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Thread: Ty Cobb General Thread

  1. #141
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    --If Hornsby was a fan of Cobb's it was very one sided. Cobb couldn't stand Hornsby and thought he was overrated. Cobb and Ted Williams were friends and late in Williams career he visited Cobb's home in the offseason. They were naming their all time teams and when Williams suggested Hornsby, Cobb made some strong objections. It led to such a fight that Cobb threw Williams out of his home and never spoke to him again.

  2. #142
    So why did Hornsby refer to Ruth's lifetime BA of .342 as bad?

    Is it as high as Rogers' or Cobb's? No, but it is *ninth* all time, and a man that can get that high on the lifetime BA list *and* hit 714 home runs is pretty impressive.

  3. #143
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    Oh, I think I got pretty clearly what Rogers meant. Something along the lines of this:

    "Now, Babe Ruth was no slap singles hitter. He was a power hitter, pure and simple, a guy who knocked balls out of the park. He wasn't trying to make contact, he was trying to make the ball come out of its stitching. And he still has a career batting average of .342. For somebody to be a pure power hitter, not concerned at all with being an average hitter, and still have an average of .342... that's mighty impressive."

    Bill,

    Those teams are absolutely fascinating. It's so interesting how, right after Rogers retired, people put him behind Collins and Lajoie, but 15 years later, he had leapfrogged everybody. I guess they were still swayed by his winning personality in 1938.

    Similarly, it's nice to note how EVERYBODY picked Joe DiMaggio over Speaker in 1952... today, I think you'd be hard pressed to find a single baseball historian worth his salt who would put DiMaggio over Speaker. I guess it's just another example of the haze we look through when we evaluate players when the dirt's still fresh in their spikes.
    "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

    Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

  4. #144
    Quote Originally Posted by william_burgess@usa.net
    Roy,

    I have no idea why he said that! But truthfully, Babe is only 29th all-time, when we index to league average, which we absolutely MUST do, to not pretend 1908 and 1930 are on equal terms. We call it Relative BA. (Total Baseball, 7th ed., pp. 2294)

    But hey, 29th all time ain't swiss cheese. It marks you as an all-time high average hitter! I accept that. You'd have to ask Rogers what he meant.

    Bill Burgess
    That's an important distinction overall.

    But considering Hornsby played during almost exactly the same years as Ruth (Hornsby 1915-1937; Ruth 1914-1935, although Hornsby mostly in the NL) I don't think he was very justified in dissing a guy who didn't hit much worse than Hornsby himself over roughly the exact same historical period. And of course hit a lot more dingers than Rogers.

  5. #145
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    Bill,

    I have read many of your posts and enjoy them thoroughly, I think you are
    a dearth of baseball knowledge and agree with you alot of the time. I agree
    Ty Cobb is/was the greatest hitter of all time (apologies to the Williiams fans
    out there). Was he flawed?, yes but aren't we all. I love what he brought to
    the field in terms of running, and fierceness. I've heard you argue that he
    single handedly put the fear of God into pitchers on the bases and that
    this type of base running/play was unheard of prior to Ty. I think you may
    have forgotten about the 1890's Baltimore teams with McGraw and Jennings,
    etc...I know those teams and specifically John Mcgraw played the same
    brand of Baseball as Ty (whatever it takes, or as my old coach used to say
    Cobbin' it). Now even with the reference to Cobbin' it I'd still contend that
    those Baltimore teams did it first...I'm sure Ty had at least ONE Baltimore
    chop in his day. You hear references to the pugnacious John Mcgraw
    fighting, spitting, and spiking (whatever it takes right?) in order to gain the
    advantage. Does this kind of Baseball sound familiar?? I would NEVER in a
    million years try and tell you that Ty didn't bring that style of play to
    the forefront but he was hardly the innovator here.

    "In playing or Managing, the game of ball is only fun for me when I'm out in
    in front and winning. I don't give a hill of beans for the rest of the game"
    John Mcgraw

    Here's where we depart...if as you contend; Ty Cobb was the greatest all-
    around player of all-time. Then how do you confront the arguments that
    Wagner was his equal if not better?...in World Series play (head to head)
    Wagner blew him away; AND he was truly unafraid of Ty unlike most guys
    of the time. I'm sure I've heard more than a few people suggest over the
    years that they were at the very least equals...Now at the same time
    never really heard much argument as to who was better than Babe Ruth
    during his time, aside from the few year streches here and there. I'm not
    denegrading those other players from that era but NOBODY touches Ruth
    here and there really is no signifigant argument on the issue. But there is/
    was an argument for Ty's time, amd that argument is Wagner. I guess my
    point is that how can one be considered the greatest all-time player when
    there is a contention that he may not have been the best of his era?
    Mind you I'm not trying to prove one or the other I'm justng posing the
    question to you Bill.

