Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Dirty Ballplayer, Bad Prognosticator

In a piece picked up by more than one newspaper in December 1911, Ty Cobb predicted his Tigers would win the American League crown in 1912. We all know how that turned out. His prediction of the final order of teams was: Detroit, Philly, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, NY, Washington, St. Louis. Despite Ty's .409 average in 1912, the Tigers would finish in 6th place at 69-84, 36.5 games behind the world champion Boston Red Sox. He was right in saying the Yanks would blow goats in '12, but they actually came in last, 55 games out. Washington was a surprise, finishing second, a game ahead of the defending champion Athletics, and way ahead of Ty's predicted seventh-place finish (though he did say they "ought to make a better showing").

Cobb thought Del Gainer would return to form after a wrist injury cut his great '11 season short, but he would struggle at the plate in '12 and play in only 52 games.

About the Red Sox, Cobb said they "loom as a formidable flag contender," and noted "accidents" hurt them the year before.

There's an interesting note at the beginning of the story about Cobb "not dabbling in things vaudevillian this winter" and "not seeking publicity in the manner of a few other players whose names had best not be mentioned here." This is referring to a few Red Sox players who were performing as a barber shop quartet that off-season.

See the full article about Ty Cobb's 1912predictions here (go to page 12).


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Location: Rhode Island, United States