Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty
By Charles Leerhsen
New York : Simon & Schuster, 2015. 449 pages.
An authoritative, reliable and compelling biography of perhaps the most significant and controversial player in baseball history, Ty Cobb, drawing in part on newly discovered letters and documents.
This biography forces the Reader to push aside any previous notion they had of Ty Cobb. Known as an overly aggressive man on and off the field, as a racist, and a hater of women and children, Ty Cobb continues to create enemies long after his death. Leerhsen's travels to Cobb's home state of Georgia and also to Detroit (home of the Detroit Tigers, the ball club he belonged to) brings forth brilliant research that challenges the Ty Cobb we think we know. His inquiries and findings are balanced, therefore Ty Cobb is neither seen as saint or sinner, but simply as a man.
In addition to enlightening the reader about Cobb, Leerhsen also educates the reader about the game of baseball that was played during Cobb's lifetime. I believe that this knowledge greatly enhances the reading experience. My one critique is that the book has a bit of a disorganized feel at times due to the fact that the reader is often jumping back and forth between different people, places, and events. I hope anyone even slightly familiar with Ty Cobb will give this book a chance and find out if they truly know Ty Cobb.