    Ok, another thing you talk about is the New York "media" bias in reference to
    Ruth...but doesn't the same apply to Cobb in your eyes? In every poll for
    all-time teams that you have referenced here on this thread Wagner's name
    usually is a fixture on them until fairly recently. Could that have to do with
    alot of post career press that Ty always seemsto garner as opposed to
    the guy who had during their playing days been considered at the very least
    to be his equal? I think so...

    I will be the first to admit there is at the very least a Ruth "curve" when it
    comes to cosidering the best ever if you will at least consider the fact that
    there is a cult of Cobb that seeks to convert everybody to the gospel of
    the "inside" game. With Ty Cobb as the foremost proponent of this style of
    play. Well I contend that others did it as well; during his day and before.

    Were those Baltimore teams not considered some of the best ever? Was
    Wagner not considered at least Ty's equal?? Was John Mcgraw not as fierce
    a competitor as Ty Cobb; I give you these quotes...and refer you to the
    above quote.

    "He (Honus Wagner) was the nearest thing to a perfect player no matter
    where his manager chose to play him"--John Mcgraw

    "I name (Honus Wagner) first on my list, not only because he a great
    batting champion and base-runner, and also baseball's foremost shortstop,
    but because Wagner could have been first at any other position, with the
    possible exception of pitcher. In all my career, I never saw such a versitle
    player."--John Magraw

    "You can have your Cobbs, your Lajoies, your Chases, your Bakers, but I'll take Wagner as my pick of the greatest. He is not only a marvelous mechanical player, but he has the quickest baseball brain I have ever observed." - John McGraw

    If you notice a trend in the choice of quotes it is because I consider Mcgraw,
    not Cobb to be the true trendsetter in style of play. Was he not not the first
    manager to call pitches from the dugout? did he not use relief pitching
    earlier than most? Was he not a member of those furious Oriole teams of
    the 1890's as a player AND a manager? Were those teams not famous for
    for winning "dirty", or "Cobbin' it" as my old caoch said?

    I want to say that I would never contend Wagner was better than
    Cobb nor that Mcgraw was the greater force of nature. I only seek to
    contend that at the very least Wagner was his equal and that Mcgraw
    and The Orioles played the same brand of Baseball with similar amounts
    of feirceness and competiveness as did Cobb and his contemporaries.

    Ruth can never be compared with anybody, not even Cobb as he really has
    no peer in terms of Baseball worth. I contend that his effect on the game
    WAS greater than that of Cobb or Mcgraw for that matter...how many suicide
    squeezes do you see today? (my favorite play btw) Conversely, how many
    two-run moon shots do you see today? Not that this is better Baseball
    either. I am just making the point that one's effect on the game has
    endured while the other's has not...

    I realize this post is long winded and maybe a tad convoluted but hopefully
    you can see my point about Cobb in general...mainly that he wasn't a "'true"
    innovator, that he had an equal in his time, and that Ruth had no equal in his
    time or after and that what he did had not been done before, at least not
    like that anyway. As to whether Ruth would be as great if he had played
    during the "deadball" era...while I certainly think the numbers would not be
    as high as they were I sure think he would've outshone the other stars of
    the day. He was a beast, a monster, and a true force of nature. Great is
    great in any era and he (Ruth) was the most special of all. I'm sure you will
    come back at me with a well reasoned response along with plenty of numbers
    to back them up with, (on both issues Ruth and Wagner) and I welcome the
    education oon the subject. I enjoy reading you even though sometimes we
    disagree....I welcome any criticisms of what I have said here from Bill or
    otherwise...thank you

  6. #146
    As much as I like Ruth and prefer him over Cobb, I don't really think he had any place in baseball after his retirement.

    Is it sad? Yes.

    But Ruth never struck me as a man of the intellectual ability or the discipline to really contribute effectively in a managerial role.

    Ruth wanted very much to be a manager, and I wish Ruth had been gifted with the discipline and skills it required, but he was not. Ruth, as his contemporaries said, could barely manage himself, it would have been folly for him to be manager long term (and I'm amazed the Braves let him be player-manager.)

    It's an inevitable truth of the sport that you either contribute or leave, it's a tough sport and I don't think guys like Cobb or Ruth would have it any other way looking back on things.

  7. #147
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    Wasn't Babe the pitching coach for the Dodgers for a while? I've never really heard the full story on that.
    "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

    Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

  8. #148
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    Doh!! sorry Bill I do know what dearth means and thought I had changed
    that didn't mean that one. I have this strange little quirk where words I
    know the meaning of get used improperly sometimes.

