This archived article was written by: Robert Hanson
“Someone will hit .400 again. Somebody will get smart and swing naturally.” This was said by the great Ty Cobb, who could be the best ball player to grace the green grass of any ball field ever. This great warrior of a ball-player, Cobb started his major league career playing for the Detroit Tigers, in 1905. The game was not the same as today, it was a war, where players battled daily, not only to get the victory, but to keep their positions on the team.
There was always another player waiting for it, and if you did not perform you were out. I only mention this in light of the ball-players of today and the heavy steroid use. It just blows my mind that we have degraded the game in these resent years to the point that ballplayers have shied away athleticism and a swing that carried Cobb through a 25-year career batting .366. with three seasons over .400. To being drugged up lab monkeys who get paid millions to see how many balls they can lose.
This shows that steroid use in baseball is to blame on managers and fans who have forgotten the beautiful sight that is the suicide squeeze, and many other (small-ball) plays that have been dwarfed by the long ball. Now you may call me old rationed, and in fact I prefer that you do, but I carry the swing of the great Ty Cobb, and with it I boosted my average from the golf-like swing that is thought to hitters today.
In fact just a few years ago I started looking into a post high school career, wide eyed and wanting to play ball forever. I made my way into Price to vie for a spot as an outfielder on CEU’s squad. One look from coach Scott Madsen and I was told that I needed to change my swing, since Ty Cobb could only pull it off because he was such a “strong man.” I changed to please the coach with a small snicker, since the biggest Ty ever got was 6 foot 1 inch and about 175 pounds (I happened to be about 6 foot 2 inches and 160 pounds at the time). But if any of you know how it is to change an aspect of a sport, you know that it takes time and practice to get down. Time I didn’t have and was cut from Madsen’s spring team.
Now I don’t hold any grudge against the coach or his squad, in fact I wish them well and am looking forward to covering them in their upcoming season. I also keep my love for the sport, and will take it with me to the grave. I just can’t help but laugh at how ridicules it is for a tiny little aspect to change the way the nation past time is performed. I long for a day when good old-school baseball, with its simple pleasures such as the hit and run, and a spikes-up slide are played once more.