Ty Cobb adds to memorable day in Asheville

On this day in 1924: Ty Cobb hits a home run in the first game played at Asheville’s McCormick Field, but the Detroit Tigers lose their exhibition to the Asheville Skylanders, 18-14.

By 1991, when the wooden stadium is razed, to be replaced by concrete, it will be the oldest minor-league park in the country.


2 thoughts on “Ty Cobb adds to memorable day in Asheville”

  1. Lew, your mentioning that bit of Ty Cobb baseball history at Asheville’s McCormick field brought to mind a couple of other stories from that historic venue.

    During the 1941 and 1942 football seasons, some additional sports history was made there. During those two seasons, the Lee Edwards High Maroons (of course it’s Asheville High today) played their games on a gridiron laid out running from the third base line to right field and with the 3500 regular baseball seats, plus 1000 temporary seats, 4500 fans could watch the history being made. (And there was plenty of standing room).

    The Maroons won 21 straight games at McCormick Field during ’41 and ’42 and leading the team was a gangly kid from Westwood Place in West Asheville named Charlie Justice. I suspect there are a few fans still around who might remember Saturday night, November 14, 1942 when Knoxville Central High came into McCormick Field to play the Maroons. Early in the game, the Lee Edwards defense stopped Knoxville at the Maroons’ one-foot line. In a 1997 interview, Justice recalled saying in the huddle, “Let’s kick out of here and get some room.” But Team Captain Norman Harris had another plan. “We ain’t gonna punt. Just take the snap, Charlie, and follow us.” He did…down the little slope that rose in right field he came, and 99 yards and 2 feet later another historical entry was made in the McCormick Field record book. Justice added two more touchdown runs that night to lead the 27 to 0 rout.

    Earlier in the 1942 season, Lee Edwards had beaten Hickory High 94 to 0, and when the season ended, the Maroons had scored 441 points while their opponents had scored 6.

    Charlie Justice and Lee Edwards High in the early 1940s rank with the greatest high school football teams of all time and they developed that greatest at McCormick Field.

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