Art of the Game: Ty Cobb, by Clare Briggs of the Chicago Tribune


Wednesday, May 10, 1911, the Chicago Tribune, and cartoonist Clare Briggs expresses the Chicago fans’ displeasure at Ty Cobb’s recent dominance of their local heroes, and of the game in general (and reprinted in the Sporting News on May 18th). And it was no exaggeration – 1911 was Cobb’s MVP (Chalmer’s Award) season, leading the majors in virtually every offensive category while batting at a lofty .420 clip (“he’s the whole league”, grumbles one fan, above). In fact, Cobb was a thorn in the side of fans of the Windy City for years – while the Cubs bested Cobb’s Tigers for championships in both 1907 and 1908, they had to overcome Cobb batting .368 in the ’08 Series; but it was the White Sox that had to deal with him throughout every season, with the Tigers keeping them at bay for AL pennants in ’07 and ’08, the Sox finishing only 1.5 games behind in 1908. But almost certainly what compelled Clare Briggs to sketch his “appreciation” of Cobb was his performance in Chicago on Sunday and Monday, May 7th and 8th – an utter domination of the White Sox, going 7 for 9, including winning the May 7th game singlehandedly, tying the game in the 8th and knocking in the game winner in the 10th. “Terrible” Ty Cobb’s exploits, as described in the Tribune:


Clare Briggs did many sports-related illustrations for the Chicago Tribune, but was primarily a fairly well-known syndicated cartoonist and comic-strip artist (mostly non-sports) of note in the early 20th century. With the Chicago paper since 1907, he moved to the New York Tribune in 1914, that eventually became the New York Herald Tribune (Briggs is seen below at work in 1919). He died in 1930 at the relatively young age of 54, with many of his popular strips carried on well after his death. More of Briggs’ playful baseball work will be shown on these pages in the future. Good Night!



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