Ty Cobb and Ted Williams were friends until they had a spat over Rogers Hornsby and The Georgia Peach kicked The Splendid Splinter out of his hotel room. They don’t have nicknames in “The X Y” format anymore. I think the most recent notable one was The Mad Hungarian (Al Hrabosky), but I digress. Williams thought that Hornsby was a better hitter than Cobb. He may’ve had a point. There’s one book out there by a Dr. Schell that adjusts for all sorts of things (playing era, ballpark, et cetera) that lists Hornsby as the #3 hitter of all time.
Cobb ended his career with the Philadelphia A’s. He played with Lefty Grove and Jimmy Foxx. That pair of Hall of Famers were sold to the Red Sox by Connie Mack and they were still on the team when Williams made his debut. But I like to look at more circuitous connections between ballplayers.
Cobb was a Tiger first and foremost. He played with second baseman Charlie Gehringer who was on the team when pitcher Virgil Trucks played for Detroit. Trucks was on the 1945 world champs. He came from a musical family. His nephew Butch Trucks played for the Allman Brothers Band. His great nephew Derek is currently with the group.
I’ve sometimes thought of The Allmans as Apollo and Lynyrd Skynyrd as Dionysius but I could be wrong. My thinking was that the Allmans are sort of the thinking man’s Southern group, what with their diverse influences. They strike me as jazzy wheras Skynyrd is pure straight ahead rock and roll. The Brothers, of course are Duane and Gregg. Duane was killed in a motorcycle accident almost 40 years ago. Gregg met an arguably worse fate. He married Cher.
Cher was a singer at the time, but she moved on to acting in the 80s. One of the films she appeared in was Witches of Eastwick. Susan Sarandon also appeared in this one. She was also in Bull Durham, but we’re not going there today. Eastwick was adapted from a work by John Updike. Who’s Updike? Updike may be best known for his Rabbit tetralogy, but around here Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu may sound more familiar. That was his essay on the last game and home run of Ted Williams.