An Unlikely Catalyst Causes a Baseball Strike – Other Players Rally Around the Unpopular Ty Cobb
On Wednesday May 15, 1912 The Detroit Tigers were playing the New York Yankees at Hilltop Park in upper Manhattan when one of the most infamous incidents in baseball history occurred.
Ty Cobb, the star outfielder for the Tigers was incited by a fan to go into the stands and pummel him.
The fan, Claude Lucker (alternately spelled by contemporary papers as Lueker or Leuker) worked as a page in the office of Tammany boss “Big Tom” Foley. From the onset of the game Lucker was being particularly obnoxious according to all accounts. Cobb and Lucker exchanged nasty barbs and Cobb warned Lucker to stop calling him names or he would come into the stands to take care of him personally. By the fourth inning Cobb had had enough and he jumped into the left field stands and started administering a beating and no one seemed to interfere.
Sticks and stones were probably not as harmful to Cobb as the names which could hurt him – especially when the racist outfielder was called a “half-nigger” by Lucker, which was what apparently drove him over the edge.
It should be noted that Lucker had a machine press accident when he was younger and was missing one hand and had Continue reading