Today in Sports History: October 9th

10/09/1910 - Cobb wins batting title

On the final day of the 1910 MLB season, Ty Cobb had a slim lead over Napolean "Nap" Lajoie in the American League batting race. The Chalmers Automobile company had promised to give the batting champions of both the American League and National League a brand new car; Cobb had won three hitting titles before, but he was bitterly disliked by the rest of the league, who preferred to see the car go to the more-lovable Lajoie.

Nap finished the season in St. Louis to play a doubleheader against the Browns. St. Louis manager Jack O'Connor, just to deny Cobb the pleasure of getting the car, ordered rookie third baseman Red Corriden to play so deep in shallow left field that Lajoie recorded six consecutive bunt singles. Browns scout Harry Howell, promising a new suit, even tried to bribe the official scorer into giving Nap another hit. Lajoie went 8-8 in the doubleheader and was granted several generous base hits that reportedly should have been scored an error.

By the end of the game, no one was sure who would get the car.

American League president Ban Johnson, sensing collusion in the batting race, ordered the Browns to fire Howell and O'Connor, which they promptly did. Ultimately, Cobb won the batting race by a couple thousandths of a point, though in the 1980's it was revealed that Lajoie should have actually won -- a game in which Cobb batted 2-3 had mistakenly been counted twice. It mattered not though, as Chalmers avoided controversy by simply granting both Cobb and Lajoie new cars.

10/09/1996 - Jeter gets help on home run

The Baltimore Orioles were well on their way to winning Game 1 of the ALCS. But just when it looked like the O's had things wrapped up, a 13 year-old kid name Jeffrey Maier stepped in and ruined the birds' season.

To read more about this story, click here for an in-depth Inhistoric article:

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