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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

What did Entertainment Legend Will Rogers and Baseball Legend Ty Cobb have in common?

Recently while hunting for something else in a second-hand shop here in Carlsbad, I found the following book on Will Rogers and bought it. The one reference to Carlsbad Caverns appears and page 273 and here is a picture of the book and a "snapshot:" of the reference to us.

book Will Rogers by Donald Day

I knew previously that Will Rogers and his wife Betty were in the area of the caverns to visit their son at the New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, but I didn't, before I found this book recently, know that they visited the caverns on their wedding anniversary. I understand that Mr. Rogers also took a ride down the elevator shaft in the guano bucket, a story that I remember from years ago but a story whose source I have "misplaced." Certainly I will will remember the story's sourcesome day when I am not even thinking about it.

I would consider taking such a guano bucket/elevator shaft ride a bit on the too daredevil side of things, wouldn't you?

Will Rogers and Superintendent Tom BolesHerchel Cobb, Tom Boles, and Ty Cobb

In his Superintendent's Monthly Report for November 1935, Superintendent Tom Boles noted,

Baseball Star: I was highly pleased to find among the tourist group of November 18 none other than the famous Ty Cobb, veteran baseball star who made the cavern trip with Mr. and Mrs. Jimmie Johns of Roswell, and Mr. Cobb's son Herschel who is attending the New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell. For the information of persons other than Mr. Demaray, I will state that Ty Cobb’s batting average was over 300 during his 21 years of big league baseball, and in addition to this his record for stolen bases is something like 2700. Mr. Cobb not only enjoyed his cavern trip, but as a courtesy to the Superintendent he stopped over long enough in Carlsbad to shake hands with most of the local baseball fans.

So Will Rogers and Ty Cobb had these things in common:
  • Both men visited the caverns.

  • Both men had sons attending New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, New Mexico at different times.

  • Bothe men had the same host at the caverns, Superintendent Tom Boles, and both men were warmly greeted by their host.

  • Both men were very famous in their professions; Will Rogers as an entertainer, Ty Cobb as a baseball player.
However, one major difference existed between Rogers and Cobb. Rogers was widely regarded as one of the most beloved entertainers in American history. However, Cobb, because of his athletic aggression and what some termed his "dirty-playing" tactics and lack of sportsmanship, was regarded as one of the most despised and hated men in baseball.

Will Rogers at Wikipedia
Will Rogers at
Some samples:
A man only learns in two ways, one by reading, and the other by association with smarter people.
About all I can say for the United States Senate is that it opens with a prayer and closes with an investigation.
Advertising is the art of convincing people to spend money they don't have for something they don't need.
Diplomacy is the art of saying "Nice doggie" until you can find a rock.
Don't gamble; take all your savings and buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it.
Don't let yesterday use up too much of today.

Ty Cobb at Wikipedia
Ty Cobb at
Some samples:
The base paths belonged to me, the runner. The rules gave me the right. I always went into a bag full speed, feet first. I had sharp spikes on my shoes. If the baseman stood where he had no business to be and got hurt, that was his fault.
The way those clubs shift against Ted Williams, I can't understand how he can be so stupid not to accept the challenge to him and hit to left field.
I have observed that baseball is not unlike a war, and when you come right down to it, we batters are the heavy artillery.

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