsheet version

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