Herschel R. Cobb is the grandson of Tyrus R. Cobb. Herschel’s father (whose name also was Herschel) was the second son of Ty Cobb. Herschel, Sr. died in 1951. At that time, Herschel, Jr. was 8 years old. Through the years, he spent a portion of each summer from the age of 10 through 18 with his Grandfather, Ty Cobb. These visits were usually divided between time spent at Ty Cobb’s home in Atherton, California and his cabin at Cave Rock, Lake Tahoe, Nevada. It was during these times that Herschel, Jr. came to know his Grandfather, first as a grandfather, then as a major figure in baseball history, and always as an intelligent mentor and quiet guardian.
Ty Cobb enjoyed a long and abiding passion for good books, education and health. Soon after his retirement from baseball, he made a major contribution to fund the Ty Cobb Health Foundation and later began the Ty Cobb Educational Foundation. Both foundations received substantial bequests upon his death and are growing and flourishing today
Ty Cobb’s playing career was from 1905 through 1928. His career marks over 24 years are unmatched by any other player in history. By the middle of his second year with the Detroit Tigers, he had become a favorite of the fans. His style of play – brash, daring, inventive and productive, brought cheers and admiration. The fans filled Bennett Park, in Detroit, to watch Cobb match wits and compete against the best in baseball. By 1908, Cobb had become a fan favorite in Detroit and elsewhere and helped to fill the stands. Detroit became one of the most profitable baseball franchises. In 1908, Cobb won the second of 12 American League batting championships, and became the second highest paid player on the Detroit team for 1909. In 1909, Cobb won the batting championship again with an average of .377. He also led the league in hits (216), runs (116), stolen bases (76) RBI’s (107), homeruns (9) and total bases (296). For 1910, at age 23, Cobb signed a multi-year contract to play for $9,000 and became the highest paid player in baseball, except for Honus Wagner, the thirteen year veteran who had been a top star for Pittsburgh long before Cobb began playing pro ball.
His record over 24 years in major league baseball is truly remarkable. At one time, he held ninety (90) major league records simultaneously! Records are made to be broken, but Cobb’s lifetime batting average of .367 is unlikely to be matched. Only seven players since 1947 have exceeded this number for a single year. For nearly 60 years, Cobb held the record for most career hits with 4,191; for 50 years he held the record for most stolen bases with 892, and he still holds the record for most runs scored at 2,246. He won the American League batting championship 12 times, 8 in a row (a record). He batted over .400 three times (.420, .410, & .401) (a record). He batted over .300 for 23 consecutive years (a record). He led the league in hits a total of 8 years (still the record). He stole home plate 50 times (a record) and stole from first to second to third to home 4 times during his career (a record).