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Posts Tagged ‘Ty Cobb

“Don’t ever forget two things I’m going to tell you. One, don’t believe everything that’s written about you. Two, don’t pick up too many checks.”*…

 

Ruth stepped out of the box after strike one, then stepped out again after strike two. Tired of being heckled, he pointed two fingers, which is where the controversy begins. In the legend, he was pointing to the center-field seats, four-hundred-plus feet away, calling his shot in the way of Minnesota Fats saying, “Eight ball, corner pocket.” Root’s third pitch was a curve—the deuce. Off the edge of plate, down, but Ruth swung anyway, sending it into deep afternoon. It landed exactly where he’d pointed, that’s what they said, beside the flagpole in back of the bleachers—490 feet from home. Lou Gehrig followed with another home run. The Yankees won 7 to 5 and went on to sweep the Series.

Ruth’s “Called Shot” is among the most famous plays in baseball history. Drawings show the penultimate moment: Babe, Bambino, the Sultan of Swat, arm outstretched, two fingers raised like the Pope giving a benediction. There’s a statue, movies. But it was disputed from the start. Did Ruth really call his shot, or did it just look that way?

Grantland Rice and Westbrook Pegler, among the most famous sportswriters of the day, had been watching from the press box behind home. Both claimed to have seen Ruth point to center, calling his shot. Franklin Roosevelt, then candidate for president, was at the game—he threw out the first pitch—and he saw it, too. Ditto Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak. Among the last living witnesses is retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who, then a twelve-year-old Cubs fan, was at the game with his father. The Cubs pitcher “Guy Bush was razzing Ruth,” Stevens told the writer Ed Sherman. “He and Ruth were in some kind of discussion back and forth. I heard years later it was over the Cubs being tightfisted and not giving a full share to Mark Koenig. I do remember Bush came out of the dugout and engaged in a colloquy with him … My interpretation was that he was responding to what Bush was saying. He definitely pointed toward center field. My interpretation always was, ‘I’m going to knock you to the moon.’ ”…

The most iconic event ever to occur in Wrigley Field did not star the Cubs—it unfolded in 1932, and starred the New York Yankees, with the home team serving merely as foil: The story of Babe Ruth’s most famous homer, “The Called Shot.”

* Babe Ruth

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As we beckon to the bleachers, we might recall that it was on this date in 1911 that Ty Cobb was awarded the Chalmers Prize (an automobile), the equivalent of today’s MVP Award.  The “Georgia Peach” had achieved aa 40-game hitting streak and a .420 batting average, the highest in the league and record for the time; he led the league that year in numerous other categories as well, including 248 hits, 147 runs scored, 127 RBI, 83 stolen bases, 47 doubles, 24 triples and a .621 slugging percentage. Cobb hit eight home runs but finished second in that category to Frank Baker, who hit eleven.

Ty Cobb, left, and Joe Jackson, whom he bested for the 1911 batting title

source

Written by LW

October 11, 2017 at 1:01 am

“All art is propaganda”*…

 

Between 1943 and 1945, with the help of Warner Bros.’ finest animators, the U.S. Army produced a series of 27 propaganda cartoons depicting the calamitous adventures of Private Snafu.

Read the extraordinary story (replete with a cameo by Bugs Bunny) and learn how one of the cartoons inadvertently let slip one of the war’s greatest secrets– “Ignorant Armies: Private Snafu Goes to War.”

And watch the Private Snafu films here.

* Upton Sinclair

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As we stand to attention, we might recall that it was on this date in 1947 that Stan Musial tied Ty Cobb’s record for the most five-hit games in a season (four)– and he did it in style, hitting successfully on the first pitches from five different pitchers.

“How good was Stan Musial? He was good enough to take your breath away.”
— Vin Scully

 source

Written by LW

September 22, 2015 at 1:01 am

The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat…

The Olympic Games:  nine days and counting.  As we refresh ourselves on the rules of ribbon dancing and brush up on badminton, we might spare a moment to recall some of the events that have been dropped– “discontinued”– by the Olympics…

Horse Long Jump

While the long jump event has tested the athletic prowess of track and field stars from around the world, back in the Paris Games of 1900, horses were given the chance to show off how far they could leap. As part of the equestrian events, horse long jump only had one Olympics to make its mark and it failed to do so spectacularly. No one could accuse equestrian horses of not being athletic, yet the winning leap, from Belgium’s Constant van Langendonck atop the horse Extra Dry, measured only 6.10 meters. Not too shabby, until you consider the world record for long jump, by a human, is 8.95 meters.

Distance Plunging

Though part of the aquatics program at St. Louis in 1904, the distance plunge event seems to have more in common with a children’s game than an Olympic sport (which might explain why it’s never returned to the Games). The event required athletes to dive into the pool and coast underwater without moving their limbs. After 60 seconds had passed – or competitors had floated to the surface, whichever came first – referees measured the distance the athletes had drifted. The gold medal winner was U.S. athlete William Dickey, although, it should be noted, only Americans competed in the event.

Seven other expired events at Time‘s “9 Really Strange Sports That Are No Longer in the Olympics.

And on the heel of the London authorities unplugging The Boss and Sir Paul mid-song, a look at local reactions to the London Olympic authorities’ authoritarian antics.

