A 1920 advertisement that appeared in The San Francisco Call for The Emporium, a local department store, welcoming Ty Cobb. He was on a nearly two-month barnstorming tour of the West Coast.
The ad included a quote from Cobb:
“Any man can deliver the goods to the grandstand if he first delivers to himself. When a ballplayer knows his own ability, it’s no trick to get out on the diamond and play ball. With skill and right on his side, a man is bound to hit the top.
“There comes a time in every fellow’s life when he must take stock and make sure he is on the square. That applies to business, baseball or any occupation.”
The ad said Cobb was “A straight ballplayer.” The integrity of the game and Cobb’s personal integrity were discussed regularly during his tour; he arrived in San Francisco on October 16, six days before a Cook County, Illinois grand jury handed down indictments against eight members of the Chicago White Sox.
In welcoming Cobb to the city, San Francisco Mayor James “Sunny Jim” Rolph said:
“You are welcome, Mr. Cobb because you typify the best in baseball. This fight to clean baseball started in San Francisco, and I want you to know we in the West are in the fight to the finish.
“There will always be a welcome for you and all clean ballplayers, and for the other kind, no place in America should want them.”
Cobb’s “All-Stars,” a team that included Nick Altrock and Willie Kamm and other major leaguers and well-known Coast players, drew large crowds and Cobb also appeared in front of school groups and civic organizations.
During a speech to the Press Club of San Francisco, Cobb told the crowd that the former player he had been told was the best ever was in the audience:
“I have always been told that San Francisco is the home of the best ballplayer ever in the game. I refer to Bill Lange who is here today.”
He remained on the West Coast until November 28.
On his final day in California, a wet afternoon in Oakland, the 33-year-old Cobb competed against 23-year-old Francis “Lefty” O’Doul in the days “field events.” The San Francisco Chronicle said:
“O’Doul beat Cobb in the bunt and run contest. Lefty went around the bases in 14 4/5 seconds while Cobb took 15 seconds to make the trip. The time was fast considering the heavy track.”
Cobb was nearly universally cheered during his West Coast tour. The one exception, on Monday.