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View Full Version : Bigger Jerks Than Joey Belle in the Hall of Fame


frankbmd
03-10-2019, 12:33 PM
Prompted by the Maris/Belle thread, one could be left with the impression that 99% of current Hall of Famers are squeaky clean citizens constantly in demand by local churches to teach Sunday School, who would never take a pill unless prescribed by a board certified physician and would never touch an adult beverage, or court an adult of either gender, except in the privacy of their own closet.

Come on guys, more than one of these esteemed departed ballplayers have been turned down at the Pearly Gates, or if not yet departed, will be turned down.

Share the facts about the "deplorables of Cooperstown".

Let's see the rap sheets.

clydepepper
03-10-2019, 12:43 PM
It doesn't get much worse than this:

saw it on ebay - I was shocked then and I'm shock now:


IMAGE REMOVED BY POPULAR REQUEST...WITH MY APOLOGIES.

347069

AGuinness
03-10-2019, 12:44 PM
Not baseball, but OJ came to mind awful quickly...


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

ronniehatesjazz
03-10-2019, 12:44 PM
Kirk Gibson, Rickey Henderson, Reggie Jackson, Fernando Vina

ronniehatesjazz
03-10-2019, 12:48 PM
Sorry didn't see we were only talking about HOFers

frankbmd
03-10-2019, 12:49 PM
Kirk Gibson, Rickey Henderson, Reggie Jackson, Fernando Vina

Gibson and Vina are not yet in the Hall of Fame and are therefore disqualified from this thread.

Peter_Spaeth
03-10-2019, 12:56 PM
At least by some accounts, Joe DiMaggio could be very difficult.

CobbSpikedMe
03-10-2019, 01:01 PM
It doesn't get much worse than this:

saw it on ebay - I was shocked then and I'm shock now:

347069

Wow, Raymond, that is absolutely horrible.

Peter_Spaeth
03-10-2019, 01:08 PM
Wow, Raymond, that is absolutely horrible.

That can't be real. It looks too pristine for one. For another, goddamn would not have been used in print. It's some sort of sick joke.

vintagetoppsguy
03-10-2019, 01:12 PM
That can't be real. It looks too pristine for one. For another, goddamn would not have been used in print. It's some sort of sick joke.

Agreed.

mechanicalman
03-10-2019, 01:15 PM
It doesn't get much worse than this:

saw it on ebay - I was shocked then and I'm shock now:

347069

That is fake as f*ck.

Probably best deleted.

CobbSpikedMe
03-10-2019, 01:33 PM
That is fake as f*ck.

Probably best deleted.

Not a bad idea Sam.

Even with it being fake, it's still horrible. Who would make that piece and list it on eBay in the first place? Seriously. :confused:

xplainer
03-10-2019, 01:38 PM
That can't be real. It looks too pristine for one. For another, goddamn would not have been used in print. It's some sort of sick joke.

Agree. Why would someone create it and post on eBay?

usernamealreadytaken
03-10-2019, 01:41 PM
I agree. Please remove this disgusting image - it has no place on this site.

clydepepper
03-10-2019, 02:06 PM
I agree. Please remove this disgusting image - it has no place on this site.



Done. Sorry 'bout that.


in light of newer biographies of Cobb, it probably was just a sick joke.

Again, I apologize...now, let's dig into those others:




Non-Players in the Hall:

Landis kept the majors from integrating for decades - at a time when he may have had enough power to make the change.

Frick was the first to impose an '*'.

Yawkey made Boston the LAST team to integrate.


=

Jim65
03-10-2019, 02:51 PM
Cap Anson

oldjudge
03-10-2019, 03:29 PM
Reggie Jackson

Hot Springs Bathers
03-10-2019, 04:24 PM
I asked several employees at the Hall and they all mentioned Willie and Reggie

Hot Springs Bathers
03-10-2019, 04:26 PM
Canton not Cooperstown, but at a National in Arlington decades ago I saw Franco Harris be a total jerk to everyone young and old. Could have been a bad day or perhaps that is the reason he ran out of bounds on most plays?

