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Ty Cobb
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People have been told that Ty Cobb was a bad man over and over, all their lives. The repetition has felt like evidence... Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty, by Charles Leerhsen (464 pages, Simon & Schuster, 2015)
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Strong memories—of good times, of challenges met, of shaping experiences commonly shared—are the critical foundation of a good and meaningful life, particularly if you are young. Cherished memories of days passed can spur us on, can exhort us, and can motivate us when our own days seem...

More and more Americans, all of them convinced that their side is losing, try to rig the game in their favor. No longer willing to play fair, they want only to win... Born on October 4, 1809 and orphaned...
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"My guiding philosophy was that playing every day for your team was the most honorable thing you could do. They were counting on you. You had a challenge that day, and you came to the ballpark to...
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"You wouldn't believe how many guys wanted to play here. We had to beat 'em off with a stick. Ty Cobb wanted to play. But none of us could stand the son of a b---- when we were alive, so we told him to stick it!" —Shoeless...
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A key difference between baseball and democracy is that in baseball the winners don’t get to rewrite the rules. And it never occurs to the losers to blame the rules for their losses. Our deepest norms of order can still be seen in operation on the diamond...
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"Ryan is the only guy who puts fear in me. Not because he can get you out but because he can kill you." —Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson It was the last day of our spring training odyssey: Sunday,...
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"I like your interest in sports ball, chiefest of all base-ball particularly: base-ball is our game: the American game: I connect it with our national character. Sports take people out of doors, get them filled with...
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The Yankee franchise represents the worst side of modern baseball and is thus the fittest of villains in the cosmic drama embodied by the game... "They are the 'Dark Side.' They represent all that is evil about...
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When the fielder loves his record More than victory for his team Doubtful chances miss his glances For his caution is extreme. Going after every grounder Means a slip-up here and there, And in terror of an error He will choose the chances fair. Spotless records are enticing In...
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Field of Dreams beautifully portrays in a contemporary idiom the Parable of the Prodigal Son, but even more so, the grand cosmic drama to which that Parable points: that of Paradise lost and Paradise regained... In view...
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Idolatry is a dimension of the value that is now placed on sports in America, and is expressed in unbridled adoration of physical feats, and in bowing down to the things of the world... "A technologically supported...
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"April is the cruellest month," T.S. Eliot wrote in the first lines of The Waste Land, but for baseball fans it is the month of September that marks the time of bitterest disappointment. Whereas April, the opening month...
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Recently I went to see a baseball game. The New York Yankees were playing the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium. Usually I am perfectly content to watch sports on TV in the comforts...