Georgia Magazine - April 2017 - 18
should be accepted wholeheartedly,
and not grudgingly," Cobb said then.
"The Negro has the right to play professional baseball, and who's to say
he has not?"
By that time, Cobb had attended
many Negro Leagues games, sometimes throwing out the first pitch and
often sitting in the dugout with the
players. He is quoted as saying that
Willie Mays was the only player of
that era he'd pay to see and that Roy
Campanella was the ballplayer who
reminded him most of himself.
* Cobb willingly replied to fans'
written requests for autographs,
sometimes in letters as long as five
pages. He always signed his name in
Much of the negative portrayals of Cobb can be laid at the feet
of Al Stump, whom Cobb had hired
as a ghostwriter for his autobiography, "Ty Cobb: My Life in Baseball"
(Doubleday and Co., 1961). But
because of Stump's inaccuracies,
fabrications and outright lies, Cobb
was preparing to sue to stop publication of the book when he died.
But Stump's book came out,
followed a few months later by an
even-more-inflammatory article he
wrote for True Magazine. That story
later was adapted for a 1994 movie,
"Cobb," starring Tommy Lee Jones as
the ballplayer. Cindy Cobb has been
trying to persuade the MLB Network
never to air it again.
Stump's hurtful stories were
passed along and, through word of
mouth, often made worse. Characterizing Stump's work as "lazy and
incompetent," Leerhsen says, "I do
think the standards are lower with
sports biographies. I think they were
even lower in Stump's day, when
you had a level of hack journalism
that you don't see much these days
between hard covers."
"Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty"
contains some other facts about
Cobb still leaving his mark on Royston, Augusta
long he lived there."
Three of Cobb's granddaughters were
on hand for the dedication, along with
Atlanta Braves pitching great Phil Niekro,
who, like Cobb, is a member of the National
Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.
Royston's interest in securing the Ty
Cobb statue from Turner Field began soon
after the Braves announced they would not
be moving it to SunTrust Park, their new
home in Cobb County beginning this month.
Royston Mayor David Jordan, City Manager Ed Andrews and his staff and Ty Cobb
historian Wesley Fricks all made the trip
to Turner Field to ensure the statue's safe
passage to Royston.
"This is a great solution for where this
treasure should go," Jordan says. "It was
just a natural place for it to go."
The City Council will decide soon
where in the city the Cobb statue will be
placed, the mayor says.
The Cobb statue dates to the 1970s
and originally was placed outside AtlantaFulton County Stadium, home of the Braves
through the 1996 season. It was created
by Felix de Weldon, best known for his
sculpture of the flag-raising at Iwo Jima
that resides at the U.S. Marine Corps War
Memorial in Arlington, Va.
Royston's statue depicts Ty Cobb, as
a player for the Detroit Tigers, sliding into
third base ahead of the tag of Frank "Home
Run" Baker of the Philadelphia Athletics.
- Kevin Braun
More online at www.georgiamagazine.org
Ty Cobb died more than 55 years
ago, but steps are still being taken
to honor his memory in two Georgia
cities. In January, a historical marker
was unveiled in front of the Augusta
home where Cobb and his family
lived from 1913 to 1932. That same
month, the city of Royston took possession of the statue of Cobb that
stood in front of Atlanta's Turner
Field, home of the Atlanta Braves
More than 300 people attended the
marker dedication in front of the ballplayer's
former home at 2425 Williams St., according to Tara Conway, a board member of
the Ty Cobb Augusta Heritage Foundation.
The marker was privately funded, and the
money was raised in only a week and a half,
says Conway, whose maternal grandfather
and Cobb were cousins.
Much of the time Cobb lived at the
house was during his playing (and managing) career. As the marker states, the
residence served as the base for offseason news conferences and the place
he entertained luminaries such as golfer
Bobby Jones, Coca-Cola President Robert
Woodruff, Major League Baseball Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis and
conductor John Philip Sousa, not to mention
"I'm just glad he's finally getting his
recognition in Augusta," Conway says. "It's
past time. I don't think people realized how
On hand for the unveiling of the historic
marker outside Ty Cobb's former home in
Augusta are, from left, Atlanta Braves legend
Phil Niekro, current homeowner Beverly Ford
and three of Cobb's granddaughters, Peggy
Schug, Leslie McLaren and Cindy Cobb.
Royston City Manager Ed Andrews, left,
and Mayor David Jordan prepare the statue
of Ty Cobb for the move from Turner Field to