VintageVinnie
03-10-2019, 04:58 PM
Willie Mays

oldjudge
03-10-2019, 05:43 PM
I met Franco Harris years ago and he was fine. If you want to add football I would heartily endorse Lynn Swann for the list.

pokerplyr80
03-10-2019, 05:55 PM
Mays was the first name that came to mind. I've heard the same about Cobb and Ted Williams, but not from any personal experience.

rats60
03-10-2019, 07:50 PM
The correct answer is no one. Who else tried to hurt fans with a baseball? Destroy teammates property with a bat? Try to run over kids on Halloween? Expose himself to a teenage girl? Mays, Jackson etc. could be rude, but none are in Belle's league.

timn1
03-10-2019, 08:45 PM
Being a grumpy jerk to some people at a show because of whatever's going on in his life should hardly be the sole criterion for whether an athlete is a true bastard... we've all had our down moments. With most of these guys you hear anecdotes from the other side about how they were nice at least some of the time.

We're talking the REAL bad actors here.... the Hal Chases and OJs of the HOF.
(or as Lyle said about Munson - not moody (which implies you're nice some of the time), just plain mean. Who are they?



The correct answer is no one. Who else tried to hurt fans with a baseball? Destroy teammates property with a bat? Try to run over kids on Halloween? Expose himself to a teenage girl? Mays, Jackson etc. could be rude, but none are in Belle's league.

Peter_Spaeth
03-10-2019, 08:59 PM
If Bonds ever gets in, by many accounts he'll be right up there. Clemens too.

maniac_73
03-10-2019, 09:18 PM
Not really fair to judge ones character unless you knew them personally. Look what happened with Cobb

Marckus99
03-10-2019, 09:34 PM
Frank Robinson is a complete jerk.

clydepepper
03-10-2019, 09:52 PM
Frank Robinson is a complete jerk.


Nice

...and it's 'was'


.

Throttlesteer
03-10-2019, 10:44 PM
Ray Lewis if we're counting the NFL

GoCubsGo32
03-10-2019, 10:58 PM
Maybe it was just my experience but, Sandy Koufax.

ronniehatesjazz
03-11-2019, 01:04 AM
Brooks Robinson... what a snake!

obcbobd
03-11-2019, 08:30 AM
Cap Anson

First guy I thought of

packs
03-11-2019, 09:23 AM
I have no idea if independent research has verified but I do remember hearing stories that Hornsby and Speaker were members of the Klan.

Throttlesteer
03-11-2019, 11:37 AM
Brooks Robinson... what a snake!

I'm struggling with this one

steve B
03-11-2019, 11:57 AM
Brooks Robinson... what a snake!

Totally not my experience with him.

Peter_Spaeth
03-11-2019, 12:10 PM
Totally not my experience with him.

Sarcasm font I assume.

Baseball Bob
03-11-2019, 12:15 PM
I think it’s best to leave the players who have ALREADY been judged and inducted alone. Focus on the POTENTIAL inductees upon whom we can rain judgment before they get into the sacred Hall. Our culture has changed a lot with time.....

scooter729
03-11-2019, 12:41 PM
Frank Robinson is a complete jerk.

Around 1989, when Robinson was managing the Orioles, I approached him before a game outside of Fenway Park, to sign a 1967 Topps card of him with Hank Bauer and Brooks Robinson. Bauer and Robinson already had signed it. Worth noting, I was 15 at the time, was the only person around seeking an autograph, and Bauer and Brooks both signed it for free for me (Bauer TTM, Brooks in person for me at Fenway). Knowing Frank's nature, I tried my hardest to be very polite. It went something like this:

Me: Mr. Robinson, would you please sign this card for me?
Frank: (takes a second to stop and look at the card) Oh, you already got the other two to sign that, and just need me now?
Me: Yes, sir, if you don't mind.
Frank: I'll sign it for you tomorrow.
Me: But it's your last day in Boston.
Frank: I know! (Laughs and walks away.)

Now that is a total jerk move for no reason.

I wonder what would've happened if I followed the Orioles to the next city and approached him again the next day....

trdcrdkid
03-11-2019, 02:30 PM
I have no idea if independent research has verified but I do remember hearing stories that Hornsby and Speaker were members of the Klan.

