31 minutes | Apr 21st 2016

Episode 25: Rethinking Ty Cobb with Charles Leerhsen

You’ve heard the stories about Ty Cobb right? He was mean. He sharpened his spikes to gouge opposing players when sliding into bases. He beat up a disabled fan. He was a racist. Well, it turns out that may all be based on shoddy research. And on this Crummy Little Podcast, Cobb biographer Charles Leerhsen shares a compelling counter-case to the image of Ty Cobb most of us grew up with. Listen/download it here or subscribe on iTunes. Extras: Here’s the Amazon link to Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty. At several points we reference a speech Charles gave at Hillsdale College. His remarks were adapted into this article in one of the college’s presentations. Charles Leerhsen has a website you can visit and a Twitter feed you can follow. Both are recommended. This struck me as interesting: During the conversation, Charles brings up a quote from and old Western, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance:  “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.” The same quote was running through my head when I read his Hillsdale College speech. In a 2006 HBO special, “Assume the Position,” actor Robert Wuhl uses the quote to show a college class how inaccuracies become part of pop culture. Why is that interesting? In 1994’s Cobb, Wuhl played sportswriter Al Stump – the source of so much of our current conventional wisdom on Cobb.
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