Amazing card acquisition – Part 2

February 18, 2009 at 12:24 am | Posted in My Cards, Upper Deck | 6 Comments

This is Part 2 of a series of posts featuring some amazing cards of legendary players that I have recently acquired for reasonable prices.  You can see the first post here.  Here is the second card that I want to show off:

cobb_pants

This card is from 2003 Upper Deck SP Legendary Cuts and it contains a piece of game-worn pants from the immortal Ty Cobb.  Yes, Ty Cobb.  I am completely in awe of this card and I was stunned that I was able to buy it for only $60 (with free shipping) on eBay.  Cobb played between 1905 – 1928, so to own a relic from that time period of one of the very best baseball players of all time is quite a thrill.  The only down side is that the back of the card states that the pants were worn while Cobb played for the Philadelphia Athletics.  He only played for them during the final two seasons of his career.  I didn’t even realize that he ever played for the A’s before I received the card.  Obviously, he’s much more known for playing for the Tigers.  This card was produced before it was mandated that the card companies match the photo on the card with the team that the embedded relic was from.  Still, any game-worn Ty Cobb relic is an outstanding addition to anyone’s collection, especially when the price is less than a hobby box of 2009 Topps.  I also like the card design; Upper Deck used a decent sized photo, and size of the pant relic is pretty generous.

While I greatly admire Ty Cobb as a player, there are negative things that can be said about Cobb as a person.  He was possessed by rage and had a violent temper, and there were many incidents on and off the field during his playing career that attest to his character flaws.  There was an incident where he attacked a crippled heckler in New York, and there were many racially motivated attacks, including stabbing a black night watchman.  As a result of incidents like these, Cobb was hated by almost every player in baseball.

On the other hand, there is absolutely no doubt that Ty Cobb is one of the greatest players who will ever play the game of baseball.  No one has ever played the game with more passion or with more competitive drive than Cobb.  He was undoubtedly the greatest player of his era.  His statistics speak for themselves.  His .367 lifetime batting average is the highest of all-time.  He won 12 batting titles, and he held the record for career hits until 1985, career runs until 2001, and career stolen bases until 1977.  My favorite Cobb stats are his record 57 steals of home, his 295 career triples, and his 1909 Triple Crown in which he led the American League with 9 home runs – all of which were inside the park.

Ty Cobb is probably the most intriguing figure in baseball history for me.  There are so many interesting stories about his life, both positive and negative.  One of the most interesting stories is that his father was shot to death by his mother three weeks before Cobb’s first major league game with the Tigers in 1905.  This incident helped to fuel Cobb’s rage and led to his merciless style of play.  Also, after his playing career, Cobb became a millionaire, and he donated money for his hometown to build a hospital, and he started an educational fund that has distributed $11 million to needy students in Georgia.  He was clearly a complex individual, and it’s difficult to comprehend how one person could be capable of so many detestable and generous acts in the same lifetime.  You can check out Ty Cobb’s Wikipedia page for these and other stories about his life.  Ken Burns’ Baseball documentary also does a great job of portraying Cobb’s career, and there was a movie made about Cobb in 1994, where he was played by Tommy Lee Jones.  I haven’t seen the movie, but it’s high on the list of movies that I want to see.

Stay tuned for Part 3 of my recent amazing card acquisitions – there are at least a few more great cards that I can’t wait to write about…

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6 Comments »

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  1. Wowzers… Seriously nice card there. Cobb was certainly an, uh, character. Hell of a ballplayer though. He used to be pretty huge in Georgia, but Aaron has surpassed him in the past 30 years. Stuff like this is going to get rare as hell in the next ten years so you’re smart to pick it up now.

  2. Fun fact: Cobb was the highest vote-getter (98.2%) in the inaugural Hall of Fame class, even surpassing Babe Ruth by 3%. This implicitly means, of course, that among people who were actually contemporaries of Cobb and saw him play, that he was considered the greatest player of All Time.

    Love the Cobb card, and I’m glad he has made a reappearance in 2009 Topps to help bolster my collection!

  3. Wow I really need to keep my eyes on ebay a little more, that card is truly an amazing card! Congrats

  4. The Cobb movie wasn’t that great – but the “Cobb: A Biograpahy” book by Al Stump is a great read. You get it for like $10 now. I’d definitely recommend reading it vs. watching the movie.

    I love the story of Ty Cobb stopping in an old bar to get a drink (somewhere in the south.. SC maybe?) and finding Shoeless Joe Jackson working as the bartender.

  5. Nice card Dave! I have a card that looks just like that and its Dave Winfield, not the GREATEST player but it was 5 bucks!

  6. Great buy Dave. I’ve been doing the same thing with some specific cards on ebay but focusing in LatinAmerican ballplayers in a project that will take me at least a couple of years. You really get to appreciate baseball following the founding fathers and ground brakers


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