Rogers Hornsby was pretty much universally regarded as a complete bastard, among the least-liked players of his era. From his SABR bio:

"Hornsby, however, was almost as well known for his bluntness and complete lack of diplomacy as his prowess with a bat. He rarely argued with umpires but said whatever crossed his mind to anyone else, including the owners he worked for. Longtime Cardinals owner Sam Breadon remarked that listening to Hornsby was like have the contents of a rock crusher emptied over his head...

Hornsby’s managerial career was far less successful than his playing career, however, especially at the major-league level. He managed for all or part of 15 big-league seasons with six franchises, achieving by far his greatest success as player-manager of the 1926 world champion St. Louis Cardinals.6 However, his overbearing, often irascible personality created poor relations with both players and owners, and led to his being fired at every post, sometimes in midseason..."

https://sabr.org/bioproj/person/b5854fe4

Cliff Bowman
03-11-2019, 02:49 PM
Around 1989, when Robinson was managing the Orioles, I approached him before a game outside of Fenway Park, to sign a 1967 Topps card of him with Hank Bauer and Brooks Robinson. Bauer and Robinson already had signed it. Worth noting, I was 15 at the time, was the only person around seeking an autograph, and Bauer and Brooks both signed it for free for me (Bauer TTM, Brooks in person for me at Fenway). Knowing Frank's nature, I tried my hardest to be very polite. It went something like this:

Me: Mr. Robinson, would you please sign this card for me?
Frank: (takes a second to stop and look at the card) Oh, you already got the other two to sign that, and just need me now?
Me: Yes, sir, if you don't mind.
Frank: I'll sign it for you tomorrow.
Me: But it's your last day in Boston.
Frank: I know! (Laughs and walks away.)

Now that is a total jerk move for no reason.

I wonder what would've happened if I followed the Orioles to the next city and approached him again the next day....
I take it you never got the card signed?

Peter_Spaeth
03-11-2019, 03:11 PM
Rogers Hornsby was pretty much universally regarded as a complete bastard, among the least-liked players of his era. From his SABR bio:

"Hornsby, however, was almost as well known for his bluntness and complete lack of diplomacy as his prowess with a bat. He rarely argued with umpires but said whatever crossed his mind to anyone else, including the owners he worked for. Longtime Cardinals owner Sam Breadon remarked that listening to Hornsby was like have the contents of a rock crusher emptied over his head...

Hornsby’s managerial career was far less successful than his playing career, however, especially at the major-league level. He managed for all or part of 15 big-league seasons with six franchises, achieving by far his greatest success as player-manager of the 1926 world champion St. Louis Cardinals.6 However, his overbearing, often irascible personality created poor relations with both players and owners, and led to his being fired at every post, sometimes in midseason..."

https://sabr.org/bioproj/person/b5854fe4

According to one account, when Alexander came in to face Lazzeri in the 1926 WS, Alexander told Hornsby how he was going to pitch him. Hornsby was about to protest the inside fastball on the second pitch (which, as Alexander predicted, he would foul off), but then decided he would just be quiet and defer to a man who to that point had won something like 350 games. It was a gutsy move to go to Alexander in the first place because he had just won the previous day and, on top of that, was hung over.

jhs5120
03-11-2019, 04:49 PM
Ty Cobb climbing into the stands to beat the crap out of a crippled heckler is probably one of the more disgraceful things to have happened at a ballpark.

Not to mention his other assaults.

packs
03-11-2019, 05:26 PM
Ty Cobb climbing into the stands to beat the crap out of a crippled heckler is probably one of the more disgraceful things to have happened at a ballpark.

Not to mention his other assaults.

Almost nothing about the public perception of Cobb is true. He did beat up a guy without fingers, but his entire team supported him doing so. They even refused to play a game after he was suspended and fined for doing it.

scooter729
03-11-2019, 06:37 PM
I take it you never got the card signed?

There were plenty of chances at shows to get Frank to sign it in later years, but I wasn’t putting a penny in his pocket after that incident.

Peter_Spaeth
03-11-2019, 07:42 PM
https://www.ebay.com/itm/1967-Topps-Frank-Brooks-Robinson-THE-CHAMPS-PSA-DNA-AUTO-1-PSA-Auth-PWCC/143162949535?hash=item21552d3f9f:g:MUoAAOSwotZcgYo u

steve B
03-11-2019, 08:30 PM
Sarcasm font I assume.


