Perhaps the greatest piece of sports journalism I've ever read -- although I say that every year or two about a different article -- this showed up in my Longsomething email today. Hadn't seen it in years. Had a grand old time reliving my childhood idolization of Ty Cobb.
- A blizzard rattled the windows of Cobb's luxurious hunting lodge on the crest of Lake Tahoe, but to forbid him anything--even at the age of 73--was to tell an ancient tiger not to snarl. Cobb was both the greatest of all ballplayers and a multimillionaire whose monthly income from stock dividends, rents and interests ran to $12,000. And he was a man contemptuous, all his life, of any law other than his own.
"We'll drive in and shoot some craps, see a show and say hello to Joe DiMaggio--he's in Reno at the Riverside Hotel," he announced.
I looked at him and felt a chill. Cobb, sitting there haggard and unshaven in his pajamas and a fuzzy old green bathrobe at 1 o'clock in the morning, wasn't fooling.
"Let's not," I said. "You shouldn't be anywhere tonight but in bed."
"Don't argue with me!" he barked. "There are fee-simple sons-of-bitches all over the country who've tried it and wish they hadn't." He glared at me, flaring the whites of his eyes the way he'd done for 24 years to quaking pitchers, basemen, umpires and fans.
"If you and I are going to get along," he went on ominously, "don't increase my tension."