Overview

Title: Ty Cobb Papers
Creator(s): Cobb, Tyrus W., 1915-1997
Collection Number: 97-30
Dates (inclusive): 1881-1997
Physical Extent: 6.0 cubic feet (5 boxes)
Preferred Citation: Ty Cobb papers, 97-30. Special Collections, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Reno.
Repository: University of Nevada, Reno. Special Collections Department
Permanent Link: http://dewey.library.unr.edu/xtf/view?docId=ead/97-30-ead.xml

Biographical Note

Tyrus R. Cobb was born in Virginia City, Nevada, on September 21, 1915, the only child of William Cobb and Eva Harris Cobb. Will Cobb was a fan of baseball at the time when legend, Ty Cobb was at the height of his career and Virginia City townsfolk assumed Will would name his son after "the Georgia Peach," and so he was named. The two were not related although there was often confusion between the two Tys, especially after the baseball star moved to Lake Tahoe.

William Cobb was a miner, semi-professional baseball player, and stage driver between Reno, Virginia City, Carson City, and Lake Tahoe. He served as a Nevada Assemblyman and State Senator from 1931-1942. He was also sheriff of Storey County and a county commissioner. Born in 1885, he died in 1973.

Ty Cobb of Nevada graduated from Reno High School and then the University of Nevada in 1937. He went to work for the Nevada State Journal where he was a sports writer and later sports editor. In addition to articles, he wrote a sports column for twenty years, called "Inside Stuff." In 1960 he was promoted to assistant managing editor and then managing editor. He served as associate editor from 1972 until 1975, the year in which he retired. Although officially retired Cobb continued to write what was first a tri-weekly, then a weekly column, called "Cobbwebs," for the Nevada State Journal and its successor, the Reno Gazette-Journal. His last column was published after his death, which occurred on May 27, 1997. In all, he wrote more than 2,000 "Cobwebs." Selected columns were compiled into a book, The Best of Cobwebs published in 1997 by the University of Nevada Press.

Cobb married Olga Glusovich of Tonopah in 1939. They had three children: Tyrus W. Cobb, Patricia Cobb Baker, and William Cobb. Olga died in 1994.

Cobb loved sports and was an avid golfer, participating in many local tournaments. Cobb also loved Nevada and Nevada history and wrote often on those topics. He was honored in 1971 and 1974 for his contribution to Nevada athletics and among many other honors, was declared a Distinguished Nevadan by the University of Nevada Board of Regents in 1985.

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Scope and Content

The collection was arranged into five series: personal and professional materials, photographs, writings by Cobb and writings by other authors. Each in turn was further subdivided into subseries.

Series I, Personal Materials, contains items related to Cobb's education in public junior and senior high schools and at the University of Nevada. There are biographical sketches and an interview of Ty by his son Tyrus W. Cobb, and scrapbooks and clippings about Ty's father, William.

Ty and his father owned mining interests in Virginia City. Series I contains documentation about those mines, including legal papers, real estate materials, and reports of operations. The mines named include the Silver Star Mine, Comstock and Brunswick Lode, Baltimore-Maryland Mine, and the Sierra Nevada Gold and Silver Mining Company.

A few artifacts were donated with the manuscript collection and they include trophies and plaques awarded in recognition of his service to the community and profession, and for various golf tournaments. In addition, there is a home movie camera and the manual Corona typewriter Cobb used throughout most of his journalism career.

Series II includes professional honors and awards, correspondence, speeches, membership and press cards, and miscellaneous materials. The correspondence is of widely scattered dates and mainly relates to specific events or columns. The awards and honors subseries includes clippings, programs, and invitations to several events at which Cobb was honored for his contributions to Nevada athletics. Also included are his Distinguished Nevadan and Silver Quill Awards.

The collection included several dozen photographs, almost all of which were related to professional activities such as the awards dinners. These photographs have been transferred to the photographic archives of the Special Collections Department.

