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Al Stump: The Felon, The Fraud, and The Man Who Created The Ty Cobb Myth

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  • Al Stump: The Felon, The Fraud, and The Man Who Created The Ty Cobb Myth

    This absolutely deserves its own thread:

    Link To The Article


    Second half of the article, gents. Unbelievable how despicable Al Stump really was. Without Stump's vicious lies, forgeries, felonies (!) and absolute character assassination (only for self-promotion and profit)......it is patently clear Ty Cobb would be regarded VERY different light today.

    More truth here than I've seen in years about Cobb....not to mention information never presented here.

    Discuss!

  • #2
    I thnk I may have read this here but Ty Cobb didn't really have too bad of a reputation until after his 1962 book. (I could be wrong.) But I always thought since the book came out in the 60's and that was the beggining of the civil rights movement, younger people may have put extra hate towards Cobb because of that book and it probaly stuck around for the past genarations.

    After reading about Cobb on here I dont look at him as a racist but just a product of his times like pretty much everyone else who played in those time's but Cobb seem's like he got the worst reputation and I guess thats because of Al Stump.

    I dont understand why Al Stump would wanna hurt Cobb's name especially after hanging out with him like he did before he died.

    I dont really know exactly what happened between Stump and Cobb but it does seem like Stump gave Cobb a blackmark in baseball history.

    I'm interested in what anybody thinks on this because i'm very curious on this matter.
    "(Shoeless Joe Jackson's fall from grace is one of the real tragedies of baseball. I always thought he was more sinned against than sinning." -- Connie Mack

    "I have the ultimate respect for Whitesox fans. They were as miserable as the Cubs and Redsox fans ever were but always had the good decency to keep it to themselves. And when they finally won the World Series, they celebrated without annoying every other fan in the country."--Jim Caple, ESPN (Jan. 12, 2011)

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    • #3
      What sucks is that people buy books like Stump's Cobb expecting authenticity. Stump is very convincing, so someone reading his book carries with them the falsified facts because is unlikely that a casual fan stumbles across SABR articles disproving Stump.
      "Allen Sutton Sothoron pitched his initials off today."--1920s article

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by chicagowhitesox1173 View Post
        But I always thought since the book came out in the 60's and that was the beggining of the civil rights movement, younger people may have put extra hate towards Cobb because of that book and it probaly stuck around for the past genarations.
        A great point that I've never considered. I certainly see something to this
        "Allen Sutton Sothoron pitched his initials off today."--1920s article

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by chicagowhitesox1173 View Post
          I dont understand why Al Stump would wanna hurt Cobb's name especially after hanging out with him like he did before he died.

          I dont really know exactly what happened between Stump and Cobb but it does seem like Stump gave Cobb a blackmark in baseball history.

          I'm interested in what anybody thinks on this because i'm very curious on this matter.
          I think Stump was simply a con man who didn't care about how his actions affected others. If he could make money selling a lurid story to the public, it didn't matter whose reputation got taken down in the process.
          Baseball Junk Drawer

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          • #6
            The movie COBB(based on Stump`s book)that came out in 2003 has further continued the lies about Cobb to a whole new generation.All one has to do is go to YouTube and click on any posting about Cobb and you will see dozens and dozens of comments about Cobb being a racist,violent psychopath,a murderer...Then there is everybody`s favorite-Cobb sharpened his spikes.As most of you probably know,you can`t sharpen spikes with a file as Cobb is depicted in the movie and in dozens of books.You would have to use a razor strop and hope for the best.Cobb mentioned that fact one time with a grin on his face.He liked that players BELIEVED that myth(for the psychological advantage it gave him).Cobb`s teammate and friend,Germany Schaeffer(only man to ever steal FIRST base)is most likely the one who started the story.The Cobbs` Augusta neighbor(and friend of Cobb`s son)Jimmy Lanier,spent several summers as Cobb`s "valet" and Tigers sometime bat boy.He boned Cobb`s bats,oiled his glove,and cleaned his cleats on a regular basis.He said that Cobb`s spikes were not sharp.Homerun Baker(of all people!)said that Cobb didn`t play dirty.As long as you didn`t block the base path,you were fine with Cobb.
            Last edited by Nimrod; 03-07-2012, 05:29 AM.

