Born in 1886 in Narrows, Georgia, Tyrus Raymond “Ty” Cobb moved with his family at an early age to Royston, Georgia.
The sign located east of the town on Highway 8 is a vinyl reproduction of a painted plywood sign erected by the Royston Chamber of Commerce when Cobb was still alive.
At one point there were four of these signs posted on the two major highways that run through Royston, Highways 8 and 17. The only other sign currently standing is the one located north of the town on Highway 17.
The original Welcome to Royston civic sign sits opposite the Ty Cobb sign on Highway 17 north of town.
The town of Royston has many monuments and tributes to Cobb. After retiring from baseball, Cobb donated a significant amount of money in his parent’s name to build a hospital in Royston for the people of Franklin County, Georgia.
Several buildings in Royston now honor Cobb and his philanthropic endeavors on behalf of the people of Franklin County. The Ty Cobb Healthcare System building is located on Highway 8 as you enter town from the west.
The Ty Cobb Museum alone is worth a stop in Royston. Once located in the Royston Civic Center, the museum now resides in the Joe A. Adams Professional Building on Cook Street, across the street from the building housing the Ty Cobb Healthcare System.
The museum includes several displays honoring the baseball life of Ty Cobb.
Of note in the museum is a Cobb’s 1907 American League Batting Champion Metal and a pair of his cleats.
The Cobb Theater includes a short movie on the baseball life of Ty Cobb.
Unfortunately, there is little in the town of Royston that actually gives visitors a feel for Cobb as a private citizen living in Royston. The boyhood home where he lived (and where his mother shot his father to death – allegedly having mistaken him for an intruder) no longer stands. Its location is now, ironically, the parking lot for a funeral home. The Pruitt Funeral Home is located at 47 Franklin Springs Street.
The parking lot where Cobb’s house once stood is between the funeral home and the Royston First United Methodist Church, 137 Franklin Springs Street.
Some of the buildings located at the center of town date to the time of Cobb’s boyhood in Royston. One of the most significant is the Joe T. Cunningham Furniture Store on Church Street, near the corner of Church and Franklin Springs Street.
Cobb and Joe Cunningham were close friends. Cunningham, a cabinet and casket maker, used to make baseball bats for Cobb. Inside the furniture store building, which currently houses Joe T. Cunningham Interiors, run by his granddaughter, is a display featuring pictures of Cobb and his life in Royston.
Other buildings relevant to Cobb’s life in Royston include the former post office building at 963 Church Street.
Across the street from the old post office at 964 Church Street is Jacksons On Main – Antiques and Collectibles – which sells a limited amount of Cobb baseball memorabilia.
One door down from Joe T. Cunningham’s Furniture Store, at the corner of Church Street and Franklin Springs Street, is a mural celebrating Cobb’s baseball career.
A Georgia State historical marker located in front of the Royston City Hall at 634 Franklin Springs Street honors Cobb, “the Georgia Peach.”
City Hall, also known as the Ty Cobb Memorial Civic Center, includes a plaza with a granite monument erected in memory of Cobb.
Cobb’s granite monument stands approximately eight feet tall.
The front of the monument includes a likeness of Cobb wearing his Detroit Tigers uniform, bat in hand.
The back side of the monument lists some of his many baseball accomplishments.
Other Royston tributes to Cobb include the town crest that adorns Royston’s municipal vehicles.
The housing development located behind city hall is named “Cobb Walk” in honor of the town’s favorite son.
Cobb is buried on the outskirts of Royston in Rose Hill Cemetery, located on Old Elbert Road, a quarter mile off Highway 17 (Church Street).
Cobb helped choose the mausoleum design which now holds his remains.
Royston, Georgia, does not qualify as a lost ballpark. However it is worth a mention and a visit, given its connection to one of the greatest baseball players. Although the town includes many tributes to the great Ty Cobb, the town itself offers little in the way of attractions that help visitors appreciate the town as he knew it. Cobb played baseball in and around Royston for many years before leaving to play professional ball. Perhaps baseball fans in Royston could somehow determine where those fields were located. A plaque noting their location would allow visitors to stand on the same spot where young Ty Cobb honed his baseball skills, which would go a long way toward connecting the town of Royston to its favorite, famous son.