Baseball has come some way from the days when the turn-of-the-century Baltimore Orioles would grab hold of runners' belts to delay their departure from a base or take a shortcut between first and third when the umpire—and there was only one on the base paths at that time—had his back turned. But the rule of thumb still is: if you can get away with it, do it. The fiercest competitor of all, Ty Cobb, once coached in a high school all-star game in Chicago opposite Babe Ruth. Cobb, who had the West team, delivered an impassioned speech to his players about fair play and sportsmanship. Then the players took the field for a workout. Cobb stood behind the catcher and watched his throws. "Very good," said Cobb. "But here's a little trick for you. Just before the pitcher throws, grab a handful of dirt, and after he throws, flip-the dirt up into the batter's eyes."