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As we practice in preparation for the inclusion of beer-pong in 2016, we might recall that it was on this date in 1927 that “The Georgia Peach,” Ty Cobb, recorded his 4,000th career hit.  Cobb finished out his Major League Baseball career the next year with a grand total of 4,191 hits– which stood as a record until 1985, when it was surpassed by Pete “What are the Odds” Rose.  Cobb was in the inaugural class of five elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

Ty Cobb (left) and Joe Jackson

source: Library of Congress

Written by LW

July 18, 2012 at 1:01 am

Looking back…

…if you think that, in the past, there was some golden age of pleasure and plenty to which you would, if you were able, transport yourself, let me say one single word: “dentistry.”
– P.J. O’Rourke,
All the Trouble in the World

Still, nostalgia has its uses.  The economy seems poised for another dip in the tank; the weather is delivering hotter, wetter warnings of the wages of climate disruption; health care costs are reaching escape velocity; education and infrastructure are (literally) crumbling, as state funding implodes…  one could go on.

Instead, one turns one’s gaze to the past; one conjures up the remembered comforts of times gone by:  “it didn’t use to be this way”…  As P.J. O’Rouke suggests, it’s more often that not the flimsiest kind of illusion– out-of-context features of a whole-cloth past, selectively recalled (indeed, too often imagined), then amplified by the need for consolation.

Still, one does it– one “remembers”– because…  well, because it’s what one does.

And so, Dear Readers, three “seed crystals”– three blasts from the past– that can, your correspondent hopes, help one (as they’ve helped him) spin stories that amuse, even as they help us find our way past the challenges that are the stuff of our days…

First, from the ever-informative Brain Pickings, “7 Must-See What’s My Line Episodes“:

The premise of the show was simple: In each episode, a contestant would appear in front of a panel of blindfolded culture pundits — with few exceptions, a regular lineup of columnist Dorothy Kilgallen, actress Arlene Francis, Random House founder Bennett Cerf, and a fourth guest panelist — who would try to guess his or her “line” of work or, in the case of famous “mystery guests,” the person’s identity, by asking exactly 10 yes-or-no questions. A contestant won if he or she presented the panel with 10 “no” answers.

Over the 17-year run of the show, nearly every iconic cultural luminary of the era, from presidents to pop stars, appeared as a mystery guest…

Indeed, over it’s 17 year run through the 50s and early 60s, WML was basically the only media property that could “have” any celebrity or cultural figure. (Sullivan could out-book WML on the entertainment front, but only there.) This was perhaps largely due to the involvement of Random House founder Bennett Cerf who, through his deep connections in the journalism and media world, was but a Kevin-Bacon’s-breath away from essentially any public figure.  In any case, no one said “no” to WML.

BP has curated seven of the very best examples of this pull:  Alfred Hitchcock, Lucille Ball, Eleanor Roosevelt, Jean Desmond (a girdle tester), Walt Disney, host John Daly (in an early example of meta-comedy), and…

See them all here.

Second, for somewhat younger readers, from our old friend The Selvedge Yard, a look back at The Rolling Stones when they were still “The Rolling Stones.”  TSY muses on the theme of this missive:

When I’m feeling roadworn, forlorn, or the subject of scorn– nothing takes me to my happy place faster than great old pics of guitar porn.  I came across the below Stones’ porn pic sifting through the internets and became mesmerized by the artfully haphazard array of axes.  You can almost smell the sweat, smoke  and stale beer as you gaze at the overturned cans, ash, and listing guitars.

The late ’60s – early ’70s was an epic time for the Rolling Stones, and Rock & Roll as a whole.  It was a time I largely missed (being born in 1970), but feel like I experienced, partially at least, vicariously through my mom.  She was a music junkie, went to Woodstock, worshipped Janis Joplin.

The Stones' Guitars

Berlin, 1965

Many more here.

And finally, for younger readers still, a glance back at the 80s and one of that decade’s indelible icons:  from Walyou, “16 Cool Mr. T Themed Designs.”

For those who grew up on the A-Team TV Show or are big fans of Rocky, Mr. T will always be a memorable personality which is simply larger than life. Although you do not see him as much in TV or movies these days, he is still a personality to be reckoned with.

This collection of 16 Mr. T designs includes various pieces of art, design, products and more which prove that Mr T is still popular today, and if you don’t agree…then I pity the fool.

Mr T Cookie Jar

Mr. T Infographic

See the rest here.

As we stroll down memory lane, we might recall that it was on this date in 1905 that Ty Cobb, “The Georgia Peach” made his major league debut; playing for the Detroit Tigers, he doubled off the New York Highlanders’s (later Yankees) Jack Chesbro, who had won a record 41 games the previous season.

Ty Cobb

And a side of Bacon…

From the Spring, 2010 issue of Lapham’s Quarterly (“Arts and Letters”), “Friends, Lovers, and Family,” a plot of the “degrees of separation” among the creatives who have, among them, done so much to define the canon of English arts and letters…

An excerpt from the chart:

See the whole thing here…  and rest assured that it does, finally, resolve to Kevin Bacon.

As we revisit our Facebook friends lists, we might recall that it was on this date in 1939 that the Baseball Hall of Fame was dedicated and opened in Cooperstown, NY.

Stephen C. Clark, a local hotel owner, was the champion of the effort to build the Hall in Cooperstown.  He was anxious to boost the local economy, which was suffering economically, as the Great Depression had significantly reduced the local tourist trade, and Prohibition had devastated the local hops industry. He played heavily on the erroneous assertion that U.S. Civil War hero Abner Doubleday had invented baseball in Cooperstown, a claim made by former National League president Abraham G. Mills and his 1905 Mills Commission.  His grand-daughter, Jane Forbes Clark, currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Hall of Fame.

(Readers should note that Cooperstown is by no means a one trick pony:  it is also home to The Farmers’ Museum, The Fenimore Art Museum, Glimmerglass Opera, and the New York State Historical Association.)

Plaques honoring Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson and Walter Johnson, the first class of Inductees (named before the Hall itself was complete)

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