    Now to Baseball...I think Ruth was handicapped in his post-baseball life
    by his reputation as the larger than life Manboy. Cobb too was written off
    after awhile as were many others which is indeed sad. Would Ruth have been
    a good Manager? I'm afraid we'll never know about that one....the real
    question is would Ruth have been as utterly inept a Manager as Ted WIlliams
    was???

    "If I'd just tried for them dinky singles I could've batted around .600." -Babe Ruth

    "I am intense, no question about it. Every time I toe the rubber, it's no different for me than it was in the World Series. That might be somebody's only chance to see me pitch. They might have driven four hours to get there. I'm going to be out there if I can help it." -Roger Clemens Sport Magazine (May 2000)

  9. #149
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    Quote Originally Posted by william_burgess@usa.net
    So, it could be estimated that he left around $2.5m. to his college scholarship foundation for needy Georgian college kids. He had stipulated that in order to qualify for it, the child had to finish his 1st yr. unassisted, to demonstrate tenacity and ambition.
    Just one sentance plucked from your very well researched post, Bill, but this seemed very... odd to me. Only give scholarship money to people who can already pay for it? Seems a little on the harsh side.

    I know that, when I went to college, the tuition, room and board, fees, etc., added up to about $45,000 a year (to say nothing of grad school, where it was closer to $60,000). Now, nobody in my family had ever made $45,000 in any two years together, and if I hadn't been able to get scholarships, there's no way no how that I would have been able to go to college. Just couldn't have happened. I worked a full time job while I was in high school, at night (at a McDonald's no less! ugh), just to be able to have enough money to buy myself food and necessaries... there's no way, no how, that I could have come up with $45,000 for a first year of college... $4500 would have been stretching it. Luckily for me, some of the richer schools thinks it makes them look better if they provide full scholarships to poor people just for being poor... so I lucked out. If I hadn't... well, I guess I'd still be in McDonald's.

    On a side note about Ty... I had no idea he had that many run ins with the law. That's insane. I know plenty of honest to God criminals that haven't been in court that many times. Interesting thing to learn about the man.

    And on a completely seperate note... what was it about Ty Cobb that made you so interested in him? I love the game of baseball as much as the next guy, but I've never felt the need to go into that kind of detail about any one player in particular.

    Now, there are subjects that I have studied in obsessive, ridiculous detail (beyond just baseball in general)... but I've generally had a reason. I'm fiercly proud of my ethnic background, so I've studied Ireland and her history to the point where I could easily teach graduate school courses in it, and I know more about Michael Collins, the greatest man Ireland ever produced, than I know about my own father (which isn't hard, since I don't even know his name ). But there's a reason for that: I was raised by grandparents that had fierce pride in their culture and love of their native soil, and not much else to be proud of. It rubbed off.

    What rubbed off on you, to make you so interested in a man who played his last before you were born?
    "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

    Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

  10. #150
    Men like Mack, McGraw and Hughie Jennings all called him among the best players in BB history. In various yrs., he often hit around .450.

    Ultimately, I have to give it to Wagner, since without verifiable stats against qualified opposition, I can't assume Lloyd was better, or even as good. This brief summary was culled from Marty Appel's fantastic book, Baseball's Best, 1980, pp. 413-414.

    Bill, what you said about Lloyd is why I can't say Gibson is the best catcher, not enough data against the MLs

  11. #151
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    Shocker, despite possibly having the best name in the history of professional sports, was a very quiet, unassuming type. He was never flamboyant, he was never outgoing with fans or the media, and so he just kind of dissappeared... reminds me a lot of Mike Mussina, a guy who had an excellent career in relative obscurity for a while, then came to the Yankees and had an excellent finish to his career... wound up with very impressive numbers, but was so quiet and unassuming, and so eager to shrink from the media spotlight, that he was never really thought of much in his own time, but more taken for granted... and was forgotten within a few years of retiring.

    I believe the same thing will happen with Mussina... thirty years from now, unless he somehow gets a Hall plaque in the interim (which I doubt), most people probably won't remember who he was... because he never really stuck out in any particular way, was never the very best pitcher in the league, but was just excellent in a very stealthy, under the radar sort of way.
    "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

    Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

  12. #152
    Quote Originally Posted by william_burgess@usa.net
    Why isn't Urban Shocker in the Hall?

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    For 10 yrs. Urban Shocker was a extremely fine pitcher. For 2 yrs. he was a great one. And strangely, he blossomed in 1920, just when things should have gotten tough for him. He was with the St. Louis Browns from 1919-24, and a Yankee from 1925-27. Then he died prematurely.

