Ty Cobb

Tyrus Raymond Cobb
Inducted to the Hall of Fame in: 1936
Primary team: Detroit Tigers
Primary position: Center Fielder

Ty Cobb may have been the best all-around baseball player that ever lived. But one thing is for sure, Cobb had a burning desire to win.

"I never could stand losing,” he said. “Second place didn't interest me. I had a fire in my belly."

Born on December 18, 1886 in Narrows, Ga., Cobb grew up with a demanding father who would accept nothing but success. The drive to please his father remained with Cobb long after his father’s death and contributed to his intense drive to be the best.

"(Ty) Cobb lived off the field as though he wished to live forever. He lived on the field as though it was his last day," said Hall of Fame executive Branch Rickey.

After spending time in the South Atlantic League and with some semipro teams, Cobb joined the Detroit Tigers in 1905. He spent 22 seasons in Detroit and another two in Philadelphia, before retiring as the holder of 43 major league regular season career records.

Cobb was known for his aggressive baserunning style and his ability to hit to all fields. He won nine consecutive AL batting titles from 1907 to 1915 and three more in his career. He hit .320 or better for 22 consecutive seasons including over .400 three times.

In 1909, he led the league in home runs for the only time in his career and won the Triple Crown. Cobb’s best offensive season was 1911 when he led the AL in every major offensive category except home runs including hits, runs, RBI, batting average and slugging percentage and was named AL MVP.

"He didn't outhit and he didn't outrun them, he out thought them," said Hall of Fame teammate Sam Crawford.

Spending most of his career in the outfield, Cobb also spent time in the infield and pitched in three games. Cobb played in three World Series with the Tigers, losing each one. Despite his gruff demeanor, he served as player-manager of the Tigers from 1921-1926.

"I never saw anyone like Ty Cobb. No one even close to him. He was the greatest all time ballplayer. That guy was superhuman, amazing," said Hall of Fame manager Casey Stengel.

In 1936, the first balloting was held for election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Cobb received the most votes of the five electees and came within four votes of unanimity.

“The greatness of Ty Cobb was something that had to be seen, and to see him was to remember him forever,” said fellow Hall of Famer George Sisler.

Cobb died on July 17, 1961 in Atlanta, Ga.

"He was the best ballplayer I ever saw. I always said if there was a league higher than the Majors, Ty Cobb would be the only fellow in it. Just as you’d be thinking about doing something, Ty would be doing it. He was always one step ahead of you. "
Joe Wood

Career stats

ESSENTIAL STATS
Year Inducted: 1936
Primary Team: Detroit Tigers
Position Played: Center Fielder
Bats: Left
Throws: Right
Birth place: Narrows, Georgia
Birth year: 1886
Died: 1961, Atlanta, Georgia
Played for:
Detroit Tigers (1905-1926)
Philadelphia Athletics (1927-1928)
Managed:
Detroit Tigers (1921-1926)
CAREER AT A GLANCE
GamesG
3034
At BatsAB
11434
RunsR
2246
HitsH
4189
Doubles2B
724
Triples3B
295
Home RunsHR
117
RBIRBI
1938
Stolen BasesSB
897
WalksBB
1249
Batting AverageBA
.366
OPSOPS
.945
On Base %OBP
.433
Slugging %SLG
.512