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            • #7
              This thread reminds me of a young poster here who had just seen Cobb and basically told Bill Burgess, et.al. they had no idea what they were talking about in regards to him and how he actually was.

              My clubhouse kid father remembers seeing Cobb at Tiger Stadium long after he was retired. While he himself didn't really know Cobb, what he did see was an old timer who was very happy to engage with the current players. Not a bitter curmudgeon taking down everyone he saw for the most minor discretions.
              Dave Bill Tom George Mark Bob Ernie Soupy Dick Alex Sparky
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              Robin Bill Ernie JEDI

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              • #8
                --Its been a long time since I read Stump's book, but as I remember his tales weren't so much research as just a retelling of Cobb's stories to him. Or his version of those stories anyway. So whether they are true or false or more likely a mixture of both could be as much an old man's (Cobb) exaggerations as a writer's (Stump) fictions. Or again a mixture of both. Cobb's temper and violent episodes were certainly the subject of many tales long before Stump's book.

                Comment


                • #9
                  If I may play Devil's Advocate for a minute, that article was written by William R Cobb, who claims to be "a lifelong fan of Ty Cobb (but not a descendant or close relative)". He's obviously some kind of relative, or he would have simply said "no relation". He may have his own personal axe to grind.

                  I don't doubt that Stump exaggerated some things for effect, but as leecemark noted above, Cobb's nasty reputation preceded Al Stump.
                  Only three former ballplayers attended Cobb's funeral, which says a lot.
                  They call me Mr. Baseball. Not because of my love for the game; because of all the stitches in my head.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ol' aches and pains View Post
                    If I may play Devil's Advocate for a minute, that article was written by William R Cobb, who claims to be "a lifelong fan of Ty Cobb (but not a descendant or close relative)". He's obviously some kind of relative, or he would have simply said "no relation". He may have his own personal axe to grind.

                    I don't doubt that Stump exaggerated some things for effect, but as leecemark noted above, Cobb's nasty reputation preceded Al Stump.
                    Only three former ballplayers attended Cobb's funeral, which says a lot.
                    Three former ballplayers came to Cobb's funeral because his family requested a private service.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ol' aches and pains View Post
                      If I may play Devil's Advocate for a minute, that article was written by William R Cobb, who claims to be "a lifelong fan of Ty Cobb (but not a descendant or close relative)". He's obviously some kind of relative, or he would have simply said "no relation". He may have his own personal axe to grind.

                      I don't doubt that Stump exaggerated some things for effect, but as leecemark noted above, Cobb's nasty reputation preceded Al Stump.
                      Only three former ballplayers attended Cobb's funeral, which says a lot.
                      I believe this happened because the Cobb family wanted a private service. Many former ballplayers were planning on attending but were not invited. Plus Cobb outlived many of his contemporaries. I believe Bill Burgess addressed this in one of the Ty Cobb threads.
                      Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
                        I believe this happened because the Cobb family wanted a private service. Many former ballplayers were planning on attending but were not invited. Plus Cobb outlived many of his contemporaries. I believe Bill Burgess addressed this in one of the Ty Cobb threads.
                        Yeah Bill Burgess said that Casey Stengal and Douglas MacArthur were gonna be pallbearers and I think he also said most ballpayer's Cobb played with were either dead, ailing from bad health or had little money to travel across the country to attend.

                        I always wondered why only three attended (Nap Rucker, Mickey Cochrane , Ray Schalk) But with the family requesting a private funeral among the other reasons it makes sense why just the three attended.

