"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
One hundred years ago today, Ty Cobb played his first game with the Tigers, and the Detroit Free Press has marked the centennial with a four-part series on the controversial baseball legend. Here are parts I,II,III and IV.
The same month in 1905 that the volatile Georgia Peach broke into the big leagues, his mother shot his father to death.
It is quite possible that his father's traumatic death spurred Cobb to play baseball the way he did. When Al Stump, the ghostwriter of Cobb's autobiography, asked Cobb why he fought so hard in baseball, Cobb answered:
"I did it for my father, who was an exalted man. They killed him when he was still young. They blew his head off the same week I became a major-leaguer. He never got to see me play. Not one game, not an inning. But I knew he was watching me...and I never let him down. Never."
Baseball is a red-blooded sport for red-blooded men. It's no pink tea, and mollycoddles had better stay out. It's a struggle for supremacy, a survival of the fittest.
I had to fight all my life to survive. They were all against me... but I beat the bastards and left them in the ditch.
When I began playing the game, baseball was about as gentlemanly as a kick in the crotch.
I may have been fierce, but never low or underhand.
The base paths belonged to me, the runner. The rules gave me the right. I always went into a bag full speed, feet first. I had sharp spikes on my shoes. If the baseman stood where he had no business to be and got hurt, that was his fault.