Ty Cobb was quite simply the best baseball player for the first two decades of the Twentieth Century, if not of all time. Cobb played his first Major League game for the Detroit Tigers in 1905 and his final game for the Philadelphia Athletics in 1928. In between he set some 90 records. While many of these records have been broken years later by several different players, he still holds many of those records today. His 12 batting titles are still the most by any player, ever. The next most batting titles won in a career are 8, accomplished by Honus Wagner and by Tony Gwynn. Cobb’s lifetime total of .366 will likely never be surpassed. Cobb won his 12 titles in 13 seasons, from 1907 through 1919, missing only in 1917 when Tris Speaker beat him out with .386 to Cobb’s .371. Cobb hit over .400 three times. When Cobb retired he had amassed 4189 hits, a record which stood until Pete Rose broke it in 1986 finishing with 4256 hits. Cobb is still near the top in career categories like runs, stolen bases, doubles and triples. Cobb and the Tigers had great success during his early career, appearing in three straight World Series, 1907, 1908 and 1909. They lost all three and sadly Cobb never appeared in another Fall Classic. His success on the baseball field translated to success in the field of business as well. He invested wisely in Coca-Cola and other endeavors, making him a multi-millionaire before he retired from the game. He left a great deal of his fortune to college scholarships and to a hospital in his home town of Royston, GA. The hospital has evolved into an entire network entitled the Ty Cobb Healthcare System, serving Northern Georgia.
Cobb’s intense drive always filled him with the need to be first, to be better, to be on top. It should be noted, coincidentally or not, that his crypt is at highest point of Rose Hill Cemetery.
August 16, 2013