A couple of weeks ago, I was driving dow I-85, heading to Birmingham, AL for a family event, and I saw a sign: Exit 177 – Royston. To most, it was just another exit. To me, it meant a much needed exit!!
Royston, Georgia. It’s a small town. A VERY small town. Population of 2,582 as of the 2010 census. The Census Bureau estimates the current population at 2,563 as of 2016. One of Royston’s most famous residents (not included in the population estimate) made me decide to exit off and explore the small town. That resident? Ty Cobb!
For most baseball history buffs, Royston will always be associated with the birthplace, and burial place, of Ty Cobb. Initially I was hoping to find one of the famous billboards that led into Royston:
While I didn’t see this sign coming into Royston, what I DID stumble upon was the Ty Cobb Museum, located in the Joe A. Adams Professional Building. What a great find!
It was a quick trip in, but there was quite a bit of Cobb memorabilia, including an original uniform, shoes, watches, trophies, and photos. The museum has a great relationship with the Cobb family.
I thought it was pretty cool that I had one of the same baseball cards that was in one of the display cases!
Not only was there some great memorabilia, but it also presented a different side of Cobb – his philanthropy in life. Cobb set aside a quarter of his wealth to establish the Cobb Scholarship Fund, which to this day helps send more than 300 Georgians to college every year. This is the original document outlining how it was to be set up:
And here’s the front and back of the brochure of the museum:
I made two other quick stops in Royston. There’s a very nice statue outside the library in honor of Cobb:
And the last stop is where Cobb and his family are buried. When I walked up, I found that someone had left a baseball at the base of the entrance.
This post is not about whether all the stories about Cobb are true or not. Rather, it’s about how a small town honors, to this day, the player who is arguably the greatest player to have stepped onto the field. To coin a phrase from my favorite wrestler, it’s worth the drive!