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Newspaper Page Text
NAVIN SAYS FAMOUS. FIELDER- MUST 'PLAY . IN DETROIT -OR QUIT
By G. R. Pulford.
Detroit, Mich., April 22. "Ty Cobb will not be sold, he will not be
traded; he will play ball for the Detroit club or not at all."
Such is the position of the Detroit ball club, as stated to me by Presi
dent Prank Navin in his office at Navin field.
I came to Detroit to get at the bottom of the "Cobb story," just' now of
absorbing interest to every baseball fan in the country. Whether Cobb
will play is of more interest to the fan than the lopping off of duty on wool
"Do I understand that you will drive Cobb out of baseball?" I asked
President Navin. ,
"No; I want Cobb to play, but I want him to play with the Detroit club,"
"Suppose Cobb continues to -refuse to play at your figure. Wfll you
'fight.it out along the same line if it takes all summer?' Are you willing to
risk the temper of the public?"
"The Detroit public is with the Detroit club in this. The fans believe
Cobb's demands are out of reason. The public doesn't care so much for
one player as it does for a combination of winners.
"I do not mean that Co"bb is not a great attraction, but Cobb cannot
make Detroit a winner, and that's what the public wants. If I can put a
winning combination upon the field without Cobb, the public will be satis
fied. "It is not the individual player, it is not the club owner that counts, ,but
the game. The public demands a winner, no matter whose personality
makes winning possible. And the public's money makes baseball.
"Mr. Navin," I said, "presumably the difference between yourself and
Cobb is one of dollars. Granting that Cobb' has been an egotistical boy, a
swell-headed kid, the fact remains that he is the greatest ball player in the
"I believe the public, which supports baseball, as you say, is entitled
to 'the best, so long as it is willing, to pay for it. If the Detroit ciub'and
Cobb cannot agree, won't you sell or trade Cobb to some team which would'
pay what he asks? The publid doesn't care who pays his salary, but it
does want to see him in action."
"Ty Cobb will not be sold, he will not be traded," responded Navin,
with a click of his jaws. "He will play for the Detroit club 'or not at all.
I am through. There has been too much talk already. If Cobb comes here
and signs for what he had been offered he.can play at once, but the Detroit
club will not recede one inch. This is final. I pass from now on."
Rumors that Cobb will be traded to the New York or Philadelphia
American league clubs will scarcely hold water. It is eyident the American
league is determined to stand behind the Detroit club and make -an example
of Cobb nojt only to punish Cobb, but to put the brakes on players who.
have the temerity to demand more money than the club owners think they
The whole thing in a nutshell Is that the public wants Cobb, because
he is liable to do anything from refusing to sleep in the room assigned him
at the hotel to stealing home while the pitcher holds the ball and scoring'
the run that wins the game.
Navin says that with a winningteam a championship team Cobb is'-