Ty Cobb was an asshole. There’s really no getting around it. Whenever anybody starts going off about how we can’t let Pete Rose into the Hall of Fame because he gambled on baseball, or how Shoeless Joe Jackson shouldn’t ever be allowed in because he might have thrown some games, or how Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds, and Mark McGwire will never get in because they (stick with me here) corked a bat and probably took steroids, probably took steroids and was an asshole, and probably took steroids (and had an awful case of backne either way), just remind them that Ty Fucking Cobb is in the Hall of Fame.
Stats wise, there’s no doubt Ty deserves to be in the Hall. The all-time hit king before Rose played for seven thousand years and beat his record (and his career .366 average is still the best ever), Cobb was also a demon on the basepaths, stealing somewhere north of 800 bases in his career, which is good for fourth on the all time list–and 2-3-4 on the list are bunched up fairly close together. Lou Brock in second has 938, Billy Hamilton in third has 912, and Ty in fourth has 892. Of course, Rickey Henderson swiped 1406 because he was a mother fucking base stealing MACHINE sent from the future to steal our bases.
But we’re here to talk about Ty Cobb. And part of the reason he was so good at stealing bases wasn’t just because he was fast (although he was). It was because he’d spike the shit out of you if you got in his way.
Here he is kicking some poor catcher in the dick:
Seriously, look at that. He gave that guy a flying kick right in the goddamn dick. And why? Probably because he had the unmitigated gall to try to tag Ty out at home. Or maybe JUST BECAUSE. For all I know, Ty just walked, and decided to jump-kick the catcher’s ball sack before heading to first, just on goddamn principle.
Cobb fought everybody. He once challenged an umpire to fight him under the grandstand after the game. The hell of it is, the umpire accepted, and Cobb knocked him down and choked the shit out of him until some spectators intervened. He fought with fans–he once climbed into the stands and beat the shit out of a handicapped man who called his momma names.
He was a well known racist. He once slapped a black elevator operator for being “uppity”. When a black security guard intervened, Cobb stabbed him. It being the early 1900s, this was apparently acceptable, and the issue was never taken to court.
He was hated by so many people, one time a manager basically threw a couple games just to prevent Cobb from winning a batting title. St Louis Browns manager Jack O’Connor ordered his third baseman to play back on the outfield grass every time Nap Lajoie came up to bat in the final two games of the season. Nap was behind Ty by just a few percentage points in the batting title race, and old Jack hated Ty so much, he tried to rig it so Nap would win. Nap went 8 for 8 in the double header, with six bunt singles, but MLB cottoned on to what Jack was up to and ended up awarding the title to Ty anyway.
So, in conclusion, Ty Cobb was a huge cock. He was a shithead, a racist asshole, and a loudmouth punk with an inferiority complex that caused him to lash out at everybody. But holy shit could the man play baseball.
So the next time someone tries to tell you Barry Bonds shouldn’t be in the Hall of Fame because maybe he took roids, show them that picture of Ty kicking that poor dude in the dick. If that’s “playing the game the right way”, I’m not sure what Barry (probably) did was so wrong.