©1994 by Al Stump; (P)1997 by Blackstone Audiobooks
"Stump has resurrected Cobb in all his terrifying malevolence...Spellbinding." (The Washington Post)
"Cobb is a big, raw, rought-cut diamond of a book and the most powerful baseball biography I have read." (Roger Kahn, author of The Summer Boys)
This is a glorious book about one of the strangest and most talented sportsmen who ever played. While there is plenty of baseball action and history, you don't have to know a bean ball from a foul ball to enjoy this book. Ty Cobb was such a unique character, on and off the field, that his story is worth listening to. You may finish by hating this man, pitying him, or admiring the qualities that made him the greatest baseball player who ever lived. The writing is as compelling as the story, and the author's relationship with the subject is an interesting sideline.
I'm from Australia and I've never had more than a passing curiosity in baseball, I'd only really heard of Babe Ruth until this book.
This man Cobb had such an interesting life (as do most high achievers) and the story so well told, that I find myself flicking over to ESPN to catch a baseball game once a week, just a great story, the best biography I've heard on audio so far.
I'm glad I took the gamble based on the reviews from audible.com.
This fine biography would obviously be a must-listen for any baseball fan. It's a story packed with incident, controversy and a flavor of baseball's past that is brought to life so fully that it seems as contemporary as Bonds and Pedro.
My only question is: Would a non-fan be interested? I think quite possibly not, although Ty Cobb was such a head-case that this is clearly not your average sports biography. It is also part history, part psychology and part simply evidence of thorough research.
As a life-long baseball fan I have always been aware of Ty Cobb's various record accomplishments and his notorious cruelty and rascism. However until I heard Cobb I only had fourth or fifth hand anecdotes and tall tales. Well... many of them turned out to be true and Cobb a much more complex man than I imagined. There is plenty of pure baseball here to keep the hard core fan attentive and also more than enough of Cobb's tragic life story and objective, well-informed opinion by author Al Stump to fill up the 14 hours of the reading. The narraration of this books makes it quite an enjoyable listen and I couldn't wait to hear the each installment.
many years ago stump was recruited by cobb as a ghost writer
cobb hoped for a fluffy flattering life story he could control
he thought the book might get out ahead of those of his enemies
stump then waited until cobb had been in the ground several years
this book then is the product of the story stump really wanted to tell
it is an insightful look at a deeply miserable and talented man
large section of the book are given over to detailed statistics
stump needs them to remind us what a uniquely great player cobb was
? if he wasn't the greatest player ever, why would we care about his life
cobb died an lonely, painful death of metastatic prostate cancer
at the end all he had was a pile of $ and people that didn't care if he lived or died
he was firing doctors and yelling at nurses up to 48 hours before his death
the book is a meditation on the cost and meaning of success
all cobb ever wanted was to be the best baseball player of all time
in the end that's all he was and not one thing more
Fast paced, lot of fun, lot of facts. Very good narrator, he grows on you, give it a few minutes. There are a few spots where they read several pages of stats and that gets to be kind of a pain, but it's only a few minutes here and there. Well worth the time and money. Just as good or better than the Ted Williams bio.
how he handled his business deals
when he talked about hitting homeruns and then went out and hit 3! unreal!
Cobb great ball player, troubled man!
It was just a great book. I have actually read the book and then I listen to the audible book version and both are great! Unreal how great of a player this man actually was.
Unless you are a serious baseball fan and enjoy statistics and play by play descriptions, I would not recommend this book. Cobb's life was certainly colorful, but I am unable to finish this after listening to about half of it. The author obviously painstakingly has researched and compiled information, but I remain overwhelmed with everything outside the actual story of the man. Just too much....
First, I am a lifelong baseball fan who enjoys both the game and its history. That being said, this book was a gigantic disappointment. I bought Cobb because I wanted to know much more about the crazy, wild Cobb that I had heard so much about. Instead, I was put to sleep with little more than a recitation of the back of a baseball card. "In 1907, Cobb hit .350 . . . In 1908, Cobb hit .324 . . ."
While there were some interesting anecdotes about Cobb's personal life, these occurred too seldom to save the book. Even when they were mentioned, it was almost dismissive. Stump spends twenty pages telling me how many doubles Cobb hit in a season, but only one sentence to tell me that Cobb always kept a million dollars in cash and securities on him at all times. What kind of author doesn't realize that the latter is much more compelling?
To make matters worse, the reader is dreadful. He has a droning, monotonouse voice. In short, do not waste you time with this pile of crap. You're much better off simply scanning the internet for Cobb anecdotes.
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