Posted by: Kath Usitalo | April 5, 2010

FILMichigan: Cobb

Motor City Baseball sculpture by TJ, on the Tiger Stadium seats I won, now planted in our yarden

Written by Ron Shelton, based on the book by Al Stump
Directed by Ron Shelton
Starring Tommy Lee Jones and Robert Wuhl, with Lolita Davidovich (and Jimmy Buffett as the heckler)

‘Tis the season. Baseball’s back. Love the game or hate it, if you’re curious about Detroit sports’ original Bad Boy rent Cobb to see Tommy Lee Jones as as one of the greatest yet despised men in sports. Tyrus Raymond Cobb was a Detroit Tiger, playing 22 seasons with them beginning in 1905, and was among the first five inductees into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

It’s 1960. Wealthy, stock market-savvy Cobb, with one food dangling over the death bed at his luxurious Lake Tahoe home, has summoned sportswriter Al Stump (Robert Wuhl) to (re)write the “misunderstood” baseball legend’s story. At age 72 Cobb, called the most hated and hostile man in baseball, is without friends and has been rejected by his family.

The story follows Cobb and “Stumpy” to Reno, where the baseball great shows off his prejudices, and on to a Hall of Fame dinner in Cooperstown, New York. The pair ends up in Cobb’s hometown in Georgia, where Al decides how to write the story of the legend’s sorry life.

Although the characters never set foot in Michigan they do mention Detroit a few times. Cobb appears in the old “D” uniform, and historic photos and film footage show the Georgia Peach demonstrating the style that helped the Tigers win pennants in 1907, 1908, and 1909.

So, although the movie wasn’t filmed here, I just had to mention it because it’s the start of baseball season.

And I happen to like Tommy Lee Jones.



  1. I’ve been counting down the days ’til Tiger baseball! It’s here! Horray!! I haven’t seen this movie – and once again, Kathy, thank you as I hadn’t heard of it either. I read a really good book a few years ago that was good. I’m with you on Tommy Lee! 🙂

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