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The Chalmers Race: Ty Cobb, Napoleon Lajoie, and the Controversial 1910 Batting Title That Became a National Obsessionby Rick Huhn
Synopses & Reviews
In 1910 auto magnate Hugh Chalmers offered an automobile to the baseball player with the highest batting average that season. What followed was a batting race unlike any before or since, between the greatest but most despised hitter, Detroitand#8217;s Ty Cobb, and the American Leagueand#8217;s first superstar, Clevelandand#8217;s popular Napoleon Lajoie. The Chalmers Race captures the excitement of this strange contestand#8212;one that has yet to be resolved.
The race came down to the last game of the season, igniting more interest among fans than the World Series and becoming a national obsession. Rick Huhn re-creates the drama that ensued when Cobb, thinking the prize safely his, skipped the last two games, and Lajoie suspiciously had eight hits in a doubleheader against the St. Louis Browns. Although initial counts favored Lajoie, American League president Ban Johnson, the sportand#8217;s last word, announced Cobb the winner, and amid the controversy both players received cars. The Chalmers Race details a story of dubious scorekeeping and statistical systems, of performances and personalities in conflict, of accurate results coming in seventy years too late, and of a contest settled not by play on the field but by human foibles.
About the Author
Rick Huhn is the author of The Sizzler: George Sisler, Baseballand#8217;s Forgotten Great and Eddie Collins: A Baseball Biography. Charles C. Alexander is the author of several baseball books, including Ty Cobb.
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