The Chalmers Race: Ty Cobb, Napoleon Lajoie, and the Controversial 1910 Batting Title That Became a National Obsession

The Chalmers Race: Ty Cobb, Napoleon Lajoie, and the Controversial 1910 Batting Title That Became a National Obsession

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by Rick Huhn
     
 

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In 1910 auto magnate Hugh Chalmers offered an automobile to the baseball player with the highest batting average that season. What followed was a batting race unlike any before or since, between the greatest but most despised hitter, Detroit’s Ty Cobb, and the American League’s first superstar, Cleveland’s popular Napoleon Lajoie. The Chalmers

Overview

In 1910 auto magnate Hugh Chalmers offered an automobile to the baseball player with the highest batting average that season. What followed was a batting race unlike any before or since, between the greatest but most despised hitter, Detroit’s Ty Cobb, and the American League’s first superstar, Cleveland’s popular Napoleon Lajoie. The Chalmers Race captures the excitement of this strange contest—one that has yet to be resolved.
 The race came down to the last game of the season, igniting more interest among fans than the World Series and becoming a national obsession. Rick Huhn re-creates the drama that ensued when Cobb, thinking the prize safely his, skipped the last two games, and Lajoie suspiciously had eight hits in a doubleheader against the St. Louis Browns. Although initial counts favored Lajoie, American League president Ban Johnson, the sport’s last word, announced Cobb the winner, and amid the controversy both players received cars. The Chalmers Race details a story of dubious scorekeeping and statistical systems, of performances and personalities in conflict, of accurate results coming in seventy years too late, and of a contest settled not by play on the field but by human foibles.
  

Editorial Reviews

Tampa Tribune - Bob D'Angelo
"A well-researched, entertaining read."—Bob D'Angelo, Tampa Tribune
Journal of Sport History - Amy Essington

"Rick Huhn offers a complete presentation of the details of this episode in baseball history."—Amy Essington, Journal of Sport History
Spitball
"The very best history includes a compelling story replete with seminal characters, provides thorough research (including extensive footnotes and bibliography) and combines a masterful understanding of the era with a vivid style. When a century-old subject continues to inspire debate and controversy, there's no doubt that the reading public anxiously awaits the definitive treatment from just the right author. Rick Huhn is that author, and The Chalmers Race is that subject."—Spitball
Tampa Tribune - Bob D’Angelo
"A well-researched, entertaining read."—Bob D'Angelo, Tampa Tribune
Rob Neyer

“It took more than a century, but we’ve finally got the book we deserve about baseball’s most infamous batting race. Thanks to Rick Huhn, it was worth the wait.”—Rob Neyer, national baseball editor of the website Baseball Nation.com
Gerald C. Wood
The Chalmers Race seamlessly weaves its compelling stories and is a deftly told saga of a game-changing and living controversy.”—Gerald C. Wood, author of Smoky Joe Wood: The Biography of a Baseball Legend

Jon Wertheim
“With graceful writing and exhaustive research, Huhn gives life to one of baseball’s great untold stories.”—Jon Wertheim, senior writer for Sports Illustrated
Reed Browning

“This is the kind of baseball history we need more of—a book grounded in a great story, shaped by intelligent assessments of the evidence, committed to accuracy and truth-telling, and presented in vigorous prose.”—Reed Browning, author of Cy Young: A Baseball Life

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780803273764
Publisher:
UNP - Nebraska
Publication date:
04/01/2014
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
328
File size:
5 MB

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Rick Huhn is the author of The Sizzler: George Sisler, Baseball’s Forgotten Great and Eddie Collins: A Baseball Biography. Charles C. Alexander is the author of several baseball books, including Ty Cobb.

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The Chalmers Race: Ty Cobb, Napoleon Lajoie, and the Controversial 1910 Batting Title That Became a National Obsession 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
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