Sunday, February 12, 2012

Ty Cobb, Tigers barnstormed against Habana, Almendares in 1910

Photo postcard from the Detroit Tigers' 1910 tour of Cuba, showing Ty Cobb waiting to bat at Almendares Park.

The photo was one of two from that trip that drew a winning bid of $958.06 at Lelands in the winter of 2006.

According to Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History, 1878-1961, the Tigers went 7-5 in 12 games against Habana and Almendares as a late-arriving Cobb played in five games.

Legend has it that in one of those games, Cobb was thrown out three times. On the third such play, Cobb complained the basepath was not the required 90 feet and demanded it be measured, proving his assertion correct.
The account is so ingrained in Cuban baseball folklore that my father was the first to tell me the story unsolicited.

But Agate Type blogger Gary Ashwill did some great research of Habana newspapers El Diario de la Marina and La Lucha which shows the story is likely apocryphal.

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