Ty Cobb didn’t make very many friends during his playing days in Detroit. Even his own teammates despised him. Cobb was also an outspoken racist. That’s what makes his longtime friendship with a black man named Alexander George Washington Rivers so unusual.
For some reason, Cobb took a shine to Rivers and employed him as his personal assistant for 18 years. Rivers’ admiration for Cobb was so strong, he named his first born son Ty Cobb Rivers.
Rivers was considered the Tigers’ team mascot at a time when blacks were not allowed in the stands. Today we remember Mr. Rivers’ unique role in Detroit baseball history.