Saturday, November 17, 2007

A-Rod's Ty Cobb Number is 3

So it seems that A-Rod's path back to the Yankees was made possible by advice from Warren Buffett. I don't think Scott Boras is as bad for baseball as most people do, but if I had to choose between taking advice from him and taking advice from Warren Buffett, I'd go with the Oracle of Omaha every time.

And not just because he's a pretty damn sensible bazillionaire, either. There's some good baseball juju floating around him too. According to a Charlie Rose interview last year, he displays a Royals uniform in his office and he quotes Ted Williams -- “waiting for the right pitch is the most important thing for a batter” -- when describing his approach to buying a stock. He also batted against Bob Gibson -- an Omaha native and friend of Buffett's -- during a friendly baseball game at the 2001 Berkshire stockholder's meeting. Buffett grounded out. Which is probably for the best, because if he had made solid contact, Gibson would have buried one in his ear next time up, billionaire or not.

But the baseball tidbit I like the most is that Fortune magazine editor Carol Loomis -- a close friend of Buffett's, and the editor of Buffett's annual shareholder letters -- went on two dates with Ty Cobb in the 1950s:

"In 1957, I had two dates with Ty Cobb," she writes. "I was 28 and he was 70. We met because he watched a quiz show, 'Tic Tac Dough,' that I was on for four days and on which, out of years spent following the St. Louis Cardinals, I correctly answered some baseball questions. Cobb then asked me to have lunch at the "21" Club. A couple of my male friends thought that my accepting was not a good idea, perhaps believing that Cobb was somehow going to extend his base-stealing record in broad daylight at '21.'" They went on a second date, but that was it. "This was not a match made in heaven."

This means that Buffett is probably the only man alive who has living friends who can tell him about both Andy Pettite's move to first base and Ty Cobb's move to second . . .

1 comment:

AH said...

Not a baseball comment, but in the book "Last Dance" by John Feinstein he tells a story about a photographer who has worked the Final Four for the last 40 years. When he was a student at Kansas University in the mid-50's, he studied a aeronautical engineering and worked for Phog Allen's basketball team. He once got a message from Coach Allen to come to the fieldhouse-there was an older man sitting in the coaches office who he wanted the kid to meet-it was James Naismith. The next story was the same thing, essentially except it was his aeronautical engineering professor who wanted him to meet someone, and the professor's guest was Orville Wright. Ty Cobb comes close, but that is a celebrity twosome that is hard to beat.