June 22, 2016

Visiting the Ty Cobb Museum

Shortly before moving to Washington DC for the summer, I was able to visit the small Georgia town of Royston which is home to the Ty Cobb Museum. Cobb was certainly the best baseball player of his era and the best contact hitter to have ever played the game. He became a little overshadowed when the first home run sluggers like Babe Ruth dominated the league but he was the highest vote getter among the first Hall of Fame class of 1936.


Royston is located in the north east corner of Georgia near the South Caroline border and is about 30 miles north of Athens. Here's a mural dedicated to their favorite son in downtown Royston. 


Although Cobb is famously nicknamed the "Georgia Peach," for some reason it only occurred to me recently to figure out if there was anything honor Cobb (other than a huge statue in front of Turner Field in Atlanta). 


It turned out that in Cobb's later years after retiring in baseball and earning a small fortune from being in early investor in Coca-Cola, Cobb donated money to start a small 24-bed hospital in Royston. That investment has expanded to what is known as the Ty Cobb Healthcare System and Ty Cobb Regional Medical Center.


In one of the smaller clinics in Royston, they have created the Ty Cobb Museum and as it is connected to the larger healthcare system it probably won't suffer the fate of other small museums that can't find the funding to continue operations. 


It sports the best Ty Cobb card collection I've seen in person in terms of quantity of original cards. Although, they should probably hire me as a consultant to display these in something better than a toploader.


The museum has a personalized movie of Cobb's life in the style of Ken Burn's baseball and a whole bunch unique Cobb pieces including this bronze bust.


They also had Cobb's lifetime pass to attend any baseball game for free.


There was also a bronzed version of one of Cobb's original baseball cleat. This seems appropriate as Cobb was known for his aggressive baserunning and frequently sliding into catchers and infielders with his cleats up. Here's a famous photo of him in action.


In the gift shop I was very excited to see special Ty Cobb cards made exclusively for the museum. I picked up two of the cards which were sealed with a gold sticker with the red card on the left limited to 1,000 copies and the blue card on the right limited to to just 367 copies. 















After we finished taking a look at the museum, we took a ride out to the local cemetery and found Cobb's mausoleum. It is located on a peaceful plot that overlooks much of the cemetery and is a fitting tribute to the man.  


1 comment:

Tony L. said...

About a decade ago, we had a Magnolia SABR meeting at the Ty Cobb Museum. One of the guys knows Jimmy Lanier and had him speak. Lanier was one of Ty Cobb's last batboys in the mid-1920s, and to hear Lanier speak about Cobb was pretty cool. I think that same guy is doing a presentation at the SABR National Convention this year on Lanier.