Nope, for real.


I met him at a Sports Illustrated hospitality room in DC when I was 13. Him and two football players autographing a 3 picture panel for publicity for SI. Dad brought me there, and the line wasn't bad. Maybe 20 people, mostly school administrators. The two football guys were polite but not real talkative.


Brooks asked me about playing baseball, and we talked for a bit. Someone far back in line bitched loudly about the line being slow, and he stood up and said "Hey, I'm talking with a kid about baseball! you can wait!" Then we talked about baseball a bit more.

For a shy 13 year old who was actually really bad at baseball that was a pretty big deal. As was him saying that as long as the game was fun not to worry about not being good at it.


I suppose the guy in a rush to get his autograph and get down to drinking might see it the other way around.

Peter_Spaeth
03-11-2019, 08:34 PM
Nope, for real.


I met him at a Sports Illustrated hospitality room in DC when I was 13. Him and two football players autographing a 3 picture panel for publicity for SI. Dad brought me there, and the line wasn't bad. Maybe 20 people, mostly school administrators. The two football guys were polite but not real talkative.


Brooks asked me about playing baseball, and we talked for a bit. Someone far back in line bitched loudly about the line being slow, and he stood up and said "Hey, I'm talking with a kid about baseball! you can wait!" Then we talked about baseball a bit more.

For a shy 13 year old who was actually really bad at baseball that was a pretty big deal. As was him saying that as long as the game was fun not to worry about not being good at it.


I suppose the guy in a rush to get his autograph and get down to drinking might see it the other way around.

I meant that the reference to him as a snake was not intended to be real.

steve B
03-11-2019, 08:37 PM
I meant that the reference to him as a snake was not intended to be real.


Ah, that makes some sense.


I do wonder if somewhere out there there's an old guy who tells a story about wanting a quick drink and being shut down by Robinson because he was talking to some kid.
It was a national association of secondary school principals convention, so that guy would likely be pretty old or dead by now.

frankbmd
03-11-2019, 08:47 PM
When I was 9 years old, I obtained Harmon Killebrew's autograph in person during spring training. Harmon was a 20 year old bonus baby at the time.

I bet he wondered why a nine year old punk wanted his autograph.

The nine year old punk had similar thoughts about if this 20 year old was a legit major leaguer.

His autograph was quite nice though and worth keeping. Still have it;)

https://www.collectorfocus.com/images/show/frankbmd/autographs-tickets/7583/killebrew-harmon

doug.goodman
03-11-2019, 09:07 PM
Around 1989, when Robinson was managing the Orioles, I approached him before a game outside of Fenway Park, to sign a 1967 Topps card of him with Hank Bauer and Brooks Robinson. Bauer and Robinson already had signed it. Worth noting, I was 15 at the time, was the only person around seeking an autograph, and Bauer and Brooks both signed it for free for me (Bauer TTM, Brooks in person for me at Fenway). Knowing Frank's nature, I tried my hardest to be very polite. It went something like this:

Me: Mr. Robinson, would you please sign this card for me?
Frank: (takes a second to stop and look at the card) Oh, you already got the other two to sign that, and just need me now?
Me: Yes, sir, if you don't mind.
Frank: I'll sign it for you tomorrow.
Me: But it's your last day in Boston.
Frank: I know! (Laughs and walks away.)

Now that is a total jerk move for no reason.

I wonder what would've happened if I followed the Orioles to the next city and approached him again the next day....

My Frank Robinson story is the opposite :

In late 1981 or 1982, I was standing (hunched over my treasure, really) in the rain outside the players parking lot at Candlestick after a rained out Giants game when he drove past me, then stopped and backed up.

He rolled down his window and asked "What are you doing standing there?"

"I was hoping I could get you to sign this baseball" I told him, as I reached it into his car to avoid the wet, and pointed out that it already had Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and a few other HR hitters of note.

"This is a nice ball", he said "what if I just drive away with it?" he chuckled.

"Please don't" I said, as the rain came down a bit harder.

