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Perhaps the most pertinent handwritten letter from Ty Cobb, it speaks to his knowledge of hitting for both righties and lefties. Incidentally he refers to the advantages of his patented split-handed grip on the bat - a great value in and of itself. Addressed to Stanley Gray, 2-page letter it is written completely in the hand of Ty Cobb on “Tyrus R. Cobb” letterhead and dated Nov. 19, 1940: “…In regards to your question relative to hitting - a left hand hitter should close his stance hitting to left so can step freely towards field he hits to also allows freedom to get body behind his hitting of course one unconsciously or instinctively with ‘practice’ learns to do this without thinking as it must be done quickly as the action & direction of ball is fast and doesn’t allow time to think and then act. Right hand pitcher and left hand batter hitting to right field opens his stance that allows a free right side and hip to pull the ball. One can take a position for hitting to right and mentally or physically go through the process of hitting to left field and you can feel and see you can’t execute with any power or ease, hitting to that field, now also important is one’s position relative to the plate with these stances have a lot of bearing the proper position is a little behind the plate from pitcher and hitting to left one should be away from plate the distance they can see or feel that if ball is over inside corner he feels he could hit to left and hitting to right he should be close enough to plate he can ‘feel’ he could pull the ball to right that’s on outside corner.” As for his legendary split handed grip, he remarks, “Hope this is what you want. Hands a little apart on bat and not on the end of bat, allows free action of hand they are not together and … don’t interfere with one another and that grip allows a better control of bat and also gives power.” One of the best letters in terms of content that we have seen, this is invaluable instruction from one of the all time greatest hitting instructors imaginable! It is well known that another great hitter of the same time period, Babe Ruth, held his hands together on the bat and gripped it at the end - a point of criticism from Ty Cobb, who believed he could have achieved the same effect as the Babe, had he employed the same hitting technique. But for Cobb, hitting home runs was never as important as winning ball games. Black fountain pen is bold and dark with extremely little fading. Signature grades an “8” out of a possible 10. The paper is in remarkable condition as well. Lightly toned with original mailing folds, otherwise EX-MT.
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