Peppery Cobb Had Real Story

In the recent TV movie, "Babe Ruth," Ty Cobb, as played by Pete Rose, tells the Babe, "Everybody hated me."

And he had the scars to prove it.

According to the stories Cobb told his ghostwriter, Al Stump, Cobb's life would have made a better movie than the one on Ruth. He sounded like a cross between Dirty Harry and Chuck Norris.

In supplying material for "My Life in Baseball," Cobb, in 1961, wrote: "I carried in Detroit and on the road (a weapon) of good caliber and (it) came in handy at times. Saved my life twice when I was attacked on street by hooligans.

"In 1912, I was stabbed in the back by three stickup men. . . . After that, I packed a boot dagger also . . . unusual defense weapon, a hide-out knife."

Cobb was left with a nine-inch knife scar on his back.

Add Ty the Terrible: Cobb also told Stump there was a plot to assassinate him by a sniper in Philadelphia, that he once had to use a bus roof to escape an angry crowd and that he kept a gun beside him when sleeping on a train.

"I was always ready for an ambush," Cobb said.

Last Add Ty the Terrible: In The Baseball Hall of Shame's Warped Record Book, authors Bruce Nash and Allan Zullo retell Cobb's confrontation with the holdup men. He beat one into submission. He pistol-whipped the second. Cobb then chased the third into an alley, where he beat him unconscious with his pistol.

Not the kind of guy a pitcher would want to throw at.

Trivia time: Has anyone ever stolen first base?

Southern exposure: Drop Your Drawers, a Texas-based thoroughbred sire, has produced these offspring: Rosy Moon, Chartreuse Caboose, Drop My What, No Peeking, Close The Blinds, Pullem Up, Only For Money, Rumbleseat Romance and Breezy Bottom.

Been there: Terry Bradshaw, the longtime star quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers, had his career ended in 1983 by the same type of elbow surgery the San Francisco 49ers' Joe Montana underwent recently. Bradshaw was 35 at the time, same age as Montana is now.

Bradshaw said he failed to return because he tried to come back too quickly.

"The doctor said in hindsight that I should have taken a whole year off," said Bradshaw, who tried instead to play the same season he had the surgery.

"I panicked myself out of a career. I think he (Montana) can play again and be as good as he ever was. I'd just say, 'Joe, give it time. Don't panic, don't feel the pressure.'

"My heart goes out to him. It's eating him up. It ate me up."

Trivia answer: On July 31, 1908, Fred Tenney of the New York Giants became the first to do so in a game against the St. Louis Cardinals, according to Nash and Zullo.

Tenney was on second with teammate Dummy Taylor on third. Hoping to draw a throw that would allow Taylor to score, Tenney took off from second and headed back to first. Pitcher Bugs Raymond simply stood on the mound and stared in disbelief. Taylor never moved off third, but Tenney made it safely to first.

When another player tried the same thing several weeks later, a rule was passed to make it illegal.

Quotebook: Philadelphia Eagle safety Andre Waters' version of why he sucker-punched New Orleans wide receiver Eric Martin at the end of a recent Saint victory: "I just went over there to congratulate the dude and the dude tried to start something."

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