Ty Cobb Becomes First Member of the 4,000 Hit Club 

U.S. #3408d from the Legends of Baseball issue.

On July 18, 1927, Ty Cobb made baseball history, becoming the first player in history to reach 4,000 career hits.

July 18, 1927, was just another day on the field as far as Ty Cobb was concerned. Playing for the Philadelphia Athletics, he received a warm welcome from the fans of his former team, the Detroit Tigers.  Ty went on to get two hits in four at-bats. But for baseball fans, its an important day – the day Cobb got his 4,000th hit, a first in the sport’s history.

Other players had gotten over 3,000 hits before. But little attention was given to such statistics in those days. In fact, the game’s announcers and most newspapers didn’t even mention the feat. And the one paper that did mention his hit in the first inning called it a “fluke double,” as the ball bounced out of the right-fielder’s glove.

U.S. #3408d – Ty Cobb First Day Cover with Pictorial Cancel.

Cobb is one of the most celebrated players in baseball history. He eventually had 4,191 hits, a record that wasn’t broken until 1985. Cobb set 90 records during his career, some of which he still holds today, including highest career batting average and most career batting titles.

Click here for a neat video about Ty Cobb.

Click here to see what else happened on This Day in History.


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  1. Betting on baseball or not; Pete Rose (the all time hit king) must be allowed into the Baseball Hall of Fame before he passes away. I’m sure I’ll get some flack for this statement; so come on bring it on, and don’t forget to check back and watch me rebut each challenge.

    1. Agree! Cobb was a hard-nosed tough player, and many of players from that era and even today have done worse things. Let’s get Pete and Joe Jackson in the HOF where they belong.

    2. You want flack? I’ll give you flack. Nah, never mind. I absolutely agree with you. But only on one condition. Shoeless Joe Jackson must go into the Hall as well. He had an outstanding series in 1919 and yet was banned for life on suspicion of throwing the series. This has to be corrected.

    3. I totally agree with you. Other sports players have done a lot worst and they have not paid the price.

    4. Nah, the Hall should not be so tarnished. Rose is also the all-time bet king (while he was a manager).

  2. Well Dennis, baseball is a very old organized sport and for over a century there have been many many rules and policies, but there is one that has been sacrosant–don’t bet on the game. Rose broke that rule. It goes to the very integrity of the game and even if a player or manager bets on his own team to win, there will be a whiff of something untoward. People like to say that other players perhaps weren’t the nicest of people and that that affects the integrity of the game–not even close to the same thing. We need to be sure that the game is being played straight up–if a team wins or loses, it will have to be because it simply was or wasn’t their day to win or lose. Rose broke baseball’s cardinal rule. He shouldn’t ever be in the hall of fame–not while alive and not posthumously.

    1. Respectfully disagree Nevin…I’m old school (sounds like you are too), but times change. Just take a look at the rule changes in Baseball lately; instant reply, a pitch clock, the catcher can no longer block the plate…are you kidding me? Take a look at all the old laws that have just recently been taken off the books (or are still on the books) that people laugh about today. Pete says he never bet on the other Team, he always bet on the Reds; I believe him. If that’s the case, I say let him in. I don’t think that warrants being banned from baseball and of course banned from the Hall of Fame. He defined baseball for me in the 60’s and 70’s; I’ve got to let Pete in. To me he is the epitome of baseball and trying your best. I respect your opinion, but I think you have this one all wrong. Everything he did wrong he did off the field.

  3. Glad that I watched the short video about Cobb that is linked to this article. It put to bed the false claim that he was a virulent racist. I recommend that everyone look at it. As for Pete Rose, yes, I agree that the time has come for him to be in the Hall.

