Baseball Prospectus: Too far from town: Billings Mustangs

From Sarah R. Ingber, Davy Andrews, and SABR member Roger Cormier at Baseball Prospectus on April 28, 2020:

Bob Cobb left Billings, Montana to make it in Hollywood, and after his vision came true by founding The Brown Derby restaurants, he along with attorney Victor Ford Collins purchased the Pacific Coast League team they would rechristen as the second coming of the Hollywood Stars. Cobb a few years later went back home to Billings to gift the city their own professional baseball team, and his masters-of-pretend friends Bing Crosby, Barbra Stanwyck, and Cecil B. DeMille tagged along for the ownership ride.

The Mustangs played at a stadium named Cobb Field from 1947 until 2007, even though Bob Cobb did not build the thing. Same deal with The Cobb Salad, named after Bob Cobb, even though his chef Paul J. Posti might have invented it, or maybe it was his executive chef Robert Kreis. But it’s not called a Posti Perfection or a Kreis Kobbler, now is it? The legend that most grabs the imagination because it tells a relatable story states Cobb forgot to eat one day and, sure fine, cobb-led together a salad from whatever food was left over in The Brown Derby kitchen late that night. It doesn’t matter, because Bob Cobb’s legacy should be more associated with the Mustangs — that invention could not have been made just from any desperate, hangry person. Bob Cobb had to imagine it first.

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Originally published: April 28, 2020. Last Updated: April 28, 2020.