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Cobb: A Biography
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on February 10, 2014
This book had a lot of details about Ty Cobb's life and baseball career and I learned a lot about him that I didn't know before. I knew he was a great baseball player, but this book puts him to the proper perspective that he is one the greatest players of all time and deserves mention with Ruth, Mays, and Aaron as the best of all time. Complaints of the book is that organization of the story could've been better and jumped around a little bit on the timeline. Also a few of stories about Cobb seemed too outlandish to be considered true and it makes you wonder if the accusations against Al Stump are indeed true.
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on September 1, 1998
I was disappointed with this book. Perhaps because I am a big fan of Charles Alexanders' book "Ty Cobb", which is very different than Stump's. Where Alexander is precise and well-researched, Stump appears to be vague. Alexander presents facts and let the reader go from there; Stump colors our interpretation of Cobb by asserting unsubstantiated rumors or hearsay as fact.
Nonetheless, this is an entertaining book. The reader does get a feel for what a complex and driven person Ty Cobb was, and what a great player he was. Stump's book does have the benefit in that the author reveals his personal interactions with Cobb, which really gives a feel for what interacting with Cobb was like. However, the end result is not nearly as satisfying as I had hoped it would be.
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on March 22, 2009
This being the third "biography" I've read on Cobb in the last few weeks, I'd have to say that while a very entertaining book to say the least, much of the content is based on little more than rumor. Stump intentionally did his best to paint a very unfair picture of Ty Cobb as a twisted maniac for nothing short of a paycheck from a publisher. I was very disappointed.

"My Life in Baseball" by Cobb, (ghost-written by Stump), is the other side of the story, white-washed by Cobb for sure, but a "must read" for everyone who reads Stumps book.

You know the old saying; "There's three sides to every story."? Well,...Stump's "Cobb" is one side of the story,.... Ty's book; "My Life in Baseball" is the other side of the story, and the third one in the middle, (the most accurate ), is Charles Alexander's "Ty Cobb".

All three books combined give us a much more complete picture of the man's truly unique personality and career. I would highly recommend reading Alexander's biography first, just to get the facts and none of the rumor, and then read the opposing views of this absolutely fascinating story.
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on November 26, 2010
This book was a gift for a friend who is a big Ty Cobb fan. He thought the book was very insightful and funny. I was very pleased at the speedy shipping and price.
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on July 31, 2013
This was one of those books you start reading and can't put down. The book follows Ty Cobb from his earliest days growing up in rural Georgia to the end of his life, dying an isolated man after having alienated all those close to him. This portrayal of the greatest baseball player of all time is not entirely sympathetic, as many biographies are. It was written by Al Stump, who was chosen by Cobb to write his autobiography in 1960, as Cobb was dying. This account is the unauthorized version of Cobb's life written in 1994. It's packed with stories from Cobb's playing days; his many feats on the field, his violence, his inability to get along with teammates, his feuding with Babe Ruth, his aggressive baserunning, his failures as a father, his early efforts to form a players union, his many business interests. Overall, you come away with a sense that Ty Cobb was an enormously competitive and talented baseball player with a dark side. I loved this book so much that after I originally purchased it in soft cover, I returned it and purchased a first edition, first printing, hardcover copy for my permanent library. I recommended this book to a couple of my associates at work - they both loved it - you will to.
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on February 26, 2011
Just finsihed reading the Al Stump Book on Ty Cobb. I dd not know much about the "Georgia Peach" but got a greater understanding of this very troubled man. From the death of his father at the hands of his mother to the conflicts with players, umpires, and fans the book gives a good spectrum of Ty Cobb. He was a very talented man on the field with many records that are hard to comprehend in todays big dollar baseball. The most telling part of his life is at the end of the book when it compares his death to Babe Ruth. Ruth had thousands of fans come and see his coffin while CObb had literally three members of the baseball fraternity show up. The book gives a good history of baseball in the 1910's and early 1920's. A good read for anyone interested in knowing more about a very troubled, but extremely talented baseball player.
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on January 18, 2013
Tackles a complex man and baseball player with great understanding. Even as a stand alone baseball story, it is great!
Take me out to the ballgame!
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on January 15, 2013
I just watched the movie "Cobb" which was based on this book. Very entertaining as was the book. Only trouble is, it is mostly fiction. Al Stump was an alcoholic hack who was lucky enough to get the job of ghostwriting Cobb's autobiography. Thereafter he turned this brief success into a cottage industry. A magazine article, a second book, and a movie deal, etc. All more sensational than the last. He gained a reputation as "THE Cobb Expert" and made a career out of it.

Some of the lies told in the book and screenplay:

Mickey Cochrane was portrayed as a pitiful bum who Cobb supported for many years. Cochrane's family vehemently disputes this. His wife said that Cobb once loaned Mickey some money which was repaid. Cochrane did show up at the Hall Of Fame ceremonies without a tuxedo one year simply because he didn't know he needed one and Cobb was nice enough to provide one. Cochrane was one of Cobb's closest friends. He attended Cobb's funeral. It is a shame that his reputation was besmirched after his death.

Dr. Rex Teeslink of Augusta,Georgia attended Cobb the last three months as a medical student. Dr. Teeslink says he say none of the wild behavior Stump describes. None of the others who treated him saw crazy behavior either. No one saw a gun. One young nurse who sat up all night with him two months before he died said he was very pleasant. Just a sick old man in pain who couldn't sleep. He gladly signed a couple of baseballs for her. Was he a difficult patient at times? I expect so. So are a lot of sick people.

Stump describes a falling out with Ted Williams over a petty disagreement after which they never spoke again. Williams said Stump was "full of it". He and Cobb remained friends to the end.

Stump pretends he was Cobb's constant and only companion the last 14 months, when the truth is they would meet occasionally for a few days at one of Cobb's homes or at Stump's place. Hardly a constant companion. Stump last saw Cobb three months before he died.

As for the memorabilia scandal, Stump had a lot of Cobb's personal items which it is suspected that he stole. He created a myth about his fabulous Cobb collection and he began selling an endless number. He made a mint. It is now well known that hundreds of items were forgeries. He even sold Cobb's so called wristwatch which had stopped at the moment of his death! He would be in prison had he not had the good sense to die first.

Read this book and watch the movie as fictional entertainment if you wish. I would guess some of the sensational stuff has basis in fact, but is overblown and most is sheer fabrication. Stump was a known liar, a known forger, and suspected thief. A man of no character. I would not believe one word he says.

As for Cobb, it is well known that he was a racist, a hard drinker, a terrible husband and father, and generally disagreeable much of the time. It is also a fact that he had a lot of friends despite what his enemies say. His funeral was poorly attended only because it was private. Ty could also be kind and generous. A brilliant businessman who amassed a fortune. He left much of his money to charity. A great and complex man. He has to own his misdeeds, but to be piled on after his death with blatant lies is unfair.
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on April 2, 2013
I had read somewhere this book is inaccurate, however an interesting read just the same. Being a Detroit Tiger fan my entire 62 years I wanted to know if everything that has been said about Ty Cobb is somewhat true. If even half true he would have been better suited for the N.B.A. How this man no matter how talented got away with any of these written actions is beyond me....but he sure did study and know the game inside and out.
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on April 9, 2013
A good read.
Interesting facts about a great baseball player and a complicated man who was probably as much of an enigma to himself as he was to others.
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