  4. Being the youngster that I am, I did not get to see Ty Cobb play. As a lover of the game of baseball, I’ve enjoyed learning about him, his achievements and style of hard play. I recently watched a video on PragerU.com titlrd: Calling Good People “Racist” Isn’t New: the Case of Ty Cobb.
    As for Pete Rose “the all time hit King” I did get to see him play many times in person and on TV. While he was always on the opposing team I had a great respect for his achievements and style of hard play. If I were a Hall of Fame inductee voter I would absolutely vote for Pete Rose.
    The hypocrisies are easy to find in the Hall of Fame process. Gambling is a huge part of professional sports of yesterday, today and the future. For example: Daily fantasy sports operator DraftKings has come to terms on a multi-year deal with Major League Baseball, which extends DraftKings’ existing partnership and makes it MLB’s “Official Daily Fantasy Game.”

  5. I agree that Pete Rose belongs in the Hall of Fame. Baseball is hyper-sensitive about gambling after the 1919 Black Sox scandal, but Rose never bet against his own team and always gave 110 percent!

  6. I believe there was an agreement of sorts between the commissioner at the time, Bart Giamatti, and Pete at the conclusion of the investigation into his gambling. I watched Pete play many times on TV and it was easy to see how he got the nickname “Charlie Hustle”. He got the most out of his ability with his style of play. If my memory serves me correct he predicted he would be the first singles hitter to receive a six figure salary and I think he was. I have less opposition to Pete going in than the “Puppet Commissioner” Bud Selig going in this Sunday. After Bart Giamatti died suddenly he was replaced by Fay Vincent, who was a fair commissioner. But the owners did not like the fact that Fay Vincent had the best interest of baseball over their agenda. So they fired him and put in his place Selig. Selig was the owner of the Milwaukee Brewers, which presented a conflict. So Selig turned the ownership over to his daughter. Under his leadership, or lack of, banned drugs were used by some players and records were obliviated on a frequent basis. Selig and other owners knew of this but as long as money was coming throught the turnstiles they turned a blind eye. Selig should not be allowed in. I hope there is a loud chorus of boos that follow him this weekend.

  7. The terms have been on the table for decades. It is a matter of a simple apology for betting on baseball. If he wanted it he would get it. Instead he plays the part of a clown on QVC and internet bid sites. What is your bid for an autographed baseball with an apology on it. Those of us who saw him know his performance was unequalled. We seem to want it for him more than he does. There is a line from the movie ” Dirty Dancing” that “Baby’s”father says ;”When I’m wrong I say I’m wrong. How bout it Pete!

    1. Edward…I’ve heard your story also. For one thing the Hall of Fame belongs to the people and I personally don’t care if Pete wants it or not, I want him in because he earned it. I think you are correct about the apology though; Bart Giamontti would have never let him in the Hall because Bart was too much of a traditionalist, but I think Bud Selig would have if Pete would have apologized. However, as I recall, Pete’s book came out about the same time and said some things in the book that would have made his apology less than an apology; and the rest is history. I think Pete is too proud to apologize (which again in my opinion does not matter to me). I don’t know what Rob Manfred thinks about all this. Personally, I don’t care, I don’t think Pete needs to apologize for anything. They have never proven that he bet against the Reds; Pete says he bet on the Reds…if that’s true, to me, it only strengthens his case for making it into the Hall. I personally think as long as a player bets on himself…who cares if they bet on any sport. When a player bets on the opposing team, then I believe you have a wrong that must be punished. Just my opinion.

  8. Dennis…..As you stated in your original reply you would check back because you expected to catch flack for, as you said, your opinion. You are committed to your opinion and have taken on all naysayers. I hope you check back one more time. You’ve covered all your bases. That’s just my opinion.

    1. Edward: I did check back one more time. Thank you for your reply. In the end it all comes down to someone’s opinion, and everyone is entitled to his/hers. People can disagree with my opinion, but they can’t say I’m wrong, and I can’t say that their opinion is wrong. Thanks again.

  9. Thanks everyone for agreeing with me (mostly). I think we all will say Pete n Shoeless Joe should be in the HOF

  10. Dennis Hilliard, you scoundrel, you hijacked this article about Ty Cobb and changed it into a rally for Pete Rose induction. Your fervor and energy derailed the intended subject and in the process you recruited a dozen or so of our regulars for your cause. Accumulating 23 responses for an article is pretty nice work even though 6 of them were yours. Would you like to be my campaign manager?

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