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Finally - a fascinating and authoritative biography of perhaps the most controversial player in baseball history, Ty Cobb.

Ty Cobb is baseball royalty, maybe even the greatest player who ever lived. His lifetime batting average is still the highest of all time, and when he retired in 1928, after twenty-one years with the Detroit Tigers and two with the Philadelphia Athletics, he held more than ninety records. But the numbers don't tell half of Cobb's tale. The Georgia Peach was by far the most thrilling player of the era: "Ty Cobb could cause more excitement with a base on balls than Babe Ruth could with a grand slam," one columnist wrote. When the Hall of Fame began in 1936, he was the first player voted in.

But Cobb was also one of the game's most controversial characters. He got in a lot of fights, on and off the field, and was often accused of being overly aggressive. In his day, even his supporters acknowledged that he was a fierce and fiery competitor. Because his philosophy was to "create a mental hazard for the other man," he had his enemies, but he was also widely admired. After his death in 1961, however, something strange happened: his reputation morphed into that of a monster - a virulent racist who also hated children and women, and was in turn hated by his peers.

How did this happen? Who is the real Ty Cobb? Setting the record straight, Charles Leerhsen pushed aside the myths, traveled to Georgia and Detroit, and re-traced Cobb's journey, from the shy son of a professor and state senator who was progressive on race for his time, to America's first true sports celebrity. In the process, he tells of a life overflowing with incident and a man who cut his own path through his times - a man we thought we knew but really didn't.

About the Author

Charles Leerhsen

Charles Leerhsen, the author of Blood and Smoke: A True Tale of Mystery, Mayhem and the Birth of the Indy 500, has written articles for Sports Illustrated, Esquire, Rolling Stone, The New York Times Magazine, Money, People, TV Guide and Seventeen. He has been an editor at SI, People and Us Weekly, and spent 11 years at Newsweek, where as a senior writer he covered sports (including several Olympic Games) , entertainment, family stories and breaking news. At Newsweek he won the National Mental Health Association award for a cover story on alcohol and the family. He has also co-written three best-selling biographies: Trump: Surviving at the Top, with Donald Trump; Press On! Adventures in the Good Life, with pioneer aviator Chuck Yeager; and The Last Great Ride, with entertainment mogul Brandon Tartikoff. Leerhsen's previous book was the highly-acclaimed Crazy Good: The True Story of Dan Patch, the Most Famous Horse in America. He is currently working on a biography of Ty Cobb, his third book for Simon & Schuster.

Leerhsen has three daughters: Erica, an actor; Deborah, a banker; and Nora, a high school teacher in Chicago. He and his wife, the writer Sarah Saffian (www.saffian.com) , live in Brooklyn.

See more about the author and his books at http://charlesleerhsen.com

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