Friday, June 13, 2014
Ty Cobb is indeed my hero.
No, really, he is. And thank goodness the brain trust at Topps recognizes his remaining fans, all three of us. The company fresh out of new ideas for cards offers this 11x17 print from the just-released My Hero Collection. Cobb is the definition of heroic, a man whose racist and general sociopathic tendencies would've earned him various stays at some of the country's most notorious penal farms had he been born in 1986 instead of 1886.
My hero is known to have assaulted people, at least once with a knife, because of their skin color, beat one handicapped man in the stands for heckling and found time to allegedly be in on a fix of a game.
Other than that, he was a swell guy. What's not to admire?
Then again, I've always had a soft spot for the misunderstood. I was the crackpot teen in the theater rooting for the shark in Jaws. I plead guilty for feeling empathy for Dr. Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs. I still get misty when Commodus dies in the Colosseum at the end of Gladiator.
Obviously then, I'm all in on showing my devotion to The Cobber in the only way I know how: by forking over $49.99 for this piece of shit, er, art.
Why stop there, Topps? Why not offer a limited edition Chad Curtis Is My Hero teddy or a Lenny Dykstra Is My Hero ashtray or even a Steve Howe Is My Hero can koozie?
It does feature My Hero Collection prints of Doc Gooden, Darryl Strawberry and Miguel Cabrera. And this just announced: Buy the 5x7 Hero "wax pack'' for $199.99, and get the recently created Don Zimmer print for free! Zim's barely stiff and Topps is already hustling his memory for a buck.
This whole looking at athletes as heroes is truly sad. Yes, collecting baseball cards is a sort of hero worship, but nobody ought to read anything more into the person pictured than the stats on the back. That's his identity. Nothing more. Who knows what some of these guys are up to behind the numbers.
God only knows what Cobb did that wasn't seen or reported.
So who is a hero?
How about the average person acting without fear or hesitation to help a poor soul in distress, damn the consequences and ignorant of the plaudits. In other words, the anti-I don't want to get involved.
But baseball players?
Don't buy it.