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Ty Cobb

Baseball

Nicknames: The Georgia Peach

Teams: Detroit Tigers (1905-1926); Philadelphia Athletics (1927-1928)

Biography:

It is not very often that peaches are associated with America's pastime, but in the case of baseball and Ty Cobb, it is. Nicknamed ‘The Georgia Peach', Cobb might have begun playing the game more than 100 years ago, but he is still considered among the best to have ever picked up a bat. He played in the Majors for 24 seasons, with most of them benefitting the Detroit Tigers organizations. In addition, he did play a few seasons with the Philadelphia Athletics. Combined, he racked up an impressive batting average of .367, a figure that many would struggle today to even keep for one season, nonetheless more than two decades. It is also notable that he continues to be the leader in runs scored with 2,245, and he held his place at the top of the record books for number of hits until the middle of the 1980s.

Baseball fanatics and fans of any sport will probably recognize Ty Cobb as having the honor of being the first individual ever inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. This occurred in 1936, when he actually garnered all but 4 votes that first year. Beginning in 1907, Cobb hit his way to nine consecutive batting titles. In 1907, his average was .350, and the Tigers went all the way to the World Series that year. He took the game seriously, worked harder than anyone around, and was known to intimidate opponents. There really was no part of his game that could be considered weak. One year he even stole 96 bases, to go with his other career season highs of 212 hits and 119 runs batted in.

Ty Cobb was known to analyze his opponents far before statistics were really even known, and certainly long before video ever assisted players. He could note the weaknesses of the opposing pitcher and then exploit that to his advantage. He was a true student of the game, a statesman for the sport, and a role model that youngsters would emulate for decades to follow. In an era when professional athletes struggled to earn a living, Cobb was even noted for his ability to negotiate stellar contracts for himself. He invested wisely and is believed to have become baseballs first millionaire.


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