Ferocious doesn’t begin to describe the life and times of one Tyrus Raymond Cobb, who was baseball’s first superstar and gave his sweat and blood (and a lot of other people’s blood) to the Detroit Tigers for 22 years. Cobb is one of baseball’s greatest and most polarizing figures, seting records that didn’t even exist at the time, and changing the face of the game.
But despite his history etched so deep in the Tigers legend, Cobb’s surviving family isn’t wearing wool Tigers throwbacks to this year’s World Series. Instead, Cobb’s grandson Hershel and his family are putting on Giants colors to root on their favorite ball-club as they take on the team their grandfather helped build.
“Ty Cobb would be very excited about his Tigers playing in the World Series,” Cobb said. “But we live in the Bay Area and have been Giants fans for a long time. We’re going to be rooting for the home team to prevail.”
Even Cobb’s great-grandson, also named Ty Cobb in honor of his family’s legacy, will be turning against the family team, so to speak, and will be rooting for the Giants. The Ty Cobb of the 21st century is himself a ballplayer, and the burden of the family name can’t even begin to be understood — maybe a motivating factor in his turning to the Giants.
But in all seriousness, these kinds of stories are what makes baseball what it is. The original Georgia Peach himself even had ties to the Giants and that connection may have been the root for this current family ‘treason’. Cobb apparently visited the Giants clubhouse late in his life up until his death in 1961, chatting with ballplayers and coaches frequently. By this time the Giants had already moved west from New York to San Francisco, where they are currently making a stride towards their second World Series in three years.
After the Tigers miserable Game 1 performance, they might want to try and find the ghost of Cobb to wake the Detroit bats up, as they could use any kind of hitting at this point.