The Greatest Pitching Ever As Picked By Baseball Legend Ty Cobb
The most famous hitter in MLB history was able to quickly identify the toughest pitcher he ever faced
Hall-of-Fame outfielder Ty Cobb terrorized pitchers of all abilities and backgrounds during his stellar 24-year big-league career. Accordingly, he wasn’t one to lavish praise on hurlers, who he and his bat typically handled with relative ease. However, there was one hurler who stuck out in his mind, who at least for a time was the most dominant he ever faced; right-hander Ed Walsh.
Between 1905–1928 with the Detroit Tigers (his first 22 seasons) and Philadelphia Athletics, the left-handed hitting Cobb batted an all-time record .366 with 4,189 base hits, 117 home runs, 1,944 RBIs, 2,245 runs scored and 897 stolen bases. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936.
Cobb’s fiery intensity was so well known that over time, with the help of those seeking profits (authors who invented wholesale stories and lies about his life and career and sold them as fact), his reputation was rebranded into that of a sadistic monster instead of a hard-nosed and determined ball player.
Relying on a particularly devastating spitball, Walsh had a short peak due to injuries, but what a peak it was. He pitched for 14 years in the big leagues (1904–1917), spending all but his final season with the White Sox. He didn’t pitch a full season in any of his last five years, but he finished with a 195–126 record and 1.82 ERA, the latter of which is still the best mark of all time.
Between 1906–1912, Walsh was a true workhorse, leading the American League in innings four times and ERA and strikeouts twice each. He also won 168 games during that span and was as effective as any pitcher in the game. He was also elected to the Hall of Fame — in 1946.
Over the years, Cobb and Walsh matched up frequently. Although the pitcher’s career didn’t last nearly as long as that of the outfielder, he made quite an impression on the feared hitter.
An article by Grantland Rice that appeared in the March 30, 1930 issue of the Virginian-Pilot and the Norfolk Landmark caught Cobb on the record. The recently retired great was asked about the…