He smiled as he found a good spot on the ball, signed a beautiful signature, carefully handed it back to me avoiding the rain, and said "thank you, now get out of the rain".

"Thank you!", I said and headed to my car to make the 93 mile drive home.

****

I now work for famous people for a living, and I see both sides of it on a daily basis, both of my current bosses have reputations that may have earned them mention in this thread had they been baseball players.

Both are unquestionably HOF caliber in their chosen professions.

Both are among the nicest people I know, although after a combined 17 years working for them, I might have a few "horror" stories, also.

My point is, for every horror story, there is often a story with the opposite point, but frequently it's the horror stories that circulate the most.

Doug

clydepepper
03-11-2019, 09:07 PM
When I was 9 years old, I obtained Harmon Killebrew's autograph in person during spring training. Harmon was a 20 year old bonus baby at the time.

I bet he wondered why a nine year old punk wanted his autograph.

The nine year old punk had similar thoughts about if this 20 year old was a legit major leaguer.

His autograph was quite nice though and worth keeping. Still have it;)

https://www.collectorfocus.com/images/show/frankbmd/autographs-tickets/7583/killebrew-harmon


That's great, Frank. The only thing I've kept that long is a mole.

.

Jeffrompa
03-13-2019, 08:41 AM
Mike Schmidt , my late and great friend Bob Brown wrote about it extensively.

jhs5120
03-13-2019, 01:50 PM
Almost nothing about the public perception of Cobb is true. He did beat up a guy without fingers, but his entire team supported him doing so. They even refused to play a game after he was suspended and fined for doing it.


Many of Ron Artest’s teammates defended him. Not sure it makes the situation any better.

Many of the stories about Cobb are true, but some of the facts are questioned. “Yes, Cobb assaulted a bell boy, but not because he was black (as if that’s important).” “Yes, Cobb beat the crap out of a cripple, but he was missing seven fingers, not both hands (as if that makes the situation less appalling).”

Ty Cobb was a prick. A ‘troubled beauty’ sure, but also a prick. He was responsible for some of the game’s ugliest moments.

packs
03-13-2019, 01:54 PM
Many of Ron Artest’s teammates defended him. Not sure it makes the situation any better.

Many of the stories about Cobb are true, but some of the facts are questioned. “Yes, Cobb assaulted a bell boy, but not because he was black (as if that’s important).” “Yes, Cobb beat the crap out of a cripple, but he was missing seven fingers, not both hands (as if that makes the situation less appalling).”

Ty Cobb was a prick. A ‘troubled beauty’ sure, but also a prick. He was responsible for some of the game’s ugliest moments.

If you're citing events in Al Stump's book none of them hold any water. What are your sources for these moments?

jhs5120
03-13-2019, 02:16 PM
If you're citing events in Al Stump's book none of them hold any water. What are your sources for these moments?



Leerhsen's book, A Terrible Beauty. He puts in so much effort to dispel the notion that Cobb is racist and that Stump’s book exaggerated that he doesn’t realize he still paints a fairly aweful picture.

darwinbulldog
03-13-2019, 03:05 PM
None of these discussions make any sense except in light of a supernatural belief in contracausal free will. Just sayin'.

BruceinGa
03-13-2019, 03:30 PM
Another vote for Reggie Jackson!

timn1
03-13-2019, 04:25 PM
People are complicated-

My Frank Robinson story is the opposite :

In late 1981 or 1982, I was standing (hunched over my treasure, really) in the rain outside the players parking lot at Candlestick after a rained out Giants game when he drove past me, then stopped and backed up.

He rolled down his window and asked "What are you doing standing there?"

"I was hoping I could get you to sign this baseball" I told him, as I reached it into his car to avoid the wet, and pointed out that it already had Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and a few other HR hitters of note.

"This is a nice ball", he said "what if I just drive away with it?" he chuckled.

"Please don't" I said, as the rain came down a bit harder.

He smiled as he found a good spot on the ball, signed a beautiful signature, carefully handed it back to me avoiding the rain, and said "thank you, now get out of the rain".

"Thank you!", I said and headed to my car to make the 93 mile drive home.

