ALS, three pages, 7.25 x 10.5, personal letterhead, March 7, 1955. Letter to Phil Elderkin of the Christian Science Monitor, in full (spelling and grammar retained): "Yours received, I agree with you as to type of baseball played today, back in the years there was real interest, excitement in the stands, fans on their feet with home club rallies etc., cheering, they were really a part of the days game, close score games, real competition. Washington then might be in last place but they would come to town with Johnson, Groom, Dally Gray and Long Jon Hughes also others and you might defeat them but you did so 1 to 0—2 to 1 etc. also the crowds were out.
The one run has no value today with the lively ball, also back in those years, you never saw in papers anything of 'what's wrong with baseball' and suggestions of some phony or artificial changes per last very several years, baseball was real baseball when we had bunt, sacrifice bunt, hit & run and the squeeze play also the outfield on defense was a part of defense not back near the fences and have to relay ball to an infielder, then a mad had to hustle to score from 2nd base and the close plays at the plate, run meaning something the crowd was on their feet.
I cannot write anything under my name per agreements, contracts etc. I can be quoted of course. Oh! yes where is the stolen base and its value also threat, where are the sliders to bases, sure they have the ability, who could say the 'old boys' were physically different only yes on the basis of good condition and practice. The boys of these years don't do it and not all their fault, there is too much master minding and depriving the individual player of initiative and which would develop confidence and ability to execute plays.
The double platoon system, pray tell where would your Ruth's, Eddie Collins, Speaker, Sisler, Jackson, Rousch, Terry and goodness knows how many others would be if they had suffered the platoon system. I have for many years in the past, read your paper, so very conservative in every way, so well printed and presented. No story under my name, please, quotes O.K. Appreciate the honor your letter." The letter is housed in an attractive custom-made folder. In fine condition. Accompanied by the original mailing envelope, addressed in Cobb's own hand.
Although future Hall of Famers like Mickey Mantle, Hank Aaron, and Willie Mays emerged during the 1950s, the decade proved quite tumultuous off the field, with per-game major league attendance dropping by about 2,600 fans between 1950 and 1959. Low attendance aside, baseball in the 1950s celebrated the migration of several franchises, the introduction of the Cy Young Award, and league-wide integration by 1959. Cobb bemoans the play of baseball in 1955, but it was he, with his laundry list of MLB records and aggressive style of play, who was among those most responsible for the sport’s inevitable evolution.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.