Tyrus Raymond Cobb was born December 18, 1886 in The Narrows, Georgia, the oldest of three children of William Herschel Cobb, a school teacher, and his 15-year-old wife Amanda Chitwood Cobb, who came from a prominent Georgia family.
Ty Cobb's spikes-high playing style, his complete inability to get along with teammates, managers and owners (to the extent that only three people from baseball attended his funeral), his alcoholism, his two failed marriages and estrangements from his children can all be seen to have roots in the tragic day of August 8, 1905, when he was 18 years old.
Ty Cobb's mother was charged with shooting and killing his father. Ty Cobb, despite his difficulties in pleasing his father, nonetheless held great love and respect for him
He led the American League in slugging percentage and hits eight times, in steals six, in runs five, in triples and RBI four, in doubles three, and in homers once. Three times he batted above .400 and in one four-year span he averaged .401. Gone, though, is the treasured record of 4,191 hits, broken by Pete Rose 57 years later. Cobb also was terrifying on the bases, stealing 892 in his career.
He baited pitchers, argued with umpires and slid into bases with sharpened spikes; on and off the field, he was involved in numerous, often violent, incidents. Even his teammates disliked him.
Cobb sprang into the stands and went after him. It turned out that Lueker recently lost a hand and several fingers on his other hand in an industrial accident. That was fine by Cobb – it just made the beat down that much easier. Fans screamed to Cobb how could he hit a man without hands. Cobb retorted he didn’t care if the man had no feet – he was going to pay.
In spring training, he fought a groundskeeper over the condition of the field, then choked the man's wife when she tried to stop it.
Finally, in 1921 Cobb accepted, and became the player-manager of the Tigers. The team improved under Cobb, but other than in 1924 the Tigers were not a real factor in the pennant race under his leadership
All I know is that by the time he retired in 1928, Cobb had stolen home 54 times, the most audacious play in sports (Jackie Robinson had 17 such swipes). He'd set 90 major league records, some of which still stand.
In 1936 Ty Cobb was one of the first five players to be elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Ty Cobb died in Atlanta, Georgia on July 17, 1961.