                        I was curious did Stump use that funeral story in his book because alot of people use that as ammo on why Cobb was hated. The Bill Burgess thread explains alot about Cobb and his friends/enimies.
                        "(Shoeless Joe Jackson's fall from grace is one of the real tragedies of baseball. I always thought he was more sinned against than sinning." -- Connie Mack

                        "I have the ultimate respect for Whitesox fans. They were as miserable as the Cubs and Redsox fans ever were but always had the good decency to keep it to themselves. And when they finally won the World Series, they celebrated without annoying every other fan in the country."--Jim Caple, ESPN (Jan. 12, 2011)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          For the love of God!Everybody who has not gone to Bill Burgess`Cobb thread should be required to read it or be banned from BBF(for life)!He obviously put in a lot of time and effort to create a gigantic source of truthful information on Cobb.If there is any sports legend who needs(and deserves)that attention,it is Tyrus Raymond Cobb.I thought I knew a fair amount about Cobb-until I encountered Bill`s thread.Much of the little information that I actually possessed was incorrect.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Nimrod View Post
                            The movie COBB(based on Stump`s book)that came out in 2003 has further continued the lies about Cobb to a whole new generation.All one has to do is go to YouTube and click on any posting about Cobb and you will see dozens and dozens of comments about Cobb being a racist,violent psychopath,a murderer...Then there is everybody`s favorite-Cobb sharpened his spikes.As most of you probably know,you can`t sharpen spikes with a file as Cobb is depicted in the movie and in dozens of books.You would have to use a razor strop and hope for the best.Cobb mentioned that fact one time with a grin on his face.He liked that players BELIEVED that myth(for the psychological advantage it gave him).Cobb`s teammate and friend,Germany Schaeffer(only man to ever steal FIRST base)is most likely the one who started the story.The Cobbs` Augusta neighbor(and friend of Cobb`s son)Jimmy Lanier,spent several summers as Cobb`s "valet" and Tigers sometime bat boy.He boned Cobb`s bats,oiled his glove,and cleaned his cleats on a regular basis.He said that Cobb`s spikes were not sharp.Homerun Baker(of all people!)said that Cobb didn`t play dirty.As long as you didn`t block the base path,you were fine with Cobb.
                            I watched a youtube video of Robert Wuhl and Tommy Lee Jones and it was sickening watching them talk about Cobb. It amazes me how they didn't have a clue on what they were saying. I'll admit in 1994 when they did the interview I didn't know alot about Cobb but you'd think these guy's would do more research on him. They praised Al Stump's work and basically said the movie was as close to how Cobb life as you could get. I know they were promoting the movie but I wish they woulda made a movie that was more realistic and the director coulda showed the good sides too Cobb but all I remember about the movie is how Cobb was some crazy old man who drank like a fish and hated everyone.

                            The scene in the movie thats get's me is when Cobb came close to raping the cocktail waitress and Stump (Robert Wuhl) came to save her. I have a really hard time believing there would be any truth too that particular scene.

                            I wish I could post the youtube video of the interview but my Web Tv doesnt allow me to do alot of things.
                            "(Shoeless Joe Jackson's fall from grace is one of the real tragedies of baseball. I always thought he was more sinned against than sinning." -- Connie Mack

                            "I have the ultimate respect for Whitesox fans. They were as miserable as the Cubs and Redsox fans ever were but always had the good decency to keep it to themselves. And when they finally won the World Series, they celebrated without annoying every other fan in the country."--Jim Caple, ESPN (Jan. 12, 2011)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Captain Cold Nose View Post
                              My clubhouse kid father remembers seeing Cobb at Tiger Stadium long after he was retired. While he himself didn't really know Cobb, what he did see was an old timer who was very happy to engage with the current players. Not a bitter curmudgeon taking down everyone he saw for the most minor discretions.
                              People just won't stay one dimensional will they?

                              My father worked as a postman to help put himself through college and a favorite hangout of Cobbs was on his route. It was a a smokeshop with a backroom for card playing. His recollection is that he was an agressively private man, he was warned not to even try to interact with the man.
                              This would have been late 50's timeframe.

                              Surely some of that was due to the protectiveness the habitues of that locale. There not many local stories about him and that speaks to a private person.

                              I don't regard that in any way as a negative thing, just relating local lore and stories (and the lack of) . And note that it's easier to make things up about someone who tried to be private as he did.

                              Will ask my pa if he has more details next time we speak.

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