Ferkovich: Ty Cobb’s Philadelphia vindication, 1927-28

From SABR member Scott Ferkovich at The National Pastime Museum on July 16, 2015:

As the dust settled on the 1926 baseball season, rumors swirled that Ty Cobb was set to hang up his sharpened spikes after 22 combative years with the Detroit Tigers.

“I guess some of the fans hope it’s true,” he cracked, when asked about his future.

At 39 years of age, Cobb hadn’t mellowed a bit.

The Georgia Peach’s sixth summer as the club’s player-manager had not been a successful one. Cobb had hit well enough; his .339 average stood out, but he was no longer an everyday player. He appeared in only 79 games, and in the second half of the season he’d reduced himself to a mostly pinch-hitting role. After July 5, he wrote his own name in the starting lineup only once, an August 20 game at Shibe Park against the Athletics, in which he collected three hits.

In the standings, however, Cobb and his Tigers had failed. Again.

Their 79–75 record was good for a distant sixth place in the American League. Since owner Frank Navin had handed him the managerial reins before the 1921 campaign, Cobb’s Tigers had won 479, lost 444. They were perennial also-rans.

Fans in Detroit had begun taking out their frustrations on their longtime hero. “Ty Cobb has lost his popularity in the city,” wrote Henry P. Edwards of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, “and there are hundreds, yes, even thousands of fans who attend the games at Navin field in hopes of having a chance to boo and jeer their former idol.”

Read the full article here: http://www.thenationalpastimemuseum.com/article/ty-cobbs-philadelphia-vindication-1927-28

Originally published: July 16, 2015. Last Updated: July 16, 2015.