As a boy in the 1890s, he went looking for thrills in a rural Georgia that still burned with the humiliation of the Civil War. As an old man in the 1960s, he dared death, picked fights, refused to take his medicine, and drove off all his friends and admirers. He went to his deathbed alone, clutching a loaded pistol and a bag containing millions of dollars' worth of cash and securities. During the years in between, he was, according to Al Stump, "the most shrewd, inventive, lurid, detested, mysterious, and superb of all baseball players." He was Ty Cobb. Al Stump tells how the dying Cobb hired him in 1960 to ghostwrite his autobiography, giving him a fascinating window into the life and times of the Georgia Peach.
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