Series IV represents Cobb's career in journalism from its earliest days to the last of his thousands of columns. The earliest piece of Cobb's work is the 1928 Junior Times Newsletter, the official paper of Troop 1, boy Scouts of Reno. Other early items are Cobb's article about Dan De Quille for a 1936 edition of The Rainbow, published at the Nevada State Prison; and a satrical edition of the University of Nevada's Sagebrush, entitled Sagelush (1936). A sampling of Cobb's sports articles, including many on the Squaw Valley Winter Olympic Games, 1960, are included in this series.

The bulk of the series consists of copies of Cobb's column for the Nevada State Journal. The "Cobbwebs" column began in 1965 and continued until 1997, when the last one was published posthumously. This collection contains many of those columns, although it lacks any columns for the first two years. "Cobbwebs" was initially published three times a week and gradually reduced to once a week. Cobb based "Cobbwebs" on his extensive memories of Virginia City and Reno. They often featured sports or sports figures as well.

Finally, this series includes first and last drafts of The Best of Cobbwebs which was based on the best columns. The first draft serves to illustrate the difficult task of editing the book down to manageable length.

The final series, Series V, consists of writings of other authors and includes articles about Ty Cobb (the journalist) and on other miscellaneous topics related to Reno or sports subjects.

Restrictions

Collection is open for research. Materials must be used on-site; advance notice suggested. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Tyrus W. Cobb in 1997.

Separated Materials

The collection included several dozen photographs, almost all of which were related to professional activities such as the awards dinners. These photographs have been transferred to the photographic archives of the Special Collections Department.

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Arrangement

  • 1.Personal Materials 2.Professional Materials 3.Photographs 4.Writings by Cobb 5.Writings by Other Authors

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Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the online catalog of the University Libraries, University of Nevada, Reno. Researchers wishing to find related materials are encouraged to use the following index terms:

People:

Subjects:

Geographic Locations:

Genres:

ClippingsManuscripts

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Administrative Information

Collection processed by Susan Searcy, February 18, 1998. Finding aid prepared by Susan Searcy, February 18, 1998. Finding Aid revised by Jacquelyn Sundstrand, October 27, 2008. This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on July 15, 2016.

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Detailed Description of the Records

Series 1: Personal Materials, 1881-1997 0.5

This series has been subdivided into several subseries, including education, materials about family members, awards and trophies, mining, and miscellaneous.

Part of the charm of this collection lies in how the collection focuses on life in Reno when it was a small town. Items in Series I make a strong contribution, through Cobb's Reno High School yearbook for 1907 and a scrapbook begun in 1939 in which he pasted school memorabilia. Class sizes were small and student's family names were those with long-time Reno associations.

This series also contains biographical information about Cobb: a taped interview of him conducted by his son, Ty W. Cobb; biographical sketches; and obituaries and memorial books about Ty Cobb. Other family files contain a scrapbook of clippings outlining the political career of Cobb's father, William; clippings of news articles about Will; and articles about Cobb's son, Ty W. Cobb. Also included in this series are symbols of awards and honors presented to Cobb, including certificates, trophies, and plaques. There are also some professional awards in Series II..

Ty and his father jointly and singly owned several mines in Virginia City and a number of folders in this collection document this aspect of the Cobbs' life. Included are legal documents related to title, reports of operations, and misc. mining records.

