Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Ty Cobb Should be on the $20

I’m deviating from my Mets theme because this is something that I feel very strongly about. The most logical objection to this, that Ty Cobb was a terrible racist as well as an all around son of a bitch, is actually half the reason to go through with it: he would be replacing Andrew Jackson. In addition to killing people in duels, Jackson oversaw the Trail of Tears, one of the absolute low point of the White Man’s treatment of the American Indian- I am kind of surprised that Native American groups have never tried to get him replaced. If my plan were to succeed, there would only be two prominent slave owners honored on US banknotes.

The records that Cobb set, his determination, the grittiness of his play are all a powerful testament to man’s will to achieve and the individual’s capacity for greatness- and the capacity of this greatness to eclipse the fact that he was a man who could almost be accurately described as “evil.” He was completely relentless in his desire for excellence: he would play mind games with his friends over the batting title and he sharpened his spikes and always slid feet first. Looking at Cobb’s career statistics produces a sort of awe that there is no logical reason to feel for a long dead athlete who played before my grandparents were born.

In addition to holding the all-time record for career batting average, Cobb once led the league in homers without ever hitting a ball out of the park. Only people like Charlie Parker could claim to be that good at what they do.

Cobb excelled equally at another American national pastime- making money. He started a proud tradition and was the first athlete to endorse the Coca-Cola Company.

One thing, however, stands out above all else about Ty Cobb and makes him more worthy than any other American to be honored on our currency. When he checked into the hospital for the last time, Ty Cobb brought with him a million dollars in bonds and a Luger. As much as any other incident, this seems to illustrate perfectly the impotence and folly of the values of American capitalism when taken to their extreme in the face of eternity.

We should probably think about that every time that we buy something

1 comment:

Wystan Bottomly said...

I'm in complete agreement about Cobb's appearance on the twenty. In fact I favor a movement to phase out the near-exclusivity of presidential currency appearances.

The only non-presidential currency appearance, to my knowledge, is Alexander Hamilton, who unlike Jackson got himself killed in a duel, rather than doing the killing.

All of which has nothing to do with baseball. (Though I believe that Ty Cobb also killed someone.)