I got unexpectedly busy this afternoon. I was going to write up something to recap Ty Cobb’s Wikipedia page, but really, you should just read the whole thing. Turns out Ty Cobb was crazy, in many of the ways you’ve already heard about but also several other ways as well.
The excerpt that led me there, via a former student turned Facebook friend:
After enduring several years of seeing his fame and notoriety usurped by Ruth, Cobb decided that he was going to show that swinging for the fences was no challenge for a top hitter. On May 5, 1925, he began a two-game hitting spree better than any even Ruth had unleashed. Sitting in the Tiger dugout, he told a reporter that, for the first time in his career, he was going to swing for the fences. That day, he went 6 for 6, with two singles, a double and three home runs. The 16 total bases set a new AL record, which stood until May 8, 2012 when Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers hit four home runs and a double for a total of 18 bases. The next day he had three more hits, two of which were home runs. The single his first time up gave him nine consecutive hits over three games. His five homers in two games tied the record set by Cap Anson of the old Chicago NL team in 1884. Cobb wanted to show that he could hit home runs when he wanted, but simply chose not to do so. At the end of the series, the 38-year-old veteran superstar had gone 12 for 19 with 29 total bases and then went happily back to his usual bunting and hitting-and-running.
Also, searching for a photo of Ty Cobb to use for this post led me to this odd NSFW Mickey Mantle autograph.