****

I now work for famous people for a living, and I see both sides of it on a daily basis, both of my current bosses have reputations that may have earned them mention in this thread had they been baseball players.

Both are unquestionably HOF caliber in their chosen professions.

Both are among the nicest people I know, although after a combined 17 years working for them, I might have a few "horror" stories, also.

My point is, for every horror story, there is often a story with the opposite point, but frequently it's the horror stories that circulate the most.

Doug

nolemmings
03-13-2019, 04:26 PM
sorry I'm late to the thread, but I always thought Albert Belle was a bigger jerk than Joey Belle.;)

Paul S
03-13-2019, 08:08 PM
What we need is a sabremetric that compares jerks across eras.
(leaving it open-ended here - write your own below;)

Tabe
03-15-2019, 01:04 AM
Leerhsen's book, A Terrible Beauty. He puts in so much effort to dispel the notion that Cobb is racist and that Stump’s book exaggerated that he doesn’t realize he still paints a fairly aweful picture.

He also claims that Cobb once got a home run on a bunt. He's not exactly credible.


Tim Hornbaker is the guy to read re:Cobb

drcy
03-15-2019, 02:21 AM
Maybe he changed as he got old, but just read or listen to Glory of Their Times and you'll know that Cobb had a bad character/personality reputation with his contemporaries.

packs
03-15-2019, 09:12 AM
In terms of Cobb's myth vs reality, it only takes a little bit of research to see for yourself that he was in no way the racist hate monger he's made out to be. For one, his great grandfather preached against slavery in the Confederate South during the Confederacy, second, his father was an advocate for the education of African Americans and other under-served communities and Cobb himself would go on to establish a fund for that very purpose, which still exists today. Lastly, here's a contemporary quote from Cobb in 1952, well before the Civil Rights era:

"The Negro should be accepted wholeheartedly, and not grudgingly," he said. "The Negro has the right to play professional baseball and whose [sic] to say he has not?"

Peter_Spaeth
03-15-2019, 10:38 AM
In terms of Cobb's myth vs reality, it only takes a little bit of research to see for yourself that he was in no way the racist hate monger he's made out to be. For one, his great grandfather preached against slavery in the Confederate South during the Confederacy, second, his father was an advocate for the education of African Americans and other under-served communities and Cobb himself would go on to establish a fund for that very purpose, which still exists today. Lastly, here's a contemporary quote from Cobb in 1952, well before the Civil Rights era:

"The Negro should be accepted wholeheartedly, and not grudgingly," he said. "The Negro has the right to play professional baseball and whose [sic] to say he has not?"

Also I have read that there is no evidence that the bellhop he beat up -- a key piece of the racist claim -- was black.

frankbmd
03-15-2019, 11:10 AM
Years ago I visited Royston, GA and met an old doctor there who was a close personal friend of Cobb in the forties and fifties. He only spoke highly of him and his contributions to the community, Cobb’s hometown.

He was the driver of the regional Cobb Health system, which included the hospital in Royston. The medical services available to all in the Cobb system were a legacy that he and the community cherished.

He supported the youth baseball in the community as well.

He profited from Coca Cola, but didn’t run away from Royston with his wealth.

Leon
03-19-2019, 04:25 PM
There are certainly lots of different type stories about Cobb. Much of what has been taken for granted over the years doesn't jive with some first hand accounts. People are complicated. (Tim N said that :)).

Years ago I visited Royston, GA and met an old doctor there who was a close personal friend of Cobb in the forties and fifties. He only spoke highly of him and his contributions to the community, Cobb’s hometown.

He was the driver of the regional Cobb Health system, which included the hospital in Royston. The medical services available to all in the Cobb system were a legacy that he and the community cherished.

He supported the youth baseball in the community as well.

He profited from Coca Cola, but didn’t run away from Royston with his wealth.

Mark17
03-20-2019, 04:13 AM
Maybe he changed as he got old, but just read or listen to Glory of Their Times and you'll know that Cobb had a bad character/personality reputation with his contemporaries.

According to some. But others said Cobb never spiked anyone intentionally unless they were blocking his path to the base, which Joe Wood, in defense of Cobb, said was just common sense.

