Your Old Uncle Victor has never been a great fan of Organised Sport, per se, except when being an actual participant or supporting his kids through their teenage Soccer years. The noble tradition of AMATEUR Sport that encourages physical fitness, mental agility and develops character is indeed commendable but today it is all PROFESSIONAL and about money and sponsorships etc which enslaves the athletes to P.C. conformity to ensure income. They sell their souls, if they ever had one. Below is an article about a long forgotten Sportsman who was deserving of that honourable title. Again we thank the late great Wilmot Robertson for his scholarly work from 1990.
Ty Cobb, Baseball’s Great One
It is both morale-boosting and heritage-encouraging to celebrate the many heroes of our people: the writings of Homer, the sculpture of the Greeks, the paintings of Rembrandt, the discoveries of Newton, the music of Wagner, ad infinitum. Caught up in this historical gloating, however, we must not ignore the accomplishments of our great sports heroes. Mind and spirit must be carefully tended, but they will atrophy without a healthy body.
I watched with regret the racial makeup of the four finalists in major league baseball's championship series last year. Three of the four teams were spotted lavishly with Negro and Hispanic players. Since the San Francisco Giants had seven white players out of nine, I rooted for them. No matter that the team's owner is Bob Lurie, a Jewish multimillionaire. Meanwhile, I couldn't help but wax nostalgic about the all-white baseball days. During this golden era, from 1905 to 1928, the game was dominated by Tyrus Raymond Cobb.
Born in Royston Georgia in 1886, Ty Cobb played 22 seasons for the Detroit Tigers and two seasons, his last, for the Philadelphia Athletics. Statistics show that Cobb was baseball's superstar. He played in 3,033 games, was at bat 11,429 times, scored 2,244 runs, had 4,191 hits, including 118 home runs, stole 892 bases, batted in 1,901 runs, and ended his fabulous career with a lifetime batting average of .367 a major league record that may never be broken.
For many years, he led in games played, times at bat, runs scored, hits and bases stolen, and still remains in the top three or four in these categories. He batted over .400 for three seasons, led the American League in runs scored four times, in hits eight times, in home runs once, in steals six times, in runs batted in four times. He topped his league in batting average an incredible 12 times!
The Georgia Peach, as Cobb was nicknamed, stood slightly over six feet, weighed 175 pounds in his prime, batted left-handed and threw right-handed. He wasn't exactly slow on his feet, having run the 100-yard dash on grass, wearing spikes, in 10.1 seconds. Today, when .280 hitters make $500,000 a year, it's hard to realise that Cobb earned a measly $5,000 during his fourth year in professional ball. In 1911, he had to go on strike to get a raise to $10,000. By 1925, he was earning $50,000, his heftiest paycheck.
Cobb, however, was able to multiply his earnings into millions by shrewd investments in the stock market. In 1915, he pu rchased 300 shares of Coca-Cola at $1.18. The investment made him a multimillionaire. Before he died, he owned 20,000 shares. His wealth and his baseball prowess allowed Cobb to move in lofty circles. He knew many dignitaries and celebrities on a first-name basis and numbered Presidents William Howard Taft and Woodrow Wilson among his friends.
Cobb's home, which he filled with baseball awards and trophies of his hunting forays, was also liberally scattered with statues and photographs of Napoleon, whom he called "a big leaguer." Sports historians have referred to Cobb as "Napoleonic in his play." He read everything he could get his hands on about his hero.
More important, Ty Cobb was proud of his race. One day, an obnoxious fan, Claude. Lueker, showed up at a game at Yankee Stadium and sat near the Tigers' dugout. Soon he began bellowing abusive language at Cobb. For two innings, the two traded taunts. Finally, the bellicose fan uttered one insult too many. He called Cobb “a half-nigger.” This was too much for the Southern ballplayer. He vaulted the grandstand rail, ran up 12 rows to where Lueker was perched, knocked him down, and began kicking and stomping him. Several Tiger teammates grabbed bats and stood guard for Cobb, daring any of the Yankee boosters to come to Lueker's aid.
The umpire and a park policeman finally managed to pull the insuIted Tiger player away from the battered Lueker and back onto the field. After the game, Cobb said that, although the publicity would be "extremely distasteful" to his family, “When a spectator calls me a ‘half-nigger’ I think it is about time to fight.”
Cobb was suspended for the incident, whereupon his teammates staged a full-fledged players' strike, the first ever. During the controversy, Georgia's entire congressional delegation two senators and ten representatives wired Cobb: “As Georgians, we commend your action in resisting an uncalled-for insult.” Mayor Courtland S. Winn of Atlanta praised him for upholding “the principles that have always been taught to Southern manhood.” Atlanta's police commissioner thought that if Cobb hadn't “licked that man as he should, he would have lost the respect of every decent man in the country.”
Can the gentle reader of today, with our sick, permissive and weak society, corrupt career criminal ‘politicians’ and ‘sportsmen’ who are no more than spoilt brats and moral cowards even imagine a time when White Men were this confident and noble in their words and actions? This was a time when giants (compared to today) still walked the Earth.
My God! Today, the spineless filth who lead us would be climbing over each other in a frenzy to be the first to condemn such ‘hatefulness’ and the other ‘sportsmen’ would be sweating bullets and shitting bricks in abject terror that they might be associated with such a ‘Neanderthal’ as this and staging press conferences to condemn ‘in the strongest possible terms’ this ‘awful behaviour’, gutless swine, every one. A Man is not deserving of that title when he thinks more about his wallet and his ‘reputation’ than he does about truth and honour. He is no more than a maggot.
Long after Cobb retired from baseball, he was persuaded to step to the plate during one or another team's batting practice and easily rifled line drives to all fields. Asked at the time what he thought Cobb would bat in a major league game today, a baseball sportswriter replied, “about .325.” The questioner didn't seem too impressed. The reporter added with a smile, “You must remember, Mr. Cobb is 62 years old.”
In the 1950s, Cobb complained about the state of the game, criticizing the lack of practice and the absence on the part of most players of the old urge to excel. He was unhappy about the low averages, the whip-handled light bats, the swing-from-the-heels home run swings.
On June 5, 1961, Cobb was admitted to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. In addition to cancer, he suffered from diabetes, bursitis and a back injury. At 1:20 P.M. on July 17, the old spike-scarred legs no longer stirred and the rasping breaths ceased. Tyrus Raymond Cobb, greatest baseball player of all time, was laid to rest in the Royston mausoleum he had built for himself, his parents and his sister.