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Ty Cobb hating Ken Williams

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  • Ty Cobb hating Ken Williams

    Once upon a time I stumbled upon a thread which stated Ken Williams was Ty Cobb's most hated player. There was no "proof" to this, just someone remembering Charlie Gehringer might have said it.

    Well, I finally found the "proof." I'm reading Donald Honig's Baseball When the Grass Was Real: Baseball from the Twenties to the Forties Told by the Men Who Played It (1975).

    On pages 42-43 in Charlie Gehringer's chapter:

    "I remember one time, in St. Louis, he [Cobb] kept me after school, like a teacher would. Just kept me sitting in the clubhouse for an hour after everybody had left the ball park. This was because I'd let Ken Williams, who Cobb disliked very much, beat out a bunt. Now Ken Williams was a very powerful hitter. How are you going to play him up on the grass so he can't beat out a bunt? He'll knock your teeth out. I thought that was ridiculous. But he kept me sitting there for an hour."

    Not sure what year this was, but probably 1925 or '26.

  • #2
    Any ideas as to why Cobb "hated" Ken Williams?
    Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis


    • #3
      Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
      Any ideas as to why Cobb "hated" Ken Williams?
      Now that is the true mystery ...


      • #4
        more on Tyrus

        Hi Dave!

        Cobb just hated him more?

        I had read that recently too. That book is as wonderful as it gets. Gehringer said this also about Cobb as a manager: "Of course, he'd never pick on Heimann, say; Heilmann was too beig a star. He'd pick on guys he knew couldn't battle back with him."


        • #5
          I agree that "Baseball When the Grass was Real" Is an excellent book. I have read it three times over since I bought it years and years ago. A fascinating read. It picks up where Larry Ritter's 'The Glory of Their Times' leaves off. The author interviewing, and recording, the men who played the game in the '20s through the '40s.

          As for Cobb hating Williams, I found a reference to it on a website called 'Sons of Sam Horn' (go figure....). It really doesn't specify as to why Cobb so intensely disliked Williams, but it does make reference to the fact that Ken Williams had very few friends outside his own teammates. He was quite possibly someone who was hard to get along with, ala Dick Allen or Alex Johnson.

          I do know also that Cobb, as a stereotypical Southern 'cracker' hated most Northerners, but Williams was born and raised in Oregon, which is not generally considered 'yankee' territory by Southern sympathizers of his day, I don't believe, so that might be eliminated as a reason. I could be wrong about that, though. I really don't know whether people from the northwestern US were considered 'yankees' by Southerners.

          Here is the reference and the link it was found on, but it really isn't much at all....

          An aggressive player with few friends outside his own team, Williams earned the distinction of being Ty Cobb's most hated opponent.

          Always go to other people's funerals, otherwise they won't come to yours. - Yogi Berra


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