Baseball Hall of Famer Ty Cobb had a historical marker dedicated in front of the Georgia home where he lived for 19 years and where four of his five children were born, the Augusta Chronicle reported Saturday.
“The Georgia Peach” made his professional baseball debut on April 26, 1904 as a 17-year-old for the Augusta Tourists of the South Atlantic League. The Ty Cobb Augusta Heritage Foundation erected the marker at 2425 Williams St., and Hall of Fame pitcher Phil Niekro helped unveil the marker.
"I think it’s long overdue," Niekro told the Chronicle.
Cobb was born in Narrows, Georgia, in 1886, and grew up in Royston.
A game after his debut, Cobb was shipped to Anniston, Ala., before returning to Augusta to rejoin the Tourists in August. After starting the 1905 season in Augusta, he was promoted to the major leagues, joining the Detroit Tigers.
Cobb played 24 seasons in the major leagues and had a lifetime .366 batting average. He collected 4,189 hits and won 12 American League batting titles.
Cobb’s ties to Augusta were deep, the Chronicle reported. He married a Richmond County woman, Charlie Marion Lombard, at her family’s home in 1908. He owned a tire business in downtown Augusta and also built an apartment complex.
Cobb’s home has only had two other owners since he sold it in 1932 and moved to California, the Chronicle reported. The Sherman family bought it from him.
Current owner Beverly Ford opened the house to the couple of hundred visitors who attended Saturday’s marker ceremony, showing off the rooms that have largely unchanged since Cobb lived there.
Cynthia Cobb McGowin, daughter of Cobb’s youngest son, Jimmy, spoke at the dedication.
Niekro pulled the cover off the marker to officially dedicate it.
"Ty Cobb never got a hit off me," said Niekro, whose major-league debut came three years after Cobb’s death in 1961 in Atlanta. "But I never struck him out, either."