Ty Cobb and Ernest Hemingway – Playmakerjournal


Ty Cobb and Ernest Hemingway

Ty Cobb, considered to be the greatest player of the dead-ball era, kept a pocket diary that is about the same size as a Playmaker Journal. It is an annual calendar-type journal for the year 1946, with single-page entries for each day of the year, except weekends where Saturday and Sunday share the same page.

On January 24th, 1946, Cobb wrote: "--Stormy-stayed indoors/read Hemingway on boxing. Owe Hem a letter."

Hemingway grew up with the sport of baseball and collected baseball cards. When he lived in Cuba, he even organized and sponsored his own private Little League.

It turns out that Ty Cobb and Ernest Hemingway were hunting partners in the 1930s. Hemingway once described Cobb as, “The greatest of all ballplayers, and an absolute shit.”

I wrote a story about Hemingway once when I was reporting a story about quail hunting for the Times. I'm not surprised Hemingway and Cobb went hunting together. Hemingway hunted with a lot of people over his lifetime--people from all walks of life.

In Cobb: A Biography, Hemingway was quoted recalling Cobb: "He had a screw loose. I never knew anyone like him. It was like his brain was miswired so the least damned thing would set him off."

They both died in 1961, two weeks apart.

The Hemingway Society's One True Podcast has one episode dedicated to Hemingway and baseball and it is well worth a listen.