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Book Review: Heart of a Tiger

June 30, 2013

“Heart of a Tiger,” an inspiring new book by Herschel Cobb, talks of his relationship with his grandfather, baseball immortal, Ty Cobb.

Herschel endured horrible abuse from his father, but his great relationship with Ty Cobb helped ease his pain. Today, Herschel is a happy man with a wife (Lyn) and two children, Madelyn and Ty.

Herschel tells us that the first three chapters, when he recounts the horrors inflicted by his father and his troubled mother, would be tough to read.

I understand his need to “get it out” and applaud him for doing so. It is marvelous what Herschel Cobb has accomplished.

It was great to read that Ty Cobb, given a chance to be close to Herschel, his sister Susan and brother Kit, picked up the ball and “ran with it” as if stealing one of the 892 bases he stole in his great career.

Ty Cobb, often portrayed unfairly in historical accounts, comes across as a loving grandfather. As someone who never had a grandfather, the stories of Ty taking the kids to his Lake Tahoe cabin and other adventures moved me tremendously.

Baseball historians reading the book will be privy to Cobb’s thoughts on such great players as Babe Ruth and Tris Speaker.

Also Ty Cobb, whom I recall on an “I’ve Got A Secret” show being a friendly, personable man, gives his side of aggressive play.

Mr. Cobb’s early foray into Coca Cola and General Motors’ stock and why he generously helped “down and out” former teammates, is also discussed.

It was a compelling, sensitive, forthright book by Herschel Cobb. Far from perfect and not denying his flaws, (we all have them) Ty Cobb was a great figure. He surely was a loving, caring grandfather. Wish I had known mine.

Click to see some rare Ty Cobb footage

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