After reading Charles Leerhsen’s excellent biography of baseball player Ty Cobb (Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty), it’s clear that each of us is responsible for making sure that misinformation and lies do not go unanswered. Even if you are not a baseball fan–maybe especially if you are not a baseball fan–there are very important life lessons to be learned here.
For decades, Ty Cobb was unjustly maligned as a venomous racist, a murderer, a skinflint, a spike-sharpener, a drunkard, a dirty player, and everything in between. It turns out that these stories were wholesale fabrications. But Cobb should have done more to stop the misinformation from achieving such currency. In several critical ways, he failed to take charge of his legacy, and did not understand how important it was to set the record straight. We discuss.
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