May 15th in baseball history: Ty Cobb charges fan

Cobb out of control

 | MAY 15, 1912 - Baseball superstar Ty Cobb of the Detroit Tigers got so ticked off at a heckler during a game on this date in 1912 that he charged into the stands after him. Cobb was not known for his gentlemanly demeanor, but this was different.

The man he went after, Claude Lueker, was disabled. He'd lost one hand and three fingers on the other in an industrial accident. American League President Ban Johnson came down hard on Cobb by suspending him indefinitely, which ended up being until May 27th, twelve days.

"The Georgia Peach" didn't seem to care that he rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. He wasn't afraid to get his spikes in the way of opposing players, was constantly fighting, and considered by many to be a racist.

But Cobb could play ball. His numbers are among the best in the history of the game.

Lifetime batting average: .366 (1st)
Batting titles: 11
Career hits: 4,189
Runs scored: 2,246
Stolen bases: 892

He hit at least .320 for 23 straight seasons. He hit over .400 three times. Several times in his career he reached first and proceeded to steal second, third and home. He was among the first group of players elected into the Hall of Fame in 1936, and it wasn't because he was well liked.

Ty Cobb


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