Then came the awful Sunday when my father was brought home from the ball park in an ambulance. While pitching for his amateur team, he had been struck on the temple by a line drive. He was unconscious, and in those days before CAT Scans, there was little the doctors could do. He remained unconscious day after day, lying in a darkened room, my mother at his side. Even though he couldn't hear anything, the rest of us tiptoed around the house and spoke in whispers. Nobody voiced the question that preyed on our minds—Is he going to die?—but it hung in the air like a fog.
Several days later a telegram arrived from Cobb. He had heard about the accident from Sisler. The telegram made my mother smile for the first time since they brought my father home. It read: DON'T WORRY MRS M STOP HE'S MUCH TOO TOUGH TO GET KNOCKED OUT OF THE BOX BY ANY BATTER EVEN ME. And he was right. About a week later Daddy came out of his coma and recovered fully.
So that's the way I remember Ty Cobb. Uncle Ty. I never saw him again after 1920. That was the year our family went to California for what was supposed to have been a two-month holiday. Instead, I began acting in movies, and we never went back to St. Louis. But even in far-off Hollywood I read about his exploits, and remembered.
So, best of luck to you, Pete Rose, and to the others who will someday break your record. I hope you'll forgive me if I still think of Ty Cobb as the greatest baseball player of all time.