Once again, this comes directly from the Library of Congress’s great “Today in History” site.
You’ve seen the news, about the discovery of a complete set of baseball cards in an attic in Defiance, Ohio. The collection should make its owners very, very rich. It includes rare cards of Honus Wagner, and Ty Cobb, The Georgia Peach.
Ty Cobb, the Georgia Peach
On July 18, 1927, Ty Cobb recorded his 4,000th career hit. Cobb finished out his Major League Baseball career in 1928 with a grand total of 4,191 hits. Cobb stood as the all-time hit leader until his total was surpassed by Pete Rose in 1985.
Cobb began his professional career at the age of eighteen with the Detroit Tigers with which he played twenty-two of his twenty-four seasons. Like the careers of baseball greats Pete Rose and “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, Cobb’s was marred by scandal. He was allowed to resign in 1926 in lieu of being banned for alleged gambling violations. However, Cobb was subsequently exonerated and reinstated by baseball’s first commissioner, Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis.
Cobb, born on December 18, 1886, in Narrows, Georgia, and nicknamed “The Georgia Peach,” was known for his temper as well as for his outstanding athletic ability. He stole home fifty-four times—fifty times with the Detroit Tigers and four times with the Philadelphia Athletics, won twelve batting average titles, and managed the Detroit Tigers for six seasons while also playing center field. His lifetime batting average was .367. Cobb made use of his reputation as an aggressive (often dirty) base runner to intimidate infielders, stealing 892 bases during his professional career. Ty Cobb was one of the first five players elected to the in Cooperstown, New York, in 1936, along with Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth, and Honus Wagner.
Chas. O’Leary and Tyrus Cobb,
Baseball Cards, 1887-1914
This baseball card featuring Chas O’Leary and Tyrus Cobb, produced by the American Tobacco Company in 1912, shows Cobb sliding into third base. Click on the back of the card to read a description of Cobb’s base running statistics.
For more about baseball and its legendary players, search the following American Memory collections:
- Search on Ty Cobb or browse the collection, Baseball Cards, 1887-1914 to see historic baseball cards and the special presentation Tinkers to Evers to Chance!
- See the special presentation Baseball Beginnings to learn about the early history of the game. Learn about the color barrier that existed in the major leagues until 1947 in Jackie Robinson and Baseball Highlights, 1860s-1960s.
- A search on Ty Cobb in Photographs from the Chicago Daily News yields thirty-four images of the man. Search on baseball for photographs of other players.
- Search the Today in History Archive on baseball for more events in baseball history, such as the first game of the World Series and for the stories of legendary players such as Jackie Robinson, Walter Johnson, Cy Young, and Satchel Paige.