Ty Cobb’s 1925 Power Show

Ty Cobb
“Let me show you what I can do!”
May 5, 1925


Before we take a brief look at Ty Cobb’s brief power show it is interesting to look at how top ten hitters for average in baseball history fare in home run power, relative to each other, and to all the great home run hitters, who are there, without regard to batting average figures.


Top 10 Career Batting Averages 
All Time Leaders
Courtesy of Baseball Almanac
Ty Cobb .366 (.36636) 1
Rogers Hornsby .358 (.35850) 2
Joe Jackson .356 (.35575) 3
Ed Delahanty .346 (.34590) 4
Tris Speaker .345 (.34468) 5
Ted Williams .344 (.34441) 6
Billy Hamilton .344 (.34429) 7
Babe Ruth .342 (.34206) 8
Harry Heilmann .342 (.34159) 9
Pete Browning .341 (.34149) 10


Top 10 Career Home Run Totals
By Top 10 Career Batting Average Leaders
Inspired by Baseball Almanac
Babe Ruth (8) 714 1
Ted Williams (6) 521 2
Rogers Hornsby (2) 301 3
Harry Heilmann (9) 183 4
Tris Speaker (5) 117 in 10,195 tab 5
Ty Cobb (1) 117 in 11,434 tab 6
Ed Delahanty (4) 101 7
Joe Jackson (3) 54 8
Pete Browning (10) 46 9
Billy Hamilton (7) 40 10


Top 10 Career Home Run Hitters 
All Time Leaders
Courtesy of Baseball Almanac
Barry Bonds 762 1
Hank Aaron 755 2
Babe Ruth 714 3
Alex Rodriguez 696 4
Willie Mays 660 5
Ken Griffey, Jr. 630 6
Albert Pujols 619 7
Jim Thome 612 8
Sammy Sosa 609 9
Frank Robinson 586 10
  • Only Babe Ruth qualified for the Top 10 Lists of Best Career BA and HR Hitters.



Only three of the all time batters for average were also sluggers — and only Ted Williams played as recently as 1960. Ruth, of course, easily takes the lead in a category load with early 20th century and a few 19th century players like Pete Browning and Billy Hamilton, two who unsurprisingly finish 9th and 10th on a list limited to the top ten dogs in the chase also for the game’s best career batting average of all time.

The more we do these little looks at the oil and water relationship between big power numbers and high batting averages, the more our appreciation grows for the rare talent who can do both consistently over time.

Probably no player saw this coming of power to baseball’s center stage in the 1920s via Ruth better than Ty Cobb. I figure it had to be something he felt every time his Tigers took the field against Ruth and the Yankees. He also knew that his ability to hit for an incredibly high average was at the expense of power he saved from homer chasing for the sake of hits, base running, and the like. Then, one day, he simply had to go out and make, at least, a one day correction — for the sake of the attention he hoped to draw to his message that he too (Cobb) could find the fences more often, if he so chose.

Cobb’s “I’ll show ’em my power today” game. The date was May 5, 1925. The Tigers were set to play the Browns in St. Louis and Cobb supposedly announced that he was going to show the world a sample of his own power on that date. He went out and had a 6 for 6 day at the plate that included 3 home runs, a double, 4 runs scored, and 5 RBI, leading Detroit to a 14-8 victory. The following day, Cobb led the Tigers to an 11-4 win over the Browns, hitting 2 more home runs, while scoring 2 runs and collecting 6 more RBI.

His two-day game totals from May 5th and 6th of 1925 were 9 hits in 12 tries at bat (.750), 6 runs scored, 11 runs batted in on 5 HR, 1 double, and 3 singles. The experience must have sated his need to prove anything further, because Ty Cobb never repeated the dramatic two-game showing elsewhere from there.



Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle


3 Responses to “Ty Cobb’s 1925 Power Show”

  1. Gregory Wolf Says:

    Good read, Bill.
    For more of Cobb’s power show, see my piece in SABR’s Games Project.

  2. Cliff Blau Says:

    is there any evidence Cobb announced he was going to hit home runs in those games? When I looked for it, all I found was his comment before the May 5 game that the wind was blowing strongly out to right field and he was going to advice his teammates to hit that way.

  3. National TY COBB Historian Says:

    Ty Cobb Batted .367 and not .366. The official stats of Major League Baseball, Ty Cobb and Elias Sports Bureau, the official statistician of Major League Baseball recognizes .367 as his career batting average and 4,191 as his career hits total.

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