Today is the 132nd anniversary of Ty Cobb’s birth. He was born on December 18, 1886, in The Narrows in rural Georgia. Cobb went on to win twelve batting championships, and set records for most games, runs scored, hits, runs batted in, total bases, and stolen bases. All of those marks were eventually surpassed, but Cobb’s career .367 batting average is the highest in baseball history. He rates as one of the greatest players in baseball history.
How did Cobb do it? He used an unusual technique where he held his hands apart on the bat handle, sliding them together once he made his swing. This video of Cobb taking batting practice is from the early 1920s.
Dan Holmes is an author and baseball historian. He previously worked for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and Major League Baseball. He once defeated George Brett in Texas Hold Em poker and faced Phil Niekro's knuckleball. He has two daughters and he writes regularly about baseball and many other topics.