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Cobb: A Biography

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2006

    al stump was a fabricator

    Al Stump made up account of the supposed murder was supported by facts which he made up. In his first edition of his Cobb biography he offers as support of his position a referrence to a game that Cobb played after the allleged incident. Box scores show that Cobb did not play in such a game on the date that Stump claimed. This man should have been unmasked as a fraudulent fabricator of history.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2002

    Am I supposed to believe this biography??

    Baseball writers of the early 1900's often wrote in a colorful way that may have stretched the truth, but this is modern times, and I expect biographies to depict their subjects with as much realism as possible. According to this book, in 1907 Ty Cobb stole 49 bases. Here are some comments by Stump about that season: "Making two to four base stealing attempts per day ...", "Three steals a day were common". Really? This seems very unlikely for someone who averaged less than one stolen base every three games. Amazing anecdotes abound througout the first 153 pages (this is all I have read, I don't know if I can take any more). For example, according to Stump's version of Cobb's remembrance, Cobb was a probable out at second base one day in the World Series, but tricked the opposing second baseman by yelling "Tag him". This confused the second baseman Evers so much that Cobb was able to simply keep going all the way to third and beat the throw from Evers. Huh? Another anecdote from Cobb on pages 152-153 is so unrealistic it is actually funny. He relates how he was thrown out at home from third on a ground ball to the third baseman, but only Cobb's incredible determination and guile by getting in a long rundown allowed the batter to reach first and the runner on first to reach second. I don't think so. Read about Cobb's "corkscrew slide" on page 151, where Stump describes how Cobb "swerved away from the baseman, then slashed back into him to make him drop the ball". I don't know how this skill got lost over the ages- maybe because most baserunners believe that a straight line is the shortest distance between two points. Of course, maybe that's why Ty Cobb was thrown out 38 times one year attempting to steal. Perhaps I should not expect realism, and just read it in the spirit of early baseball fiction. After all, my dad used to tell me stories of Cobb that were very similar to the ones told by Stump, and my childhood would perhaps have been poorer for the absence. If I were able to do that, I'm sure I would give this book a much higher rating.

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