In , Cobb got into a fight in a Cleveland hotel that, according to legend, led to the stabbing death of a black man. No one was killed. Cobb fought with the white security guard, whom he claimed he lightly raked across the back of the wrist with a pen knife, though the guard later said Cobb stabbed him in the shoulder and the hand. Cobb may have also struck a bellhop.
Watch: T.Y. Hilton wears clown mask in response to DB's trash talk
Race had nothing to do with this incident. On another occasion, Cobb climbed into the stands to argue with a black fan what was said is not recorded and he once, notoriously, beat up a white heckler who was missing seven fingers due to lax safety standards at his employer, the New York Times. Later, Cobb got in a fight with a grocer over an alleged insult to his wife, but the grocer was white, too — and in his biography, Alexander again got it wrong, mistakenly reporting the man was black. The real Cobb, in later years, funded a hospital and started a college-education fund for kids.
One kid who wrote him, Koosma Tarasoff, Cobb mentored to the point of getting him a tryout with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Another young ballplayer Cobb mentored, and whose first contract Cobb helped negotiate, had better luck. His name was Joe DiMaggio. Why the determination to brand Cobb as the worst racist ever? Stump apparently believed a more sensational book would lead to more sales.
But a large part of the story, Leerhsen notes, is simply that the accurate perception of Cobb as a hothead simply got mixed up with the fact that he was born in Georgia in Bad temper, Southerner: Must have been a racist. Detecting sin in someone else is a way of announcing to the world, and to yourself, your own virtue. Read Next. History bound to repeat itself for Hillary.
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