Famous Freemasons From History!

Famous Freemason: Ty Cobb

March 31, 2023

Play ball! Although the Red Sox aren’t in the playoffs this year, Baseball’s Playoffs and World Series are a great time to watch the best the game has to offer. Major League Baseball has had many different greats that have also been masons. This week, we are recognizing Brother Tyrus “Ty” Cobb!

Bro. Cobb was born to William and Amanda Cobb in Narrows, Georgia in 1886 and soon moved to Royston, Georgia. From a young age he had a fascination with baseball and wanted to become a professional player. He tried out and played for area teams for years against his father’s wishes. At this time, Cobb’s father was Master of Royston Lodge No. 426. To escape the amateur league, Cobb wrote about himself under pseudonyms and sent the articles to Grantland Rice of the Atlanta Journal. This got the attention of the Detroit Tigers, who bought his contract. He made his major league debut on August 30, 1905.

Bro. Cobb’s first years on the Tigers were not stellar. Although he played well, he was hazed vehemently as all Rookies were, and this alienated him from the other players. When hazed, his temper would flare and he would, self admittedly, “turn…into a snarling wildcat”. This hazing was permitted by the manager who wanted Cobb to prove he had as much guts as ownership thought he did.

In 1906 he became the starting center fielder, hitting his career low .316. Shortly after, Cobb joined Royston Lodge No. 426 in Detroit at the age of 21. From then on, he went on to win 12 batting, 4 RBI, and 6 stolen base titles with MVP and Batting Triple Crown: all as a member of the Detroit Tigers. He was passionate in his pursuit of titles, such as when he ignored his friend “Shoeless” Joe Jackson during the final month of the season to get into his head and win the 1911 Batting Average Title. The beginning of the next year saw Cobb’s involvement in Masonry grow, with joining the Valley of Detroit and Moselem Shrine in 1912  In his 23 year career, the Tigers made it to the World Series three times, but never won one. Although a great ballplayer, Cobb’s temper would flare several times throughout his career leading to several altercations with fans, elevator attendants, and others.

He, like many other players, enlisted into World War I in 1918. They were assigned to the Chemical Corps, which was directed by Major Branch Richey, a Player-Manager who would go on to become President of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Richey gave the players special treatment, with Cobb receiving the rank of captain and serving for 67 days.

He rejoined baseball and continued to play well, but never made it to the playoffs again. Cobbs eventually announced his retirement in 1927 after 22 years due to pressure from false accusations of game fixing. The Commissioner cleared Cobbs of any wrongdoing and allowed him to be reinstated, but the Tigers released him into free agency. He then signed with the Philadelphia Athletics for a final season to leave on his own terms. In this season, his high moment was when he joined the 4000 hit club.

In 1936, the MLB and Baseball Writers Association of America met to establish the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York and to pick their first class of inductees. Bro. Cobb received 98.2% of the vote, the highest percentage of the first class. This class would have to wait until June 12, 1939 for the official induction ceremony.

Bro. Cobb has a facinating and exciting story that one article cannot give justice to. Click here to read more on him. To see what Masons we’ve covered in the past, click here.

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