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Today in Sports History: 12/18 | Hall of Fame Outfielder Ty Cobb is Born

Today in sports history, one of the greatest baseball players of all time was born. On this day 135 years ago, legendary outfielder Tyrus “Ty” Raymond Cobb was born.

Ty Cobb was a rare breed. Not only did he play baseball for 24 years, but he was also a player-manager for six of them. Cobb spent 22 years with the Detroit Tigers and his final two with the Philadelphia Athletics. Cobb was the “GOAT” of baseball for many years. It’s not hard to see why as he has been credited with setting 90 MLB records throughout his career.

Many remember him as a menacing player who played his heart out every time he was on the diamond. Cobb himself said that nature came from the abuse suffered from teammates who were jealous of Ty who made the league at just 18 years old.

ty cobb sports history
Credit: Detroit Free Press Archives

Ty Cobb: The Original “GOAT”

In a league that has been around for over 100 years, many of Cobb’s records still stand to this day. Among those still standing are his career batting average (.366), combined total runs and runs batted in (4,065), and batting titles (11). While Ty Cobb did never win a title, he did win the MVP and the Triple Crown.

Cobb’s impact on the game went much further than just the numbers he put up. While stories of Cobb’s racial intolerance were told throughout the years, they were later found to be falsified and embellished. Cobb was one of the first baseball players to publicly support the integration of baseball and the breaking of the color barrier. Following his death, he was praised in many obituaries for being in favor of racial freedom in baseball.

The impact of Ty Cobb is still felt to this day some half of a century later. Cobb donated a lot of money to build a hospital in his hometown. He also established an educational fund for needy kids from Georgia looking to attend college. At the time of his death, his estate was worth over $11 million ($102 million today) and, in his will, he left a quarter of the money to his educational fund. As of 2021, the Ty Cobb Educational Fund has awarded over $19 million dollars. Cobb’s excellence both on and off the field is what makes him one of the greatest baseball players of all time.

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