By all accounts he was a racist and a jerk -- and a helluva ball player. One of the legends of the game, Ty Cobb will be remembered in a new play by the author of A Walk in the Woods and Eleemosynary. Lee Blessing’s biographical drama, Cobb, comes up to bat at Off-Broadway’s Melting Pot Theatre April 17, after having started previews April 10.
Directed by Joe Brancato, Cobb looks at its subject, an early Hall of Fame inductee, through three stages of his life. Though he’s best remembered for his hustle and quality with the Detroit Tigers (where he was nicknamed “The Georgia Peach”), he had a nasty and prejudiced side to make John Rocker look like Mr. Rogers. The outfielder played with the Tigers from 1905-26 (managing them for the last six of those years), and then played two years for the Philadelphia Athletics. Cobb’s lifetime batting average was .367; most good-hitting ball players are lucky to make over .320.
Playing the three Cobbs in Blessing’s drama are Michael Cullen, Matt Mabe and Michael Sabatino. Clark Jackson will play an athlete in the Negro League.
Designing the show are Matt Maraffi (set), Daryl A. Stone (costumes) and Jeff Nelis (lighting).
For tickets ($35) and information on Cobb at the Melting Pot Theatre, 311 West 43rd Street, call (212) 279-4200. -- By David Lefkowitz