Contents
Series 1, Subseries 1: Education
box
Item
Contents
1/S1/SS1
1
Yearbook, Reno High School Graduating Class of 1907, 1907
1/S1/SS1
2
Reno Jr. High School diploma for Ty Cobb, 1930
1/S1/SS1
3
University of Nevada 50-year class reunion, 1987
1/S1/SS1
4
UNR materials
Contents
Series 1, Subseries 2: Biographical information
box
Item
Contents
1/S1/SS2
1
Biographical sketches
1/S1/SS2
2
Taped interviews of Ty Cobb made by his son, Tyrus W. Cobb
1/S1/SS2
3
Memorial folders from Cobb's funeral, May 30, 1997
1/S1/SS2
4
Cobb Obituary
Contents
Series 1, Subseries 3: Honors and trophies
box
Item
Contents
1/S1/SS3
1
Eagle Scout award, 1983
1/S1/SS3
2
Distinguished Nevadan Award, 1985
box
Item
Contents
5/S1/SS3
3
Sportswriter of the Year Award (plaque). To Ty Cobb, 1960
5/S1/SS3
4
Distinguished Alumni Award for Outstanding Achievements, to Tyrus Cobb, 1937, 1971
5/S1/SS3
5
Reno Press Club Silver Quill Award to Ty Cobb, 1980
5/S1/SS3
6
Alumni Association of University of Nevada, Reno, Acknowledging Ty Cobb for Outstanding Service in the Development of the University, October 11, 1975
5/S1/SS3
7
Nugget Classic [Golf Tournament]. 1967. Consists of 4 pieces: thermometer, barometer, photo of Cobb, and title section
5/S1/SS3
8
Lake Tahoe Pro-Amateur [gold tournament] trophy, Undated
5/S1/SS3
9
Ty Cobb Testimonial - Congratulations, Sons of Erin [Silver trophy cup], Undated
5/S1/SS3
10
Cal-Neva Special Award. [Trophy cup], 1954
5/S1/SS3
11
Reno Sunday League 2nd Place, to the Ink Spots, 1944
5/S1/SS3
12
Sheep Dip Shaft Award to Ty Cobb, from the Reno Ad Club, 1976
5/S1/SS3
13
[Gold award - wood plaque with removable golf ball handle.] "Ty Cobb -R.W.G.C. 25 Years Through the Sand Traps Together."
5/S1/SS3
14
Silver Makeup Rule, Presented by the Nevada Press Association to Ty Cobb, Undated
5/S1/SS3
15
Nugget Classic [golf tournament] to Ty Cobb, 1966
Contents
Series 1, Subseries 4: Mining
box
Item
Contents
1/S1/SS4
1
Silver Star Mine
1/S1/SS4
2
Comstock and Brunswick Lode map, 1923
1/S1/SS4
3-5
Baltimore-Maryland Mine
1/S1/SS4
6
Gold bullion deposit receipt, 1881
1/S1/SS4
7
Map of Right of Way to be Acquired from Will Cobb et al, 1937
1/S1/SS4
8
Sierra Nevada Gold and Silver Mining Company letterpress copybook of reports of operations, 1891-1895
Contents
Series 1, Subseries 5: Family materials
box
Item
Contents
1/S1/SS5
1
Will Cobb clippings
1/S1/SS5
2
Will Cobb political career scrapbook, ca 1931-1937
1/S1/SS5
3
Tyrus W. Cobb materials
Contents
Series 1, Subseries 6: Miscellaneous: "Last Will and Testament of the "Gallavanting Granite" [fictitious character]

Series 2: Professional, 1931-1995 0.75 cubic feet

This series reflects activities which were a reflection of his profession of journalism. Included are honors and awards, correspondence, speeches, membership and press cards, and miscellaneous programs.

Contents
Series 2, Subseries 1: Honors and awards
box
Item
Contents
1/S2/SS1
1
Distinguished Nevadan award, 1985
1/S2/SS1
2
Silver Quill Award, 1980
1/S2/SS1
3
Certificates
1/S2/SS1
4-8
Testimonial dinner honoring Ty Cobb for his contributions to Nevada athletics, June 2, 1971
1/S2/SS1
9
Testimonial dinner for Cobb, July 1974
1/S2/SS1
10
UNR Athletic Hall of Fame
1/S2/SS1
11
Cobb's retirement, 1975
Contents
Series 2, Subseries 2: Correspondence, 1931-1995; Undated
box
Item
Contents
1/S2/SS2
1-2
Correspondence, 1931-1995; Undated
box
Item
Contents
1/S2/SS3
1
Series 2, Subseries 3: Cobb speech to Stewart Boosters' Club, Undated
1/S2/SS3
1
Cobb speech to Stewart Boosters' Club, Undated
Contents
Series 2, Subseries 4: Membership and business cards
box
Item
Contents
1/S2/SS4
1
Membership and business cards
Contents
Series 2, Subseries 5: Miscellaneous
box
Item
Contents
2/S2/SS5
1
Reno Silver Sox
2/S2/SS5
2
Cobb's trip to Detroit, August 1965
2/S2/SS5
3-4
Programs
2/S2/SS5
5
Ephemera
2/S2/SS5
6
Ghost Town Street Scenes stationery by Thelma Davis Calhoun, 1983

Series 3: Photographs

Donated with the Cobb manuscript collection were photographs, mostly related to Cobb's professional career, such as shots of sports celebrities and testimonial dinners. There are also golf scenes (Cobb and various golf partners). These photographs have been transferred to the Special Collections photographic archives.

