Tyrus Raymond "Ty" Cobb (December 18, 1886 – July 17, 1961), nicknamed "The Georgia Peach," was an American Major League Baseball outfielder. He was born in Narrows, Georgia. Cobb spent 22 seasons with the Detroit Tigers, the last six as the team's player-manager, and finished his career with the Philadelphia Athletics. In 1936, Cobb received the most votes of any player on the inaugural Baseball Hall of Fame ballot, receiving 222 out of a possible 226 votes.
Cobb is widely credited with setting 90 Major League Baseball records during his career. He still holds several records as of 2012, including the highest career batting average (.366 or .367, depending on source) and most career batting titles with 11 (or 12, depending on source). He retained many other records for almost a half century or more, including most career hits until 1985 (4,189 or 4,191, depending on source), most career runs (2,245 or 2,246 depending on source) until 2001, most career games played (3,035) and at bats (11,429 or 11,434 depending on source) until 1974, and the modern record for most career stolen bases (892) until 1977. He still holds the career record for stealing home (54 times). Cobb committed 271 errors in his career, the most by any American League outfielder.
Cobb's legacy as an athlete has sometimes been overshadowed by his surly temperament and aggressive playing style, which was described by the Detroit Free Press as "daring to the point of dementia.".
Cobb himself wrote shortly before his death, "In legend I am a sadistic, slashing, swashbuckling despot who waged war in the guise of sport."
Since his death, his legacy (which includes a generous scholarship fund for Georgia residents, funded by his investments in Coca-Cola) has been tarnished by allegations of racism. But the legend of Cobb as a Southern white Protestant who despised blacks, Catholics and anyone who wasn't like him was fanned by sportswriter Al Stump, his first biographer, whose veracity has been called into question.