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Ty Cobb Would Like to Have a Word with His Great Grandson

So Ty Cobb’s great-grandson, who’s named Ty Cobb, plays hoops for Occidental College in Los Angeles. That’s cool. Young Cobb was also a heavily recruited left-handed pitcher in high school, but, well, let’s say he doesn’t share Great-Gramps’s enthusiasm for the most sacred of human endeavors:

“My heart wasn’t in it,” said Cobb, who is averaging 3.1 points and 2.9 rebounds in 13.6 minutes off the bench for Occidental. “In fact, I almost quit baseball several times. Basketball has been my favorite since I was really young. It’s always been what I wanted to play. It’s my true love.”

Given what we know about the original Ty Cobb’s competitive zeal and dedication to craft, don’t be surprised if he rises from the grave, kicks down the gates of the Rose Hill Cemetery and zombie-shuffles his way to So Cal, all to hand-deliver a vigorous spanking to the spawn of the spawn of his spawn. Or maybe the original Ty Cobb is merely smiling on approvingly, proud of his great-grandkid’s sense of individuality and quiet defiance. Probably the latter.

Then there’s this from Ty Cobb v2.0:

“It’s kind of a double-edged sword,” Occidental’s Cobb said of his name (he doesn’t share a middle name with his great grandfather). “Sometimes it’s cool. But sometimes I get a lot of unfair comments. Some people will say that Ty Cobb was a bad guy and he was a racist. I always have to explain to them that’s not true.”

Yeah, that’s got to get old. I don’t know whether Cobb was racist relative to the low standards of the times (after all, if, like me, you’re a board-certified white person of a certain age, then your great-grandpappy was probably on the racially insensitive side), but that has nothing to do with Occidental’s Cobb.

On this point, the lessons of Avenue Q are as penetrating as ever …