It was like Michael Jordan returning to Chicago with the Wizards.
Like Peyton Manning, back in Indianapolis wearing a Denver Broncos uniform.
When Ty Cobb made his first visit to Navin Field in Detroit as a member of the Philadelphia Athletics in May of 1927, the city went all out.
“Cobb this day has the key to the city and our hearts,” said Detroit mayor John W. Smith, as local business leaders and prominent fans honored Cobb with a luncheon in his honor and a ceremony at the ballpark before a game on the afternoon of May 10. He had played in Detroit for 22 years prior to 1927, signing with Connie Mack’s A’s after being awarded free agency following a gambling investigation.
The RMY Auctions Photo of the Day is a 5 1/4″ x 8″ image of Cobb posing by the best gift he received that day: a brand new Cadillac LaSalle sport model coupe. The auto capital of the world wouldn’t dare let the new star of the Philadelphia Athletics return to town without handing over one of its most famous exports. The vehicle was presented by Lawrence P. Fisher, the president of Cadillac, according to extensive reporting of the day done by the Detroit Free Press. Cobb also received a silver dinner service, flowers and jewelry. Tom Mix sent over a special cowboy hat.
It was a celebration months in the works but Cobb was in danger of not playing that day. It took the pleas of those same city leaders to get American League President Ban Johnson to reinstate him just hours before the contest. Showing no rust, Cobb collected one of his 4,000+ career hits and had another taken away on a nice defensive play by his former teammates.
The photo is one of more than 400 up for bid through Saturday at RMYAuctions.com.