letters to the editor:Ty Cobb: best player, worst human

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From Mr Ronald Odgers Sir: Sign me up for the Eric Cantona fan club. But he has a way to go to match Ty Cobb, who was a star for the baseball Tigers in my home town of Detroit, Michigan, in the first part of this century.

Considered by many to be baseball's best-ever player and worst-ever human being, Cobb often went into the stands after hecklers. Once he went many rows up to beat a man to a pulp before discovering his antagonist was missing most of the fingers on his hands.

Cobb was racist, miserly and hated by his team mates as well as foes, and no one from the game he dominated attended his funeral. But his talent and burning desire to be the best have never been matched, and many of his records still stand, 70 years after he stopped playing.

What Humphrey Bogart said about actors should apply to professional athletes - all they owe us is a good performance.

Sincerely, RONALD ODGERS Carleton, North Yorkshire 27 January