Series 4: Writings by Ty Cobb, 1928-1996 1.75 cubic feet

Ty Cobb's career in journalism began long before he received academic training in the field. His first venture was as the assistant to the editor for the Junior Times Newsletter, the official paper of Troop 1 of the Reno Boy Scouts. A copy of volume 1, number 1, January, 1928, has survived in the Cobb collection, although it may have been the only edition published. Other early Cobb works which are part of this collection include his article "Dan De Quille" which appeared in the Nevada State Prison publication, The Rainbow (February 1936); and a spoof of the official University of Nevada student newspaper, titled Sagelush (the official title is Sagebrush), December 11, 1936. The Sagelush features a fetching, front page photo of Cobb reminiscent of Mad Magazine's Alfred E. Newman.

On a more serious note, the collection contains a sampling of Cobb's work as sports journalist and editor, including many of his articles about the 1960 Winter Olympics at Squaw Valley. Unfortunately, there is only one of his regular column for the Nevada State Journal, "Inside Stuff," which was written in about 1954.

The Special Collections is fortunate to have a much more complete collection of Cobb's successor column, "Cobbwebs," which he began in 1965 and continued until his death in May, 1997. Although not totally complete, there is an extensive number of columns, including some which were not dated. The "Cobbwebs" are arranged chronologically.

Last in this series are first and final drafts of Cobb's book, The Best of Cobbwebs, published just after his death 1997. As its title implies, this volume contains a culling of those columns which Ty thought to be his best, along with some editorial material about the book's publication. The initial draft contained far more material than could be used and will serve to supplement the list of important material which made it into the book.

Contents
Series 1, Subseries 1: Articles by Cobb (excluding columns)
box
Item
Contents
2/S4/SS1
1
The Junior Times Newsletter, vol. 1, no. 1. Official paper of Troop 1, Boy Scouts of Reno, January 1928
2/S4/SS1
2
"Dan De Quille," in The Rainbow, vol. 2, no. 1, February 1936
2/S4/SS1
3
Sagelush [sic], December 11, 1936
2/S4/SS1
4-6
Misc. articles by Cobb
2/S4/SS1
7-8
Squaw Valley Winter Olympics articles, 1960
Contents
Series 1, Subseries 2: "Inside Stuff" column, ca 1954
Contents
Series 1, Subseries 3: "Cobbwebs" columns
box
Item
Contents
2/S4/SS3
1-38
, July 2, 1967 to December 1976
box
Item
Contents
3/S4/SS3
39-90
Series 1, Subseries 4: , January 1976 to 1996; Undated
Contents
Series 1, Subseries 4: Best of Cobbwebs
box
Item
Contents
4/S4/SS4
1-7
First draft
4/S4/SS4
8-13
Final draft, May 1976

Series 5: Writings by Other Authors, 1933-1991 0.25 cubic feet

This series includes materials written by authors other than Ty Cobb. The series was divided into two sections: articles about Cobb and articles on other topics. They are arranged in no particular order.

Contents
Series 5, Subseries 1: Articles about Ty Cobb
box
Item
Contents
4/S5/SS1
1-2
Articles about Ty Cobb
Contents
Series 5, Subseries 2: Articles about other topics
box
Item
Contents
4/S5/SS2
1
"Pulitzer: Nevada's First Pulitzer Prize.", 1977
4/S5/SS2
2
Dave Basso essays: "Fred Hart," "John H. Dennis," and "George Cassidy."
4/S5/SS2
3
Distinguished Flying Cross award for Link Piazzo
4/S5/SS2
4
Portion of A.J. Liebling article on Pyramid Lake which mentions a Ty Cobb article, 1955
4/S5/SS2
5-6
Miscellaneous articles
4/S5/SS2
7
Book in Chinese