“Rarely should a base runner risk a steal when the game is in balance. It’s to be used when you can afford to fail.”

“Most of all I was saddling that team with a psychological burden so that they would be muttering, Cobb is crazy. He’ll run anytime and in any situation. It would help give them the jitters and they’d concentrate so much on me they were not paying any attention to the business at hand. My failures rarely were complete failures. They were more like future investments.”

“A ball bat is a wondrous weapon.”

“Baseball was one-hundred percent of my life.”

“Every great batter works on the theory that the pitcher is more afraid of him than he is of the pitcher.”

“I had to fight all my life to survive. They were all against me… but I beat them and left them in the ditch.”

“I have observed that baseball is not unlike a war, and when you come right down to it, we batters are the heavy artillery.”

“I may have been fierce, but never low or underhand.”

“I never could stand losing. Second place didn’t interest me. I had a fire in my belly.”

“I regret to this day that I never went to college. I feel I should have been a doctor.”

“Speed is a great asset; but it’s greater when it’s combined with quickness – and there’s a big difference.”

“The base paths belonged to me, the runner. The rules gave me the right. I always went into a bag full of speed, feet first. I had sharp spikes on my shoes. If the baseman stood where he had no business to be and got hurt, that was his own fault.”

“The crowd makes the ballgame.”

“The great American game should be an unrelenting war of nerves.”

“To get along with me, don’t increase my tension.”

“When I began playing the game, baseball was about as gentlemanly as a kick in the crotch.”

“When I came to Detroit, I was just a mild-mannered Sunday school boy.”

“Watch out you big baboon. I’m going down on the first pitch.” “I’m taking third on the next pitch.”

“Out of my way, ice wagon. I’m coming home.”

“Someone will hit .400 again. Somebody will get smart and swing naturally.”

“On August 2, 1907, I encountered the most threatening sight I ever saw in the ball field. He was only a rookie, and we licked our lips as we warmed up for the first game of a doubleheader in Washington. Evidently, manager Pongo Joe Cantillon of the Nats had picked a rube out of the cornfields of the deepest bushes to pitch against us….He was a tall, shambling galoot of about twenty with arms so long they hung far out of his sleeves and with a side arm delivery that looked unimpressive at first glance….One of the tigers imitated a cow mooing and we hollered at Cantillon: ‘Get the pitchfork ready, Joe-your hayseed’s on his way back to the barn.’ …The first time I faced him I watched him take that easy windup-and then something went past me that made me flinch. The thing just hissed with danger. We couldn’t touch him…every one of us knew we’d met the most powerful arm ever turned loose in a ball park.”

Cobb, on the only time he ever deliberately tried to slash a man:
“[Boston Red Sox pitcher Hub Leonard] would aim bullets at your head, left handed to boot… I dragged a bunt… which the first baseman was forced to field. Leonard sprinted for first to take the throw and saw that I was after him. He wouldn’t have been safe that day if he’d scrambled into the top bleachers. I ignored the bag-since I was already out-and dove feet first right through the coaching box. He managed to duck, but…the escape was close enough medicine for him. He never threw another beanball at me.”

Cobb described baseball as:
“Not unlike a war. If we cannot only beat them but run wild on them in addition, treat them like a bunch of bush leaguers, it is liable to put them up in the air for a week.”

“Baseball is a red-blooded sport for red-blooded man. It’s no pink tea, and mollycoddles had better stay out. It’s a struggle for supremacy, survival of the fittest.”

Quotes about Ty Cobb

“I recall when Cobb played a series with each leg a mass of raw flesh. He had a temperature of 103, and the doctors ordered him to bed for several days, but he got three hits, stole three bases, and won the game.”
— Grantland Rice

“He was the strangest of all our national sports idols. But not even his disagreeable character could destroy the image of his greatness as a ballplayer. Ty Cobb was the best. That seemed to be all he wanted.”
— Jimmy Cannon