He was part native son, part baseball legend and part devil. If all the stories about Hall of Famer Ty Cobb are true, the man nicknamed "The Georgia Peach" may be one of the most divisive characters in baseball history. At the Ty Cobb Museum in Royston, you can separate fact from fiction and learn more about the man who was once baseball's biggest star.
Location: 461 Cook St., Royston, GA 30662
Hours: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday
Admission fee: $5 for adults; $4 for senior citizens; $3 for students; free for children ages 4 and under and for active duty military members
Who was Ty Cobb?
Born in 1886 in a rustic cabin in Narrows, Ga., Cobb played 22 seasons with the Detroit Tigers and finished off his career with the Philadelphia Athletics. During his career, he set 90 Major League Baseball records, many of which have yet to be broken. He was voted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on its inaugural ballot, receiving 222 out of 226 votes, the most of any player.
Because of his early investments in General Motors and Coca-Cola as well as his success on the playing field, Cobb was able to donate $100,000 to build Cobb Memorial Hospital in Royston, now part of the Ty Cobb Healthcare System. He also established the Ty Cobb Educational Foundation, which to date has awarded more than $15 million in scholarships to Georgia's youth.
His legacy both on and off the field is often overshadowed by stories of his aggressive play, alleged bigotry, racism and violence. Although many of those stories have been discredited, Cobb was a polarizing figure not only in the locker room, but also in the press.
The Ty Cobb Museum is about a 90-minute drive north of Atlanta on I-85 and a 40-minute drive north on GA-29 from Athens. The museum is in the one-story Joe. A. Adams Professional Building, which offers a large parking lot that's free for visitors.
Once you arrive
When you arrive, pay the admission fee at the gift shop just inside the front door. After you've paid (cash or credit cards only), head into the museum and browse at your leisure.
Inside the museum
While much of baseball's early history lives inside the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., visitors will find the small museum in Royston to be filled with memorabilia from the dead-ball era as well as personal items from the Hall of Famer himself.
In November, the museum revealed 12 new items that have been added to the exhibits, including Cobb's beloved leather uniform baseball shoe that had been bronzed, his MLB Lifetime Pass, his Diabetic Identification Card and his 1911 Silver Slugger bat award.
Items on your don't-miss list should include one of Cobb's original Tigers uniforms, a gold 1907 American League Champion Batter pin, a seat from Briggs Stadium in Detroit, and a collection of Coca-Cola bottles featuring Cobb's name and likeness.
Pop back in to the gift shop before you leave and grab a souvenir of your visit. The shop sells items such as baseball cards, ornaments, apparel and books featuring stories about Cobb. If you leave the museum a true Cobb fan, you'll want to purchase "Busting 'Em," a first-hand account of Cobb's 1914 season written by the slugger himself.
When is the best time to visit?
The museum is closed on most major holidays. Before you go, check the museum's event schedule to see if one of its vintage-style baseball events is scheduled for a day you want to visit.
Make it a day
Ty Cobb's legacy is stamped throughout the Royston area and a trip to visit the museum isn't complete without seeing Cobb's grave in Rose Hill Cemetery, just down the street. And the Cobb family crypt is along Burch Street.
Close to Royston you'll find Cromer's Mill Covered Bridge, a favorite spot for photographers, and Victoria Bryant State Park.
After you visit the museum, pop down to Athens on your way back to Atlanta for a bite, a visit to The State Botanical Garden of Georgia or for a tour of the city's breweries.
Can't get enough baseball? Check out the other two baseball museums close to home.