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Extended Audio Sample Cobb: A Biography, by Al Stump Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (718 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Al Stump Narrator: Ian Esmo Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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As a boy in the 1890s, he went looking for thrills in a rural Georgia that still burned with the humiliation of the Civil War. As an old man in the 1960s, he dared death, picked fights, refused to take his medicine, and drove off all his friends and admirers. He went to his deathbed alone, clutching a loaded pistol and a bag containing millions of dollars’ worth of cash and securities. During the years in between, he was, according to Al Stump, “the most shrewd, inventive, lurid, detested, mysterious, and superb of all baseball players.” He was Ty Cobb.

Al Stump has redefined America's perception of one of its most famous sports heroes with this gripping look at Ty Cobb, a man who walked the line between greatness and psychosis. Based on Stump's interviews with Cobb while ghostwriting the Hall of Famer's 1961 autobiography, this account of Cobb's life and times reveals both the darkness and the brilliance of the “Georgia Peach”.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Cobb is a big, raw, rough-cut diamond of a book and the most powerful baseball biography I have read. More than a baseball story, it is an account of life and death. Strong as the baseball scenes are, it is Cobb in his last days—defiant, angry, drunken, prayerful, brave, and desperate to be remembered—that is so haunting and so memorable and so terrifying.”

    Roger Kahn, New York Times bestselling author of The Boys of Summer

  • “The most revealing account we are ever likely to get of a man who is on every sports historian’s short list of baseball’s greatest players.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Stump has resurrected Cobb in all his terrifying malevolence…Spellbinding.”

    Washington Post

  • “The most gripping, appalling biography of an athlete I have ever read.”

    Washington Times, editorial review

  • “Cobb was monomaniacal, and he paid the personal price. But we might say of him, ‘This was a ballplayer!’”

    New York Review of Books

  • Cobb: A Biography will stun readers with its brutal candor.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Ranks as one of the best baseball biographies of recent years.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “The definitive biography of this mercurial man. Highly recommended.”

    Library Journal

  • “An extraordinary achievement in sport biography.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A New York Times Notable Book in 1994

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Suzy | 2/20/2014

    " Lot of baseball stats so that might bore some people. Cobb was not a nice man and didn't care what others thought. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Todd Miles | 2/2/2014

    " One of the best biographies that I have ever read, and certainly the best sports biography. I was hooked from the first chapter where Stump recalls ghostwriting Cobb's "autobiography," spending the last fews years of Cobb's life with the man. Contempory counselors and psychologists would have a field day attempting to diagnose all of Cobb's neuroses. My vote for the greatest baseball player of all time, he was clearly the most despised by all who were near him. His baseball exploits were simply stunning. But his behavior, remarkably consistent both on the field and off, was jaw-dropping. The closer you were to Cobb, the greater the odds that you would hate him. His best chance of having adoring fans was to never meet them face-to-face. Baseball is so much the richer for Cobb's on-field and strategic contributions. If only he was respected as a person. This was a tragic story of a fantastic player, intellectually and physically brilliant, who had it all and could not keep out of his own way, systematically alienating those who wanted to care for him. There is a morality tale in this for all of us. In the end, Cobb needed Someone to save him from himself. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Eric | 2/1/2014

    " Didn't really read the entire thing...my dog got ahold of it and tore a chunk of pages out before I was done. The book wasn't bad, but it wasn't great either. Cobb was a really interesting guy-I mean really interesting-but the book was written in a style that doesn't interest me. Too much fact and event listing and not enough storytelling. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by John Hartwell | 1/28/2014

    " What a great book! Highly recommended for fans of history and baseball alike. A first rate biographical portrait. Fascinating reading. "

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About the Author

Al Stump (1916–1995) was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado. During World War II, he was a war correspondent, and afterward he worked as a sportswriter for national and regional publications, including Esquire, the Saturday Evening Post, True Magazine, American Heritage, Los Angeles Magazine, and Sports Illustrated. He wrote—both independently and in collaboration with famous athletes—six books, including Ty Cobb’s My Life in Baseball, Sam Snead’s Education of a Golfer, Champions against Odds, and The Champion Breed. His article, “Ty Cobb’s Wild 10-Month Fight to Live,” written for True Magazine, won the Best American Sport Story award of 1962. It was the basis for the 1994 motion picture Cobb, directed by Ron Shelton.