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Ty and The Babe: Baseball's Fiercest Rivals: A Surprising Friendship and the 1941 Has-Beens Golf Championship Paperback – June 24, 2008

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; First Edition edition (June 24, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312382243
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312382247
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,125,376 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Stanton's story of the rivalry-turned-friendship of Ty Cobb (with the Detroit Tigers) and Babe Ruth (with the Red Sox and Yankees) is as splendid as a sunny spring day at the ballpark. Cobb held eight consecutive batting titles the first time he stepped up to hit against Ruth, whom Stanton (The Final Season) describes as "a platter-faced, gray flannelled 20-year-old" rookie pitcher in 1915. The two men were opposite in many ways—a Southern Baptist slap hitter versus the Northeastern Catholic home run king—and they would go on to become enemies who competed fiercely for 14 seasons, frequently taunting one another and almost coming to blows. Ruth usurped Cobb's title as the greatest player in baseball and eventually turned Cobb's distaste for him into respect. After retiring, they were among the first class inducted into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 1939. Two years later, they met in a golf match that stoked their competitive fires one last time and cemented their friendship. Sportswriters regularly characterize baseball players as one-dimensional, either deities or demons, and no two players suffered this fate more than this pair. Cobb is often recalled as a short-tempered racist and dirty player, and Ruth cast as a beer-drinking, hot dog–eating simpleton, but Stanton portrays them sympathetically as exceptionally talented men with complex flaws. Stanton's writing is seamless, exploring the lives of both men but never lapsing into tedious detail. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

A book about the relationship between Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth might seem contrived to baseball fans, each icon representing such a different era, yin to the other's yang: Cobb as supreme master of the dead-ball era, and Ruth as the virtual progenitor of the modern home-run era. However different those eras were, the players' careers overlapped 14 seasons (1914-28)--long enough for each to develop an obsessive hatred of the other. Their story is great drama--the older Cobb refusing to relinquish his primacy even as the younger Ruth wrests it from him, Cobb bunting and stealing Ruth's Yankees to distraction as Ruth pummels Cobb's Tigers with a barrage of homers--and Stanton tells that story with flair and telling detail. Perhaps most remarkable is the transcendent respect the two men developed for one another during and after their playing days, Cobb realizing that Ruth was multidimensional, and Ruth appreciating Cobb's work ethic and game smarts. The players' rivalry would turn, postbaseball, to golf, which Stanton relates with humor and grace. A solid addition to the baseball shelf. Alan Moores
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

I grew up in the suburbs of Detroit. When I was a boy, my Uncle Clem -- a Bohemian spirit with unfulfilled literary dreams -- began giving me books that he loved and hoped would inspire me to write: books by Hemingway, Steinbeck, Thomas Wolfe, and others from the American canon of the '20s, '30s, and '40s. He wanted me to be a novelist.

Instead, I became a journalist and co-founded The Voice newspapers in Michigan, before going on to teach at the University of Detroit Mercy and to write nonfiction books.

My uncle died before my first book was published. Although he hoped I would write fiction, he would have appreciated these books, particularly the ones that mentioned him. I'm now at work on several projects, including a memoir about our relationship.

If you'd like to know more, check out my website at www.tomstanton.com or friend me through Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home). I'd enjoy hearing from you.

Thanks for checking out my Amazon page.

Customer Reviews

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See all 28 customer reviews
Tom Stanton takes us through the careers of Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth by taking us through their intense rivalry.
Craig Matteson
I am a baseball fan but as a rule I don't read many baseball books but after a recommendation from a friend I read this book and I totally enjoyed it.
James Lucey
This book was very interesting and informative and obviously well researched since the author is a baseball historian.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Mark J. Fowler VINE VOICE on May 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth are names that resonate at the summit of baseball history in much the same way that Washington and Lincoln look out from Mount Rushmore. Like much of history, my previous encounters with the legends of Ty and the Babe were from dry, dusty tomes. People who were excited about them when they played preserved their names, but it's not hard to see why people today aren't as excited about Babe Ruth as our grandpa was.

