Most of the fans who came to games in the first part of his career arrived by horse and buggy yet Ty Cobb lived long enough to see the beginning of the space race. While most images collectors have of the Hall of Fame outfielder date from his playing days, Cobb was still being photographed late in life.
The RMY Auctions Photo of the Day is a 7×9 World Wide Photos image of Cobb inside the study of his Atherton, CA mansion in March of 1957 offers a glimpse of what he was surrounded with at age 70. Some of it will make collectors’ mouths water.
Cobb posed for a photographer as he was completing the sale of his Bay Area home in preparation for a move back to his native Georgia. The black and white image still has the paper caption attached to it, entitled “Among His Souvenirs.” Behind Cobb atop a bookshelf is a bronze-plated shoe dating from his last year in the major leagues (what would a game-used Cobb shoe bring in today’s market?). There are also copies of three well-known Cobb photographs, including the famous Charles Conlon image of Cobb sliding hard into third base. Below on shelves are several baseball books that were part of Cobb’s library.
A wealthy man through shrewed investments after his career, Cobb would live four more years, dying of prostate cancer at Emory Hospital in Atlanta in July of 1961.
The photo is one of several hundred sports, entertainment and historic news images in RMY’s current auction, set to conclude this Saturday.