If you’ve read Cobb by Al Stump or seen the movie of the same name featuring Tommie Lee Jones as the Georgia Peach, you know the story of how Ty’s mother “accidentally” shot and killed her husband with a shotgun when she mistook him for an intruder. She may or may not have been having an affair which may have prompted Professor W. H. Cobb, Ty’s father, to sneak into his own house to try to catch his wife in flagrante delicto.
This shotgun was part of the famous Halper Collection some of which was put up for Auction by Sothebys back in 1995. The shotgun was removed before the auction took place because the provenance of the shotgun was not strong enough. Barry Halper supposedly got the shotgun from Cobb’s biographer Al Stump who claimed he was told by Cobb that it was the actual shotgun that his Mother used to kill his Father. Turns out that Cobb’s Mother probably used a pistol to kill her husband. So how did this shotgun almost get auctioned off as the weapon that killed Ty Cobb’s Father?
An article on the Halls Of Shame Blog details the story and includes a link to The Georgia Peach:Stumped By The Storyteller…by William H. Cobb. It’s a fascinating read that contains a review of all the biographical literature on Ty Cobb and the workings of the world of baseball memorabilia. It’s a long article, but it’s well worth the time to read it.
Make sure you check out the rest this wonderful site, it’s a real eye-opener to the dark side of the baseball memorabilia business.