However, Cobb urged Spink to support Crawford's Hall of Fame candidacy. Cobb said he had written on Crawford's behalf to Grantland Rice and other influential sportswriters. "Sam has had copies of my letters. I like the decent way, I like to return good for what I considered say evil. So I have been his booster and he knows it from me."
How Crawford must have hated that.
" Cobb was a bastard," said Mac Farlane. "But he was a factual bastard."
"And a fast bastard," I said.
"Mm," said Mac Farlane. "Did you see this?" He pointed to a handwritten quotation tacked to his wall:
"IF You Don't Live to get Old,
You Die Young!"
—Cool Papa Bell
"Ah, yes," I said. "Talking about fast." I had heard about Cool Papa Bell, the great star of the Negro leagues long before blacks were admitted to the teams that
The Sporting News
covered. Bell was said to be so fast he once hit a line drive up the middle and the ball hit his foot as he was sliding into second. "How fast was he really?" I asked Mac Farlane.
"Clocked in 12 seconds around the bases."
Mac Farlane's expression seemed to say, "What do you think I deal in here, but 'really'?"