    Here is his record:

    -Year-W-L,----ERA+--Team finish
    1916---4-4,---110-----4th
    1917---8-5,---103-----6th
    1918---6-6,---152-----4th
    1919--13-11,--123-----5th
    1920--20-10,--145-----4th
    1921--27-12,--126-----3rd
    1922--24-17,--139-----2nd
    1923--20-12,--122-----5th
    1924--16-13,--107-----4th
    1925--12-12,--117-----7th
    1926--19-11,--114-----1st
    1927--18-6,---136-----1st
    Then why not Jimmy Key?


    ------Key---Shocker
    W-----186----187
    L------117----117
    ERA+--122----124
    IP-----2592---2682


    Black Ink - 15-15
    Grey Ink - 179-96 for Shocker
    HOF Standards - 33-33
    HOF Monitor - 66-65 for Key

    WS - 0-1 for Shocker - 2-0 for Key (that is WS won, not pitching record)

    Top 5 ERA+ Seasons (150+ IP)
    Shocker - 144, 140, 136, 127, 123
    Key - 161, 141, 141, 140, 138

    If Urban Shocker goes in, so do a lot of pitchers that I don't think belong.

  13. #153
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    --The Browns weren't a very good team when Shocker was with them (or any other time). However, they lost because they had no pitching except for Shocker. He had a very good line up around him pretty much his entire career. The Browns had George Sisler, Ken Williams, Baby Doll Jacobson, Jack Tobin, Marty McManus and scored plenty of runs. I expect most people know about the 1926-27 Yankees without me running down their lineup. If Key had a team advantage it wasn't much.

  14. #154
    Part of the reason shocker is not in the hall is that many people don't wnat the entire 1927 Yankee team in there. Why the other pitchers and not him may have to do with who was on the committee at the time. I'm not entirely sure which pitchers from the 27 Bombers should or should not be in. As people may have noticed, rating pitchers is not my strong point.

  15. #155
    Thanks Bill,

    It is good to be back. I post when I have time and have soimething to say. some of the threads cover the territory fine without me. However, I'm having some fun on the best hitter thread and the Rice/Perez stuff in the hall of fame threads.

  16. #156
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    Quote Originally Posted by william_burgess@usa.net
    By contrast, Babe Ruth's 11 most famous records.

    Career Walks - 71 yrs. - from 1930 to 2001, when Rickey Henderson broke it, and is still adding to it.
    Correction, Rickey's probably done adding to it, but my man Barry ain't giving it back

  17. #157
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    Quote Originally Posted by william_burgess@usa.net
    RMB,

    Oh my God! I forgot about Barryman. What day did he brake it. As you can see, I'm not up to the moment.
    Don't have a cow, he just broke it Sunday

  18. #158
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    Quote Originally Posted by william_burgess@usa.net
    As a tool to guide us, I'd thought I'd put up a crude formchart. Very rough, I grant that, but better than nothing at all. These are NOT listed in order of preference in any way at all. Mostly chronological, but sometimes just from memory. And in this exercise, we need not worry about putting OFs in the positions they historically played. If you like 6 CFs on your teams, so be it.

    C - Ewing, King Kelly, Charlie Bennett, Bresnahan, Kling, Schalk, Cochrane, Dickey, Harnett, Josh Gibson, Berra, Campanella, Bench, Carter, Fisk, Piazza, Rodriguez
    C-Ewing, Jack Clements, Orator Jim O'Rourke, Deacon McGuire, Kling, Dooin, Schalk, Hartnett, Cochrane, Berra, Campy, Bench, Fisk, Rodriguez, Pudge

    1B - Anson, Chance, Chase, Sisler, Gehrig, Foxx, Greenberg, Terry, Mize, Kluszewski, Cepeda, McCovey, Garvey, Cooper, Perez, Hernandez, Murray, Mattingly, Will Clark, McGwire, Giambi, Buck O'Neil
    Man you missed alot of early guys including the guy who held the career HR title the longest...but put Hal Chase? blah

    1b-Joe Start, Anson, ROGER CONNOR, Dan Brothers, Jake Beckley, Fred Tenney, Frank Chance, Ed Konetchy, Jake Daubert, Sisler, Gehrig, Terry, Foxx, Greenberg, Mize, McCovey, Rose, Hernandez, Mattingly, Delgado

    2B - Lajoie, Collins, Hornsby, Gehringer, Frisch, J. Robinson, Carew, Morgan, Sandberg, Alomar, Biggio
    Ahhhh, again, read up on 19th century, you missed some good players