Cobb did a lot of good things for people, that is not in dispute. As far as his sins, I have always believed Cobb deserves some slack, given his circumstance (his mother killing his father in what some said was murder.) Overall I think the good in Cobb outweighs the bad.

Hot Springs Bathers
03-20-2019, 08:28 AM
There is a ton of revisionist history surrounding Cobb, As a historian you have to weigh first-hand accounts ahead of theory. Cobb was a very complicated person and not a real good person. The people that want to cleanse the image get very passionate about it but the first-hand accounts are not pleasant.

packs
03-20-2019, 09:19 AM
There is a ton of revisionist history surrounding Cobb, As a historian you have to weigh first-hand accounts ahead of theory. Cobb was a very complicated person and not a real good person. The people that want to cleanse the image get very passionate about it but the first-hand accounts are not pleasant.

While first hand accounts are important, historians are also aware of bias. Sam Crawford hated Cobb, so can his stories about the man be taken at face value? How do you talk about people you don't like?

Side note, when Cobb died they found copies of a ton of letters he'd written to people lobbying for Crawford's induction into the HOF.

frankbmd
03-20-2019, 10:13 AM
Years ago I visited Royston, GA and met an old doctor there who was a close personal friend of Cobb in the forties and fifties. He only spoke highly of him and his contributions to the community, Cobb’s hometown.

He was the driver of the regional Cobb Health system, which included the hospital in Royston. The medical services available to all in the Cobb system were a legacy that he and the community cherished.

He supported the youth baseball in the community as well.

He profited from Coca Cola, but didn’t run away from Royston with his wealth.

There are certainly lots of different type stories about Cobb. Much of what has been taken for granted over the years doesn't jive with some first hand accounts. People are complicated. (Tim N said that :)).

According to some. But others said Cobb never spiked anyone intentionally unless they were blocking his path to the base, which Joe Wood, in defense of Cobb, said was just common sense.

Cobb did a lot of good things for people, that is not in dispute. As far as his sins, I have always believed Cobb deserves some slack, given his circumstance (his mother killing his father in what some said was murder.) Overall I think the good in Cobb outweighs the bad.

There is a ton of revisionist history surrounding Cobb, As a historian you have to weigh first-hand accounts ahead of theory. Cobb was a very complicated person and not a real good person. The people that want to cleanse the image get very passionate about it but the first-hand accounts are not pleasant.

While first hand accounts are important, historians are also aware of bias. Sam Crawford hated Cobb, so can his stories about the man be taken at face value? How do you talk about people you don't like?

Side note, when Cobb died they found copies of a ton of letters he'd written to people lobbying for Crawford's induction into the HOF.



Interestingly I also met Al Stump and was less than impressed. Competitive ballplayers who consider base running a contact sport at any base stretch the rules perhaps and are considered "dirty" by some (Hello Manny (Machado)), but behavior inside the lines does not necessarily relate to their character outside the lines.;)

Albert "Joey" Belle gets votes in these threads for the hall for his career inside the lines, as does Pete Rose and the like. Where to draw the line for character outside the lines is the real question.

Few would suggest that Ty Cobb should be removed from the Hall of Fame. After all, where is the Belle Health System? Is there a Belle Hospital and Medical Center in Shreveport, Louisiana? I don't know. I only drove through Shreveport once without stopping in 1972 long before little Albert was conceived.;)

darwinbulldog
03-20-2019, 10:25 AM
I only drove through Shreveport once without stopping in 1972 long before little Albert was conceived.;)

Oddly, he turned 6 that year.

frankbmd
03-20-2019, 10:44 AM
Oddly, he turned 6 that year.

Ooops, I guess I didn't drive by his elementary school in 1972.:o

Huysmans
03-20-2019, 11:45 AM
There is a ton of revisionist history surrounding Cobb, As a historian you have to weigh first-hand accounts ahead of theory. Cobb was a very complicated person and not a real good person. The people that want to cleanse the image get very passionate about it but the first-hand accounts are not pleasant.

In modern, social media driven society, when it comes to judging people of the past, sanctimony is the order of the day. The irony is that people who claim to be "good", seem to go out of their way to try and find - and even publicize - only the bad in others, regardless of how truthful it is.