100 years ago today, the suspenseful saga of Ty Cobb's lost ring concluded
Pop quiz hotshot: It's 1916 and baseball season hasn't started yet. What's going to be the biggest news in sports? If you answered "Ty Cobb losing a diamond ring," then ding, ding, ding, we have a winner.
On March 11, 1916, the Toledo Bee reported that Cobb was "mourning the loss of a $600 diamond ring which he has been wearing for the past 10 years," with the ring likely residing somewhere along "the Big Four railroad tracks between Ivorydale and Lockland, near Cincinnati." The Tigers star had lost the jewelry while washing in a "new style basin" -- whatever that is.
This became massive news, with even the Twin-City Daily Sentinel in North Carolina wondering if Cobb was now afraid of "losing his batting eye."
Would there be a happy outcome for Cobb and a ring whose value, adjusted for inflation, would be nearly $14,000?
Yes, there would. Two weeks later, the Pittsburgh Press reported that the ring was found by "Richard Harley, son of a railroad laborer," in the Elmwood Place neighborhood of Cincinnati. The paper made sure to note that in the time since Cobb had lost it, "every youngster in the neighborhood has been searching for the ring."
With the ring back in his possession, Cobb would go on to lead the league in runs and steals, even upping his average to .371. Given that he had owned the ring ever since his breakout in 1906, maybe it was the true source of Cobb's abilities.
(h/t Baseball Think Factory)