    2b-Ross BArnes, Jack Burdock, Fred Pfeffer, Cupid Childs, BID MCPHEE, Lajoie, Jimmy Williams, Collins, Larry Doyle, Hornsby, Gehringer, Robinson, Morgan, Carew, Sanberg, Biggio, Soriano

    SS - Wagner, Glenn Wright, Bobby Wallace, Vaughan, Boudreau, Cronin, Yount, Banks, Ripken, Trammell, Aparicio, George Davis, Rodriguez, Concepcion, Pop Lloyd
    SS-George Wright, Ed Mckean, John Montgomery Ward, Jack Glasscock, Bill Dahlen, Herman Long, George Davis, Wagner, Bobby Wallace, Donie Bush, Maranville, Vaughn, Boudreau, Cronin, Reese, Rizzuto, Banks, Ripken, Trammell, Jeter

    3B - McGraw, Collins, Baker, Bill Bradley, Willie Kamm, Bluege, Traynor, Robinson, Mathews, Schmidt, Brett, Boggs, Bill Madlock, Molitor, Santo, Boyer, Judy Johnson
    3b-Ezra Sutton, Levi Meyerle, Bob Ferguson, Arlie Latham, Ned Williamson, McGraw, Jimmy Collins, Tommy Leach, Bradley, Baker, Traynor, Mathews, Santo, Schmidt, Brett, Rolen

    LF - Ted Williams, Musial, Bonds, Henderson, Yasztrzemski, Joe Jackson, Simmons, Billy Williams, Kiner, Fred Clarke, Zack Wheat, Jimmy Sheckard, Duffy Lewis
    lf-Harry Stovey, Pete Browning, Delahanty, Fred Clarke, Jesse Burkett, Sheckard, SHERRY MAGEE!!, Wheat, Jackson, Simmons, Medwick, Kiner, Williams, Yaz, Stargell, Henderson, Yount, Manny Ramirez, Bonds

    CF - Cobb, Mays, Speaker, DiMaggio, Mantle, Snider, Griffey Jr., Roush, Ashburn, Carey, Milan, Beaumont, Pete Reiser, Bill Lange, Happy Felsch, Amos Strunk, Oscar Charleston, Cool Papa Bell
    CF-Harry Wright, Paul Hines, Lip Pike, Tom Brown, Dummy Hoy, Billy Hamilton, Hugh Duffy, Chick Stahl, Van Haltren, Ollie Pickering, Cobb, Speaker, Milan, Carey, Roush, Kauff, Bob Meusel, L.Waner, DiMaggio, Mays, Appling, Mantle, Snider, Ashburn, Brett Butler,

    RF - Ruth, Aaron, F. Robinson, Ott, Rose, Gwynn, R. Jackson, Clemente, P. Waner, Crawford, Kaline, Winfield, Heilmann, Oliva, Guerrero, Cravath, King Kelly, Keeler, Klein, Hooper, Sosa, Ross Youngs, Strawberry
    RF-Mike Tiernan, King Kelly, Keeler, Crawford, Hooper, Ruth, Youngs, Klein, P.Waner, Heilmann, Ott, Kaline, Aaron, Maris, Gwynn, Dale Murphy


    Pitchers just choose a couple per era...

    George Zettlein, Al Spalding, Pud Galvin, Tim Keefe, Mickey Welch, Nichols, Cy Young, Phillippe,Mathewson, Big Train, Joss, Mordecai Brown, Rucker, Walsh, Alexander, Babe Adams, Faber, Dazzy Vance, Grove, Hoyt, Hubbell, Cooper, Roberts, Spahn, Feller, Koufax, Drysdale, Ford, Wilhelm, Paige, Gibson, Seaver, Marichial, Carlton, Ryan, Gooden, Clemens, Maddux

  19. #159
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    Hey I live in Troy, NY

    Most of the greatest 19th century players lived or were born here...King Kelly, George Davis...I know alot about 19th century.

    That's ok...I kinda went along with your list for 40's-60's that's kinda my weak spot

    and I always liked Brett Butler...underrated leadoff man if you ask me

  20. #160
    Quote Originally Posted by Imapotato
    Hey I live in Troy, NY

    Most of the greatest 19th century players lived or were born here...King Kelly, George Davis...I know alot about 19th century.

    That's ok...I kinda went along with your list for 40's-60's that's kinda my weak spot

    and I always liked Brett Butler...underrated leadoff man if you ask me
    Not 19th century (but was deadball), but give it up for Capital Region Johnny Evers!!

    Butler- one of my alltime favorite players- holds the record for bunt hits in a season (although the record keeping is truncated). Scored 100 runs a year, led in triples several times, hustled his a** off. Played old-school baseball, really.

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