Tom Stanton has done a service to baseball fans everywhere in "Ty and the Babe." He has preserved the legends of these two great ballplayers in a time capsule of words that brings the era of Tyrus and George to living, breathing, rip-snorting life. We can almost see the green outfields at Navin Field and Yankee stadium. We can almost smell the onions on the hot dogs. We can hear the crack of horsehide against Ruth's Louisville slugger and we can feel the gasp of surprise from thousands of fans when they realize that Cobb has dashed from third base - HE'S TRYING TO STEAL HOME!

They were remarkably different:

Cobb - the son of a Georgia State Senator, baseball scientist, expert of the bunt, the sacrifice, the well-placed base hit and the stolen base. He was a master of baseball psychological warfare and believed that everyone in a baseball park who wasn't actively trying to help his team was a mortal enemy.

Ruth - the son of a Baltimore saloon-keeper who was in a Catholic School for delinquents when he was drafted to pitch for the Boston Red Sox. Some forget that Babe Ruth was one of the best pitchers in the American League before the exploding popularity of his titanic home runs pressured Babe into becoming an every day player.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Bill Emblom on May 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Author Tom Stanton has provided us with a unique look at the rivalry that existed between two players, one representing the superstar from the dead ball era while the other represented the changing of the game to that of the slugger. Babe Ruth gave baseball a much needed boost with his ability to draw fans out to the stadiums with his ability to hit home runs following the infamous Black Sox scandal, and Ty Cobb believed the game of baseball that he symbolized was being threatened by this newcomer who posed a threat to his position and popularity in the game. Both Cobb and Ruth were initially bitter rivals fighting for supremacy of the baseball public. Each had their own way of playing the game suitable to the skills they possessed, and each had an ego that needed to be fed. Each was viewed as a threat to the other, and author Stanton provides us with a number of anecdotes involving games between Cobb's Tigers and Ruth as a Red Sox and Yankee. This is not a rehash of stories you have heard several times before. Cobb and Ruth came to have a mutual respect for one another as the seasons progressed. Cobb, for his part, never forgot the support he and Tris Speaker received from Ruth when scandal reared its ugly head following their retirement from their respective teams in 1926. Ruth described Cobb and Speaker as "the finest names that baseball has ever known." Cobb felt Commissioner Landis kept them unduly waiting before exonerating them of the charges causing Cobb to later purposely miss the group photo at Cooperstown in 1939 to avoid being photographed with Landis, who wasn't in the photo anyway. Speaker, as is well known, did show up for the photo of the game's immortals on that day.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
As interesting as I thought this book would be, it is actually more interesting and engaging than I had anticipated. Tom Stanton takes us through the careers of Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth by taking us through their intense rivalry. This works so well because Cobb was considered, by far, the greatest baseball player of all time and epitomized the "deadball" era that emphasized base hits, base running with lots of stealing, and intense gamesmanship. The trash talking of our era would have seemed tame back then.

Ruth was a very fine pitcher who could also hit very well (an exceeding rare combination). There was even resistance to his wanting to emphasize hitting and playing everyday because he was so valuable an asset on the mound. As Ruth changed the game in favor of power and home runs, Cobb and the other veterans derided it as a fluke. However, as others adopted Ruth's style and the number of home runs exploded (and the ball became livelier), the number of people attending ball games exploded. The patrons decided which style of ball they wanted.

The older proponents of Baseball Science who loved the old style of play complained that the new fans understood nothing of the game and that the power game had changed things for the worse. What is undeniable is that the game was changed forever.

Stanton also helps us see Cobb and Ruth more as real human beings rather than as two-dimensional myths. Again, their competitiveness and their rivalry for baseball supremacy helps us understand them as flesh and blood men through the stories of their encounters. In the appendix, the author provides us with a short summary of every game that Cobb and Ruth played against each other. Fascinating stuff.

Both Cobb and Ruth were avid golfers of some skill.
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